Tags: They're Not Just for Prices Anymore

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Presentation on tagging and the relationship between social bookmarking services and search given at GSLIS at Mount Holyoke College.

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  • I love this presentation. I learnt a lot about tags. Keep it up Gary.
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Tags: They're Not Just for Prices Anymore

  1. 1. Tags: They're Not Just for Prices Anymore Gary S. Atwood March 25, 2007
  2. 2. Welcome! <ul><li>Gary Atwood </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Reference Librarian, Springfield College </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Former “Dixie” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Things to Note </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Please ask questions! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>No projector – you run the show </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. What is a Tag? Tag: a descriptive label (keyword, term, phrase) that is attached to something (web site, picture, sound, etc.) so that it can be found later
  4. 4. Where Do We Use Tags? <ul><li>Del.icio.us (Ma.gnolia, Furl, etc.) – web sites </li></ul><ul><li>Flickr – photos </li></ul><ul><li>Technorati – blogs </li></ul><ul><li>Last.fm – Internet radio stations </li></ul><ul><li>CiteULike/Connotea – academic articles </li></ul><ul><li>See a huge list at 3Spots: </li></ul><ul><li>http://3spots.blogspot.com/2006/01/all-social-that-can-bookmark.html </li></ul>
  5. 5. Who Is Tagging? <ul><li>Pew Internet and American Life Survey </li></ul><ul><ul><li>28% of internet users have tagged or categorized content online such as photos, news stories, or blog posts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>On a typical day online, 7% of internet users say that they tag or categorize online content </li></ul></ul>Source: Pew Internet and American Life Project: Tagging - http:// www.pewinternet.org/pdfs/PIP_Tagging.pdf
  6. 6. Who Is Tagging? – Cont. Source: Pew Internet and American Life Project: Tagging - http:// www.pewinternet.org/pdfs/PIP_Tagging.pdf
  7. 7. Why Does This Matter? Source: Pew Internet and American Life Project: Tagging - http:// www.pewinternet.org/pdfs/PIP_Tagging.pdf “ The act of tagging is likely to be embraced by a more mainstream population in the future because many organizations are making it easier to tag internet content.”
  8. 8. Tagging – Nuts & Bolts <ul><li>Go to http://del.icio.us </li></ul><ul><li>Click on Register link </li></ul><ul><li>Follow instructions to create an account </li></ul><ul><li>Write down your username and password! </li></ul><ul><li>See “How to Tag a Web Site” handout for instructions on using Del.icio.us </li></ul>
  9. 9. OK, that’s neat, but what’s the big deal?
  10. 10. Bookmarks - Limitations <ul><li>Limited Flexibility </li></ul><ul><li>Limited Descriptive Information </li></ul><ul><li>Limited Mobility </li></ul>
  11. 11. Bookmarks – Limitations Bookmarks, “have become 'information closets' that hold a jumble of sites people never seem to return to. Only hyper-organized users sort sites into folders, clean out dead links or click on inscrutable addresses to figure out why they were bookmarked in the first place.” Source: Laura Gordon-Murnane, “Social Bookmarking, Folksonomies, and Web 2.0 Tools,” Searcher , 14 (6), 2006.
  12. 12. Tagging to the Rescue! <ul><li>Very flexible </li></ul><ul><li>Enhanced descriptive information </li></ul><ul><li>Very mobile </li></ul><ul><li>Mashups </li></ul>
  13. 13. But Wait, There’s More … <ul><li>You can share your tags with other members </li></ul><ul><li>You can also see their tags </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Explore by author </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Explore by tag </li></ul></ul><ul><li>This allows everyone to find resources that they were not aware of </li></ul>
  14. 14. Social Bookmarking “… is the practice of saving bookmarks to a public Web site and ‘tagging’ them with keywords.” Source: Educause, “7 Things You Should Know About…Social Bookmarking” http://www.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/ELI7001.pdf
  15. 15. Additional Advantages <ul><li>Most social bookmarking sites have the ability to rank pages based on popularity </li></ul><ul><li>Tags can be ranked also </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Tag clouds </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. A Searching We Will Go… <ul><li>Toggle back to Del.icio.us </li></ul><ul><li>Type something into the search box </li></ul><ul><li>Check your results (Did you get any?) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Other users and their tags </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Related tags </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. Taggers Take On Google <ul><li>Some social bookmarking advocates claim that tagging will enhance traditional search engines </li></ul><ul><li>Some even argue that it will actually replace search engines </li></ul>
  18. 18. How Search Engines Work (the very condensed version) <ul><li>Looks for your keywords in the index </li></ul><ul><li>Pulls out the pages that match your query </li></ul><ul><li>Ranks those pages based on: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Where keywords show up </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How often they show up </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Who’s linking to the site </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Etc. </li></ul></ul>
  19. 19. Kryptonite for Search Engines “ No matter how many pages they index or how quickly they bring back results, they can’t put those words into context. They can find a specific word, but they can’t tell what it means.” Source: Heather Green, “Picking Up Where Search Leaves Off,” Business Week , (3928), April 11, 2005
  20. 20. Tagging to the Rescue, Pt. 2 <ul><li>Taggers have looked at the site so the tags reflect the content (supposedly) </li></ul><ul><li>Good web sites get tagged by more people (again, supposedly) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ex. Digg.com </li></ul></ul><ul><li>You can see what the group thinks is important (which some find important) </li></ul>
  21. 21. Hey, don’t we do that already?
  22. 22. Cataloging - Weaknesses <ul><li>Slow to adapt </li></ul><ul><li>Terms reflect the needs of the creators </li></ul><ul><li>Best for finding known items </li></ul><ul><li>High maintenance costs </li></ul><ul><li>Fairly inflexible </li></ul>Source: Laura Gordon-Murnane, “Social Bookmarking, Folksonomies, and Web 2.0 Tools,” Searcher , 14 (6), 2006.
  23. 23. Folksonomy Source: Laura Gordon-Murnane, “Social Bookmarking, Folksonomies, and Web 2.0 Tools,” Searcher , 14 (6), 2006. “… a naturally created classification system which arises as a results of user based tagging.”
  24. 24. Folksonomy - Strengths <ul><li>Can respond very quickly to new concepts </li></ul><ul><li>Lend themselves to exploration </li></ul><ul><li>Are self-moderating and inclusive </li></ul><ul><li>Reflect the thinking of the users </li></ul><ul><li>Less expensive to maintain </li></ul><ul><li>Foster community among different groups </li></ul>Source: Laura Gordon-Murnane, “Social Bookmarking, Folksonomies, and Web 2.0 Tools,” Searcher , 14 (6), 2006.
  25. 25. Folksonomy – Group Exercise <ul><li>You are going to tag something </li></ul><ul><li>Come up with 3-5 tags </li></ul><ul><li>There are no right or wrong tags </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t hold back - Be creative! </li></ul>
  26. 26. Folksonomy – Weaknesses <ul><li>No standard keywords </li></ul><ul><li>No standardized structure </li></ul><ul><li>Tags can have multiple meanings </li></ul><ul><li>Keywords can have similar meanings </li></ul><ul><li>No hierarchical relationships </li></ul><ul><li>Tags can be “cliquish” </li></ul>
  27. 27. Weaknesses Cont. <ul><li>Limited by input requirements </li></ul><ul><li>Usually no spell check mechanism </li></ul><ul><li>Tag spam </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“… misleading tags that are generated in order to increase the visibility of some resources or simply to confuse the user.” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Starting to be a big problem </li></ul></ul>Source: George Koutrika, “Combating Spam in Tagging Systems,” http://www.resourceshelf.com/2007/02/21/new-research-paper-combating-spam-in-tagging-systems/
  28. 28. So which one should we use?
  29. 29. A Middle Way <ul><li>Stop thinking “either-or” </li></ul><ul><li>Start thinking “and” </li></ul><ul><li>Tags should be “supplements to formal classification systems, not wholesale replacements.” </li></ul>Walt Crawford, “Folksonomy and Dichotomy,” Cites & Insights: Crawford at Large , http://cites.boisestate.edu/v6i4a.htm
  30. 30. Is Anyone Doing It? <ul><li>Flickr has some “ suggested ” tags that offer some general guidelines </li></ul><ul><li>Designate “trusted taggers” whose tags are given greater weight than those of other users </li></ul>Source: George Koutrika, “Combating Spam in Tagging Systems,” http://www.resourceshelf.com/2007/02/21/new-research-paper-combating-spam-in-tagging-systems/
  31. 31. What About in Libraries? <ul><li>University of California Libraries </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Bibliographic Services Task Force </li></ul></ul><ul><li>University of Pennsylvania </li></ul><ul><ul><li>PennTags </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Plymouth State University </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Lamson Library OPAC </li></ul></ul>
  32. 32. Wrap Up <ul><li>Tags are labels that can be applied to just about anything on the Internet </li></ul><ul><li>A significant % of people are tagging and it is going to grow over time </li></ul><ul><li>Tags allow you to find your stuff as well as other people’s stuff </li></ul><ul><li>Tagging will have an impact on how we search – we just don’t know how much yet </li></ul>
  33. 33. Thanks for coming! Any Questions?

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