Blogger Hacks, Categories, Tips & Tricks

Saturday, April 30, 2005
Taggable Message Boards
Tagsurf is a network of message boards that "uses tags to help organize subjects instead of threads or channels." The line between blogs and boards blurs once again, I think. In conventional navigation world you can view recent posts, but in tag navigation world you can jump between posts based on how they have been tagged, as well as jumping to posts for the same tag on Flickr,, and Technorati, and viewing a list of recent posts with your chosen tag as well as a series of related tags. As one of the contributors says, "it shows how we could move away from posting to toward posting about.

Now you put your ideas in the infospace by posting to a blog or to a mailing list. Of course the problem is that the reader must know which blogs and mailing lists match her interests. I subscribe to many feeds, blogs and lists but I am sure I don't see even a 0.1% of all the posts I would wish to read. Instead of posting your thoughts to a list, you should be able to just post it and rely on the ability of the global infospace to direct the reader to everything that match her interests.

Wow!! An ambitious goal, but one that is greatly enhanced by the technology of tagging and the available engines for searching, sorting and displaying tagged posts.

Here's some thoughts on the notion that the "global infospace" will be enough to direct the reader:
  1. People tag their own posts any way they choose to, so there's no guarantee that two posts about the same thing will get tagged the same way, and therefore found by the same search.
  2. Some form of filter will still be required to catalog & sort the posts in the infospace, just as search engines are used now. Sorting issues of reliability, popularity, accuracy & ranking will continue to be important.
  3. If an engine is required, a question will be required. "Show me everything about Shakespeare" will be insufficient, because someone will have a dog called Shakespeare & will have a tagged commentary on all the dog's recent vet visits. The volume of returns will also be huge.
I'm sure that the web will handle information with greater capacity & veracity as technology develops. There will also be more information out there. I think we'll always need maps & guides to navigate the infospace, even if some innovations bring the infospace to us.

Since I've been bolder about throwing in my 10 cents of late, you can also see this post cross-posted in the relevant thread at tagsurf.

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Posted at 12:49 PM by John.

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