Saturday, March 08, 2008

What's wrong with tags

A lot has been made of "tags" as ways of organizing and grouping disparate information and ideas. It has been said that "tags" create the opportunity for novel constructions and links between various ideas that get a similar tag and that these tags create new "folksominies" rather than rigid "taxonomies."

However, it seems to me that these actual create a lot of noise and grouping of stuff together that rarely makes sense. Tagging may be a good way for find an idea or to begin a search for information, but they are not helpful for organizing the information. Organizing information takes more than tags or keywords, it takes "structure" that links information and ideas in coherent useful ways. This is more than an "aggregator" or a "tag cloud" again these are useful in seeing a bunch of information that various people think seems to go together, but rarely does this provide us with a coherent or integrated picture of what this all is.

This makes me think that we need another set of tools that allows us to link tags (that is, ideas, topics) together in an easy and convenient way so that I can create an organized structure for the information that I have gathered. This allows me to throw away some pieces of information that have the same tag and organize other information into a more coherent structure.

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