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Tagging: People-powered Metadata for the Social Web

Book Description

Tagging is fast becoming one of the primary ways people organize and manage digital information. Tagging complements traditional organizational tools like folders and search on users desktops as well as on the web. These developments mean that tagging has broad implications for information management, information architecture and interface design. And its reach extends beyond these technical domains to our culture at large. We can imagine, for example, the scrapbookers of the future curating their digital photos, emails, ticket stubs and other mementos with tags. This book explains the value of tagging, explores why people tag, how tagging works and when it can be used to improve the user experience. It exposes tagging's superficial simplicity to reveal interesting issues related to usability, information architecture, online community and collective intelligence.

Table of Contents

  1. Copyright
    1. Dedication
  2. Acknowledgments
  3. Introduction
  4. 1. What Is Tagging?
    1. How Tagging Works
      1. A Basic Model of Tagging Systems
        1. Users
        2. Resources
        3. Tags
        4. The Tagging System
      2. Today’s Tagging Systems
        1. Managing Personal Information
        2. Social Bookmarking
        3. Collecting and Sharing Digital Objects
        4. Improving the E-Commerce Experience
        5. Other Uses
      3. Three Perspectives on Tagging
        1. Information Architecture
        2. Social Software
        3. Personal Information Management
        4. Understanding Tagging’s Tension Points
          1. Four Tension Points
    2. Why Tagging Matters
      1. It’s Popular
      2. It’s Multifaceted
      3. It’s Social
      4. It’s Flexible
      5. It’s Ready for the Stream
    3. Summary
  5. 2. The Value of Tagging
    1. What Tags Can Do for You
    2. Return on Experience: Five Motivations for Tagging
      1. Ease of Use
        1. Tags are Simple
        2. Tags are Flexible
        3. Tags are Extensible
        4. Tags Can be Aggregated
        5. And One Caveat
      2. Managing Personal Information
        1. Tags and Folders: Key Differences
      3. Collaborating and Sharing
        1. Seeding Communities
        2. Social Proof—or the BandWagon Effect
      4. Having Fun
      5. Expressing Yourself
    3. Return on Investment: Seven Business Benefits
      1. Facilitating Collaboration
      2. Obtaining Descriptive Metadata
      3. Enhancing Findability
      4. Increasing Participation
      5. Identifying Patterns
      6. Augmenting Existing Classification Efforts
      7. Sparking Innovation
      8. One More Thing: Align Your Efforts
    4. Summary
  6. 3. Tagging System Architecture
    1. Users, Resources, and Tags: Exploring Our Three-Part Model of Tagging
      1. Part 1: Users
        1. Identity: Who are they?
        2. Membership: How do they Get into the System?
        3. Turnover: What Happens to them?
        4. Activity: How Enthusiastic are they?
        5. Community: How Do They Engage with Other Users?
      2. Part 2: Resources
        1. Contributions: How does it get into the System?
        2. Original or Pointer: What Exactly is being Tagged?
        3. Privacy: Who can See it?
        4. Restrictions: What isn’t Allowed?
        5. Dynamism: How Fast does the System Move?
      3. Part 3: Tags
        1. Permissions: Who Can Tag What?
        2. Truth: Where are the Tags?
        3. Control: Should You Censor Tags?
        4. Patterns: Understanding the Power Law
    2. Tagging in Practice: Examples from the Real World
      1. Four Tagging Systems (and Their Architectural Choices)
        1. CollaBorative Tagging
        2. Simple Tagging
      2. Five Common Tagging Pitfalls (and Their Solutions)
        1. The Cold-Start Problem: Boosting Interest and Activity
        2. Messy Metadata: A Tangle of Tags
        3. Vocal Minority: When users usurp Your System
        4. Bad Actors: Curbing Antisocial Behavior
        5. Time is Money: Managing Limited Resources
    3. Summary
  7. 4. Tags, Metadata, and Classification Systems
    1. Metadata for the Masses
      1. Three Kinds of Metadata: Descriptive, Administrative, and Structural
        1. Descriptive Metadata
        2. Administrative Metadata
        3. Structural Metadata
      2. Tags as Metadata
    2. Taxonomies and Controlled Vocabularies
      1. Controlled Vocabularies
        1. Synonym Rings
        2. Authority Files
        3. User-Generated Controlled Vocabularies
      2. Taxonomies
        1. Etsy: Navigating with Tags and Categories
        2. The Bubble-Up Approach: Enriching Taxonomies with Tags
    3. Facets
      1. Understanding Facets
      2. Two Approaches to Faceted Tagging: Buzzillions.com and Mefeedia
        1. Buzzillions.Com
        2. Mefeedia
        3. Three Principles for Mixing Tags and Facets
    4. Folksonomies
      1. Four Characteristics of Folksonomies
        1. Independence
        2. Aggregation
        3. Inference
        4. Many Methods of Inference
        5. When to Use Folksonomies
    5. Tags in the Metadata Ecosystem
      1. The Metacrap Problem
      2. The Middle Problems
      3. The Pace-Layering Problem
      4. An Ecological Solution
    6. Summary
  8. 5. Navigation and Visualization
    1. Tag Clouds
      1. Tag Clouds: The Basics
      2. Making a Tag Cloud
        1. Proportional Scaling
        2. Linear Scaling
      3. Expanding Tag Clouds
        1. Add Basic Controls
        2. Display More Data
        3. Adjust the Time Scale
        4. Add More Interaction
        5. But Think First
    2. Navigating Tags
      1. Pivot Browsing
        1. Pivot Points
        2. Designing for the Pivot
      2. Popularity
        1. Time and Popularity
        2. Trends
        3. Perspectives on Popularity
        4. Dealing with the Vocal Minority
      3. Filtering
        1. Tag Combinations
        2. LibraryThing’s TagMash
    3. Geotagging
      1. The Virtuous Cycle of Tags and Feeds
      2. Tags, Maps, and Metadata
    4. Summary
  9. 6. Interfaces
    1. Patterns in Tagging Interfaces
      1. Adding and Tagging Resources
        1. Bookmarklets
      2. Bulk Tagging
      3. Just Tagging (Existing Resources)
        1. Putting All Four Patterns to Work
    2. Tag Entry
      1. Speed and Simplicity
      2. Character-Delimited Systems
        1. The Size of the Box
        2. Delimiter
      3. Action-Delimited Systems
        1. To Capitalize or not to Capitalize?
    3. Suggestions
      1. Three Kinds of Suggestions
        1. Previously Used Tags
        2. Popular Tags
        3. Recommended Tags
        4. Suggestions: The More, The Better
      2. How Valuable Are Suggestions?
    4. Tag Management
      1. Editing and Deleting Tags
      2. Batch Editing and Splitting
      3. Manage or Ignore?
    5. Summary
  10. 7. Technical Design
    1. Data Models
      1. Simple Tagging Model
      2. Collaborative Tagging Model
    2. Tag Clouds
      1. Proportional Scaling
      2. Linear Scaling
      3. Class Scaling
    3. FreeTag
      1. FreeTag Basics
      2. FreeTag Clouds
      3. Suggestions Using FreeTag and Ajax
    4. Summary
  11. A. Case Study: Social Bookmarking
    1. Tagging Evolution: From Muxway to Del.icio.us
      1. Organizing the Web
      2. Portals, Search Engines, and Blogs
      3. Online Bookmarks
      4. Social Bookmarking
    2. How Social Bookmarking Works
      1. Saving and Tagging Bookmarks
        1. Web Forms and Bookmarklets
        2. Browser Extensions
        3. Adding Tags
        4. Editing Tags
        5. Pulling in Additional Metadata
      2. Browsing Bookmarks
        1. Popular Bookmarks
        2. Browsing and Filtering with Tags
        3. Following Users and Tags
      3. Extending Social Bookmarking with Web Services
        1. Feeds, Feeds, Feeds
        2. The Del.icio.us API
    3. Summary
  12. B. Case Study: Media Sharing
    1. How Media Sharing Works
      1. Understanding Tags for Rich Media
        1. Good Metadata is Hard to Find
        2. Object-Centered Sociality
      2. Sharing Videos
        1. YouTube
        2. Embedding and External Tags
        3. Deep Tagging
      3. Sharing Photos
        1. Social Coordination
        2. Efficient Interfaces
        3. Tagging Photos in Facebook
      4. SlideShare
    2. Summary
  13. C. Case Study: Personal information Management
    1. Tagging for PIM
      1. Managing Online Information
        1. Backpack
        2. Blueorganizer
      2. Managing Projects
      3. Using Photo Gallery
        1. Hierarchical Tags
        2. Truth in the File
    2. Summary