Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Tagging and Social Bookmarking, SDForum SIG

Attended an insightful evening 2 hours ago with founders from:
at the SDForum Search SIG.

For those new to these sites, here's a one-line summary of each one:
  • digg: Allows posting of stories and provides access to stories that fellow users think are great. Go digg something!
  • kaboodle: Allows you to bring together your shopping considerations and mine those shopping considerations of others.
  • wink: uses algorithms that rank tags to determine search results
Google weren't presenting at this event, and while Yahoo! was represented by del.icio.us, it would have been nice to see search guru's from these two big mainstream companies in public conversation with these smaller firms who are finding new innovative methodologies to search using tagging and social bookmarking, rather than traditional page rank. But this evening was about showcasing those having something new and innovative in the arena of tagging and social bookmarking.

Can we trust tagging? - is the most basic question that should be asked, and the panel felt that the judgment is in the users. Given the appropriate tools, the users will get rid of spag (spamming tags) and the like. Joshua Schachter reminded us that no one taxonomy is correct, and currently tagging is the newer, and seems the better way to go to collate quality search results. The biggest challenge for search engines really is relevance - for example, is it possible to do a full text search that uses tagging to bring the things of relevance to the top? The real intent of searching though tagging is relevance and quality of hits. Take a look at Yahoo! Mindset for another interesting way to provide results of relevance.

The panelists agreed that regarding supporting appropriate behaviors and not forcing people into socially awkward corners was something that designers of search software using tagging and social bookmarking need to be very careful about. A quick vote was taken around the room for the numbers of people had the problem with LinkedIn, that they had a load of unanswered invites sitting in their 'inbox', because they felt these people were not close friends; but they socially felt bad about saying "no - I don't want to connect". ... That was most of us then. The panelists felt that the better direction was to avoid the "will you be my friend?" question; but to emphasize the connections between interests and content. This may mean that your best friends might not be your best connections because they may not share particular interests with you; but someone who is a stranger to you now, may be one of your best connections based upon interests and topics of focus.

What about setting standards for tagging? Take a look at TagCommons, for one early approach.

Charlene Li, from Forrester Research closed the question and answer session with 3 predictions for the coming year:
  1. An ecosystem will develop, of being able to track what is good
  2. There will be an inevitable couple of social disasters
  3. There will be a different cast of characters in this space, not just the innovative crowd (present and featured at this event) but to include the traditional search space, and media.
At the end of the session 3 minute demos are encouraged from the audience, and as a sneak pre-view we saw:
After attending this search SIG I'm going to be looking out for the next one. Just hope that they don't choose the second Tuesday of the Month every time, since that clashes with BayCHI.

More blogs about
Technorati Blog Finder


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home