I’m still grappling with the best way to use del.icio.us, the old public vs. personal issue, and its lacking of some essential features. I’d really like to do some tag management, and am not sure what road to take, I’d also like to know what features (big or small) del.icio.us will release in the near future as this will have impact on the way I decide to tag.
eg. tags: “library”, “blogs”
If I want to look at my library bookmarks I view my “library” tag, and If I want to look at my blog bookmarks I view my “blogs” tag.
If I want to look at bookmarks with both these tags I can intersect them, “library+blogs”.
But what if I want to look at my bookmarks tagged “library” that are not about blogs…I can’t do that (unlike Simpy)
…same goes if I want to look at my bookmarks tagged “blogs” that are not about libraries.
The lack of this simple feature may move me to bookmark a different way…a way that doesn’t help the emerging folksonomy, ie. detrimental to the public vocabulary.
2. Awkward tags
As a result I may use the tags: “library_blogs”, instead of “library” “blogs”, to tag a bookmark about libraries and blogs…but the tag “library_blogs” is not very beneficial for the del.icio.us community at large.
3. Preferred tags
Which do I use, or do I use a few to cover the bases…I really only one to use one.
rss+reader, rssreader, rss_reader or feed+reader, feedreader, feed_reader or news+reader, newsreader, news_reader or rss+aggregator, rssaggregator, rss_aggregator or feed+aggregator, feedaggregator, feed_aggregator or news+aggregator, newsaggregator, news_aggregator, and so on…(if you add an “s” to the end of “reader”, and “aggregator” this has doubled the choices).
I suppose this is an issue in all social bookmarks.
I forgot to mention there is sometimes an issue at the community level for adding multiple terms
If I click the tag “public”, I may see a bookmark for a public rss reader eg. SuprGlu, the tag “public” doesn’t seem specific enough on its own to describe this bookmark.
But that’s OK because this is my bookmark collection, so I know what it may refer to (early days yet)
…and since it is my personal collection I am prompted to refine this by adding (AND) another tag, or to simply just view this related tag on its own.
But at the community level a bookmark about SuprGlu would seem like noise in a tag like “public”
…at the community level there is no prompt to refine, there is only a selection of the most popular related tags (other tags people applied to a bookmark that has the tag “public”)…it would be a little help if you could add the related tag to do an AND search, just like in your personal account.
I find that when looking at my collection I wish I tagged in facets, that is, if I tag a journal article about libraries with the tag “library” I wish I also used the tag “journal_article”, that way I could distinguish my bookmarks on libraries that are; blog posts, journal articles, news articles, websites, how-to, forum posts, etc…
But again some of these tags create noise at the community level, especially the tag “websites”…nearly everything is a website.
I know del.icio.us was developed for personal retrieval, and the social features were a bonus, but I still think we can use it to do the least harm at the community level.
In this example the tag “library websites” is much more precise, but the only way to do this in del.icio.us is “librarywebsites”, “library_websites”, etc…
Anyway, instead of using the tag field, for which I like to reserve for subject terms, I’d like to see more fields in del.icio.us so at the time of bookmarking we can choose from a number of facet fields, the subject facet field for me would be the tag field.
This way the tag cloud could be like a subject term cloud, and we could have other clouds for the other facets…cleaner field, makes a cleaner index.
The tag field answers the question, “what is this object about?”, and a document type field answers the question, “what is this object?”, etc…
Furl even has a field for read or unread, and you can sort your bookmarks to see just unread bookmarks (even at the tag level), they also have a private/public field, as does del.icio.us, neither service has a sort for this feature.
A lot of the time I bookmark a webpage but haven’t read the content yet, so I’m only going by the title, but I bookmark it the best I can and that’s it…in this case my tags may be too broad or incorrect.
For these cases I would like to select the private field, and then once a week sort by this field and re-tag with more knowledgable tags.
In the end providing these extra fields will keep the tag field cleaner…I’d even like to create my own personal field types.
I’d also like to split the tag field (subject terms) in two, into Major and Minor Descriptors, ie. if a bookmark is a little bit about libraries but mostly about something else, the tag “library” will go in the minor tag field. If the bookmark is mostly about libraries, then the tag “library” will go in the major tag field.
Then we could display this with 2 tag clouds, one for major tags, the other for minor tags.
Having an extra field is the only way to do this, otherwise we have to resort to noisy tags like “minor:library”
This would be great if you use del.icio.us as a tag index for your blog posts, you could have 2 tag clouds of aboutness.
I like the idea of tag bundles, I can tag with abandon, and then collect the numerous tags under the one cloud, but the problem is what if I want to see all the bookmarks for each tag in the bundle…I can’t as the tag bundle doesn’t have it’s own URL.
I can’t see why not, when the inbox has this feature, even its own feed.
If my bundle is on “knowledge management”, when ever I tag a bookmark: “knowledge_sharing”, “knowledge_audit”, “social_network_analysis”, “tacit_knowledge”, “knowledge_transfer”, “communities_of_practice”, etc…I have to make sure I also use the tag “knowledge management” to kind of act like the bucket or folder, as the tag bundle lacks an URL.
The other tradeoff is that I may only want to use the tag “knowledge management” for bookmarks that are about this topic in general, not for the more specfic topics like “social_network_analysis”…and I can’t do a NOT search, a dead end we covered before.
When you accumulate a lot of tags it is sometimes cognitvely annoying, not the strain of choosing a tag as happens in categories, but moreso making sure that you have gone through your tag set, making sure you have applied every tag that suits…the consistency issue
…and you will have lots of tags to go through if all your tags are single terms and need to be built up later for retrieval (using the +, eg. email+outlook+rss+reader).
A way around this would be for the bookmarklet to have a tag bundle display of the tags, this would make it much easier and quicker.
At the moment del.icio.us searches in all fields at once, I’d like to search just in the tag field, or even search for a string of characters, and get hits wherever that string exists in a tag.
Firstly if you search for the string “reader” in the tag field, I’d like to see all bookmarks only with that tag
…alternately you could select a box, before you submit, and this would return various tags with the string “reader”, eg. opmlreader, opml_reader, rssreader rss_reader, e-reader, newsreader, news_reader, advanced_reader, barcode_reader, etc…
Anyway, see Simpy for great searching:
- fielded (tag, title, description)
- user field
- group field (I think)
- combine fields
- site field
- file extension field
See related content at an earlier post, Tag searching wishlist.
Imagine using Simpy to bookmark your blog posts:
- browse a post by tag
- search a post within the tag field, title field, etc…
- search full-text
I haven’t come across a blog yet that has journal database or library catalogue type searching…Simpy will do just this for your blog.
What about a calendar like Jots (click on a user), Simpy does have a date list, but calendars are nice.
As mentioned before a lot of people, especially blogger users, like to use del.icio.us as categories/tags for their blog, so the tagroll is the perfect fix.
Only problem is clicking on a tag launches to the bookmark service (del.icio.us), what if it could launch a little pop-up box instead with the mobile version of del.icio.us for easy rendering…this would still feel inhouse to some extent.
I like this idea as you can have tags for your blog, plus your inhouse categories…I’m inclined to also tag posts with the category labels as well, this way if I want to see all posts from 2 categories I can…oops I forgot del.icio.us doesn’t do OR searches…but it will do AND searches.
Simpy is sounding really tempting…a tagroll might clench it for me as far as using it to tag my blog posts.
As mentioned I’d like to click on the tagroll but see the contents within the blog (but this is too techie to set up), maybe an ajax box could drop down when I click on a tag showing me the contents…wow, RawSugar does this, click on the directory box in this blog (you can also add a full-text search box).
Not sure if the directory box can contain all your tags, or if you can just have a tag cloud.
Next I’d need a bookmarklet to tag my posts at the user level at the bookmark service…I’d also want this bookmarklet to tag my posts at the Technorati user level at the same time.
My Technorati Tags: blogs, libraries, social
Local Tags: blogs, libraries, social
These both go to the user level space, the “Local Tags” refers to the bookmark service.
At the moment it is a fight between del.icio.us, Simpy, RawSugar, and netvouz…I think RawSugar may be the ultimate winner for tagging my blog posts.
The focus of this post really changed, sorry about that…