Delicious Tag Bundles

Do you use tag bundles in Delicious? Did you know that Delicious had tag bundles? Do you know what a tag bundle is?

Let’s start with the what. Tag bundles are groups of tags that have to do with the same subject – it’s a way for you to organize your tags into smaller batches. I can’t remember when Delicious added tag bundles, but it was after I already had a pretty hefty number of tags and so trying to add my tags into little bundles became a daunting task.

Since their invention, tag bundles have gone through a few redesigns – and this most recent is the most annoying of all!! We’re in the age of dynamic data and AJAX – I should be able to drag and drop my tags into bundles from the ‘Unbundled’ category – instead I have to click edit next to a bundle and then click on the tags I want to add to that bundle. I just gave it a whirl since I know I have a lot of unbundled tags – but I failed miserably.

Anyway, if you have a secret to how I can use tag bundles efficiently I’d love to hear it – until then I’ll just leave my tags unbundled (something that is driving the organized librarian side of me nuts!).

No more anonymous Flickr tags

Have you ever tagged someone else’s photo on Flickr? I have, but usually only when I’m in it. I guess anonymous tagging happens more than we realize and so Flickr has now added the ability to see who added the tag:

Flickr has quietly made a big change to its tagging system, which from now on will show who added a tag to a photo or video. As Flickr’s Community Manager Heather Champ notes, this information was previously available through Flickr’s API, but wouldn’t show up on Flickr’s photo pages. With the new system you simply hover over a tag and you’ll get a tool tip that shows you the username of the person who added the tag.

Found via: CNET news.

Technorati Tags: ,

Fun with Wordle

my tags
Originally uploaded by nengard

I decided to play with Wordle. I didn’t have a paper or article that I wanted to use, so instead I decided to generate a cloud for my bookmarks.

I think this is the perfect image of me – open source and libraries being my biggest terms!!

This is a fun little generator. I think I’ll play with it some more.

Technorati Tags: , ,

Tag Clustering in Flickr

I am giving a workshop on Flickr next month and I have to admit that there isn’t a conference that goes by where I don’t learn something new about Flickr (that I should have known). I’m at the NFAIS Humanities Rountable and Tim Spalding has just finished his intro to LibraryThing talk in which he showed tag clustering on Flickr – a feature introduced over 2 years ago!!! Tim used the example of the tag bow where the images are clustered based on similar tags – this is pretty darn neat and accurate (except the first row).

Technorati Tags: ,

H2O Playlists

Did you know about these? I didn’t.

H2O playlists are more than just a cool, sleek technology — they represent a new way of thinking about education online. An H2O Playlist is a series of links to books, articles, and other materials that collectively explore an idea or set the stage for a course, discussion, or current event.

H2O Playlists make it easy to:

transform traditional syllabi into interactive, global learning tools

share the reading lists of world-renowned scholars, organizations, and cultural leaders

let interested people subscribe to playlist updates and stay current on their fields

promote an exchange of ideas and expertise among professors, students, and researchers

communicate and aggregate knowledge — online and offline.

Sounds like a handy tool for academic institutions – better yet, it’s open source.


Rob Cagna from University of Pennsylvania came to talk to us about PennTags. The last time I saw this it was a bit rough – it has grown up a lot since it’s birth!!

PennTags is like for members of the Penn community. They can save pages from anywhere on the web, from the catalog and from campus resources to PennTags and share it with the world. They can also keep their bookmarks private if they’d like. Penn has also released bookmarklets to allow people to tag things from their browser without logging into PennTags first (like with extension for firefox).

One neat feature of PennTags is that the users can make projects – which are files of different documents in a particular subject area. This way you can see just a new books list ( Projects can also be made private if the user prefers – Rob doesn’t think that many people have done this.

If you look at this record in the UPenn catalog, you see an Add to PennTags link at the bottom and below that you’ll see the tags and annotations from PennTags – very very very cool!! This is done with Oracle and Perl – you can email Rob if you want the more techie details.

One way this has been used is as an on-demand subject guide. Reference librarians create a project and add links. They then send the project URL to the patron! Students can use these projects as bibliographies – or working bibliographies as they write their papers. And because every page has an RSS feed the patrons or students can subscribe and see new additions as they’re added!!

I am very impressed – and a bit jealous!!

If you like what you see, Rob is looking for partners to help work with the code and make it open source! Email them at:

Technorati Tags: , ,

Tagging the Physical

I mentioned in my summary of David Weinberger’s keynote at KMWorld & Intranets how you can only put the book in one place – you can only give it one label – on the web you have the ability to apply multiple labels/categories to an object. Well, I just saw this picture via Tame the Web – and thought it was neat – the on thing that’s missing is the ability to see the object in all 4 categories around objects with similar tags.






KMW2006 – Folksonomies, Social Tagging, & Complexity Theory

Usually people who are fans of taxonomies do not get along with folksonomy fans. Our speaker, Tom Reamy, made sure that we knew going in that he was on the taxonomist’s side of things before he started talking. The funny thing was the next thing he said was that Library Scientists and Folksonomists (or believers in folksonomies) get along even worse that taxonomists and folksonomists – coming straight from Internet Librarian where everything was about social software and social tagging – I found this funny (I do know that the people at Internet Librarian were from one subset of the library science group – and that they’re more likely to like new tagging options than those who weren’t there).

So are you wondering what a folksonomy is? A folksonomy is a classification done by the user or some amateur – not a professional cataloger. Tom mentions that in addition to being data added by the user it’s also a social experience – you can see what’s popular by visiting and viewing the tag cloud.

Tom moved on to give us some advantages & disadvantages (all of which I think were from Wikipedia – but I’m not 100% sure).


  • Simple – no learning of formal classifications or heirarchy needed
  • Lower cost of categorization (using the users)
  • Open-ended – can respond quickly to changes
  • Relevance – users are closer to the data and so they can tag things better than an expert
  • Multiple Dimensions – put together by “communities” of like-minded taggers
  • Easy to tag any object


  • They don’t work very well. They’re great for personal indexing, but they aren’t great when someone else wants to find something.
  • Don’t compare favorably with controlled vocabulary
  • No structure – “onomy” should not be part of the name – “onomy” = structure
  • Get caught up in jargon
  • Subject matter experts are not professionals (I ask you to read what Dave Snowden said in his keynote – and then David Weinberger [not written by me yet])
  • No quality control – all based on popularity
  • and many more…

Tom’s argument is that the 2 don’t compare – they are radically different – I can probably think of a few people who would disagree – but they’d probably be folksonomy fans.

So what does Complexity Theory have to do with this all? While complexity theory does relate to maths & sciences, the key concept is that it is self-organizing.

An example of a complex system is ant tunnels. The ant doesn’t know what a tunnel is, it doesn’t know why it needs to make tunnels, it just knows that there is something in the way and it needs to be moved. In this case evolution has lead to organization. Other features of complexity theory are feedback, local interactions and large number elements.

Tom goes on to bring this all back to our intranets by making the point that our intranets will not evolve into a structure – we need to put that structure there (something I did by writing my own wiki application instead of using one that depends on links for structure). Intranets are also a great place to use tagging because it’s a controlled environment and everyone is tagging within the same context (this is especially true for a library intranet where all of the librarians are also familiar with taxonomies).

So, in order to make tagging more effective Tom feels we need some changes. We need (most importantly) feedback – a way to rank tags and some rules that say if this tag is ranked poorly it’s removed from the list of tags – so this is feedback with consequences. We need to allow only certain people to tag – once again get feedback – all for ranking of taggers to see who’s using helpful terms in their tagging. Lastly, we need to use a combo of explicit (people) and implicit (software) ranking methods to get better tags and more useful search results.

Overall, a very interesting talk – and it’s even more interesting after you hear about some of the speakers who followed (which I better get to writing about).

Technorati Tags: , , , ,