Tag! You're it!

I've just finished re-reading this piece from the Guardian on inventor of the world wide web, Tim Berners-Lee's vision of a 'semantic web' that will revolutionise the way that we search for data online. It's an interesting concept if you can get your head around how a ' mushy set of ontologies' could lead to 'really wonderful things'.

We're already making inroads into this idea of a semantic web. Sites like, Flickr and technorati (to name but a few) are using tagging technology to allow their users to search for content that corresponds to particular themes. As always when you introduce the human element into a process there can be slight flaws. For example, a photo of a bridge taken from a train window could be tagged with any of the following: bridge, Newcastle, reflection. It could also arguably be tagged with Tyne, river, train, boats … you get the idea. The tags are set by the person who uploads the photo and are peculiar to their own interpretation of the piece. So someone searching for Newcastle might get this picture in their search but someone searching for Tyne might not, depending on the tags they search on.

Tagging intelligently is probably just a case of stating the obvious. But does it end there? What about those obscure tags that you put in there to catch the tangential reader?

I was also amused to note that the two pictures on my flickr photostream with the highest number of views were not what I would class as my best shots. I can only assume that the considerable number of viewers found the pictures in question through searches that used the tags I had added to the pictures. I can understand why 'boobs' got so many hits (although I'm sure the viewers were disappointed with the result) but 'wellingtons'?

Does anyone else find that people arrive at their blog/flickr photos/web stuff via obscure routes?

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Anonymous Serge said...

Wellingtons can be very appealing. Especially when there are no other garments involved. And I literally mean none... But enough about my secret fantasies. :-)

6:03 pm  
Blogger Pub said...

I am trying VERY hard not to picture you in Wellingtons and nothing else ...

10:45 am  
Anonymous Serge said...

I wasn't talking about myself, actually, but now that you mention it: bad suggestion indeed!

4:28 pm  

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