This week’s challenge: coming up with a common set of e-democracy tags for all of the e-democracy bloggers and bookmark collectors out there.
For those new to the tagging concept, here’s a brief intro: In the process of setting up Diablogue, I’ve been exploring the world of social bookmarking and tagging. Social bookmarking systems (like del.icio.us, furl, and my favourite, spurl) allow people to create online bookmark collections (or even complete web page archives) which they can share with other like-minded folks.
The key to sharing is the use of common “tags” — essentially keywords that indicate the subject of any given web page. The tagging concept has also moved into the blogging world, where Technorati (a fantastic tool for tracking what is going on in the “blogosphere”) uses tags to categorize different blog posts. Many blogging software systems (like WordPress and Movable Type) automatically tag blog posts by converting post categories to tags.
To see what tags can do for you, check out the Technorati page for the “e-democracy” tag which shows recent blog posts that have an e-democracy tag, as well as e-democracy bookmarks from del.icio.us and furl.
Tagging is a very powerful tool for collaboration, especially among groups of colleagues who share specific interests — like all of us e-democracy, dialogue, and Internet research types.
But because tagging is currently a “folksonomy” — a grassroots generated set of keywords — there is no consistency to how blog posts and bookmarks are tagged. That limits the possibilities for collaboration and knowledge-sharing. Want a sense of the problem? Check out the OTHER technorati edemocracy tag page.
Now back to our challenge…
It would seem that the time has come for us to pursue some sort of common tagging system.
John Gotze has made a great start at establishing a potential set of tags for e-democracy (and beyond). And Steve Clift has set up a set of keywords with links to shared bookmark collections (see also http://www.dowire.org/wiki/Shared_Bookmarks).
But even John and Steve aren’t in synch yet, and their keyword systems still leave lots of gaps to plug.
Any other tagging schemes or proposals out there? Any thoughts on how we can all get on the same page?