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CODE4LIB  March 2006

CODE4LIB March 2006

Subject:

Re: tagging

From:

Ross Singer <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Code for Libraries <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Wed, 8 Mar 2006 16:24:31 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (57 lines)

I'm confused as to why this argument /continually/ gets brought up in a
library context, but not in, say, the outside world.

del.icio.us doesn't seem to care much about these issue.  Nor does amazon.
To think that amazon doesn't care about the 'integrity' of its data is
ridiculous.  It's perfectly reasonable to delineate certain regions as 'user
editable' (and therefore ignorable, if you so desire) without scrapping the
entire concept.

I don't think we're suggesting adding these tags or user-contributed content
to the MARC record, just to the user experience.

-Ross.

On 3/8/06, Ian Nebe Barnett <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
> > Over the weekend I had the opportunity to chat with a friend about
> > "tagging" -- a sort of self- keyword cataloging as implemented by
> > del.icio.us and flikr.
> >
> > I'm wondering, to what degree does this group here think tagging
> > would be beneficial in Library Land? For example, we could allow
> > tagging to be done against items in a library catalog or against
> > a personalized collection of Internet resources. If it were
> > beneficial, then how would y'all implement it?
>
> I do see some potential benefit, in that patrons who are knowledgable
> about a given topic might make connections that a cataloger wouldn't, or
> tag with topic-specific jargon and such.
>
> But I also see a greater potential for introducing erroneous data that
> have the appearance of legitimacy - ranging from misinformed inaccuracy
> (e.g. every comedy song on the Internet labelled as "Wierd Al Yankovich")
> to deliberate bias (e.g. Wikipedia edit wars; Google-bombing the keywords
> "dumb mother------" to point to Bush's website) to just plain vandalism
> (e.g. obscenities or vanity tags on popular categories).
>
> While this is less of an issue for sites that are obviously
> community-driven (like the ones you mention above) and can be expected to
> reflect the opinions of that community, a library catalog is primarily a
> fact-driven thing and, as such, needs to take care in allowing open
> end-user additions.  No matter how well you delineate the user-supplied
> data, you can bet that the person who takes offense at someone's tag will
> also be the one with a spectacular failure of comprehension as to its
> source.
>
> Although automated filtering could be implemented to block obscenities and
> the like, you get into the same issues that you have with internet
> filtering, and then some.  Do you block the tag "Dick Cheney" on a
> politcal title because of his name?  Does it recognize that someone is
> systematically tagging books on the Holocaust with Neo-Nazi codewords?
> Has my straw-man caught fire yet? ;-)
>
> In short, is this a can of worms that a smaller/understaffed institution
> wants to open?
>
>

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