Trends in tagging, pt. 2

Leave it to the next article I read only after I blog about something to give me the term that succinctly describes one of the observations I was clumsily getting at in the post. Beneath the Metadata introduced me to the term “meta noise,” which is used to refer to all the random, irrelevant, misspelled, or otherwise weird and quirky tags that I reflected on (without having the term for it) in my previous blog entry. The unsystematic lack of control that leads to meta noise and tags that contradict each other is what makes folksonomies problematic in Peterson’s estimation. However, 9 years after the publication of this article it seems from my own observations like the type of tagging that would qualify as meta noise has become more the norm. I think the persistence and popularity of these tags prove their merit. Could it be time then to stop dismissing it as “noise” and start more seriously considering the weight and impact of these tags?

Also, this felt relevant:

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2 thoughts on “Trends in tagging, pt. 2

  1. Well, that’s part of the “aboutness”, I guess. Pretending that there’s a set of clean, expert tags that everyone will search on and go, “Ah, yes!” is just that, a pretending. Sure, if you keep searching for clean subjects, the “meta noise” will drive you nuts. But if, instead of “1980-1989 dog pictures”, you want “cool dog pics,” then meta noise is your only hope (“cool” just never makes it into the subject tags, normally). But the content provider needs to decide which set of searchers this particular content is made for. Renaissance paintings? One set. Football pictures? Maybe both…

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