March 29, 2006

Thomas Vander Wal on Folksonomy

In Online Information Folksonomy Presentation Posted :: Personal InfoCloud Thomas Vander Wal writes about tagging, folksonomy and taxonomy and rightly points out that they are not necessarily opposed or incompatible concepts. I'd go further than him though to suggest that they are, in fact, quite compatible.

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March 16, 2006

In Lowering Barriers to Participation, Bradley Horowitz points out how tagging lowers the barriers to participation and thus allows ordinary users to create useful metadata. I think he's right on here. Especially on a system such as, the ease of use and triviality of creating tags allows pretty much anyone to create "personally useful" metadata. As an aide memoire, that is exactly what it should allow.

Is it authoritative? Is it useful for others? That's for someone else to decide. It's easy and useful for me, and if there are natural concordances with others, I can take advantage of those. That should be enough, and is.

March 15, 2006

My Favourite Cafe: The Beanery

My favourite little cafe is a place called "The Beanery" on the UBC campus in the middle of the Fairview residences. Sonny and Sonya, who run the place, are two wonderful friendly hosts, the atmosphere is great, and UBC wireless is usually available. It's my second office.

It's located inside the Fairview residences. The entrance to the residences is at the intersection of Fairview Ave. and Western Parkway. There's a sign there for the Beanery, but it is actually all the way in the back of the residence complex, near Pearkes Lane.

February 24, 2006

How to Write a Proposal

I've been asked repeatedly by students and others for advice on writing a proposal document. As with all documents, I believe that the best way to go about this is to concentrate on two things: the audience and the goal of the document. In general, a proposal is written to someone who has the ability to allow you to do something (i.e. money, resources, supervision) and your goal is to convince them to enable or allow you to do it. With that in mind, we can come up with a few guidelines.

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Trying out Elgg

Lee Iverson :: Blog is my new blog on, an ePortfolio system. I'm using it for my CSCW course EECE 519. I chose it because of the combination of blogging, tagging, selective sharing, and community definition and maintenance. I also have a student studying information sharing behaviours in a community of Elgg users. Let you know how I like it.

February 06, 2006

Tagging and Attribution

A simple, but important point about tagging. If a social tag is unattributed, then it is next to useless. Think of "I tag Obj with tag" as an assertion that Obj "means" tag to me (whatever tag means to me). If this is done in a social environment, then without attribution and some ability to assess the meaning or trustworthiness of my tags (from your own perspective), the information that Obj has been tagged is problematic.

Continue reading "Tagging and Attribution" » vs Google

In A social analysis of tagging, Rashmi Sinha makes a few interesting points about the transition from solitary to social with the tagging experience. I tend to agree with this, but I would like to point out a few things I think deserve more consideration.

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November 02, 2005 and Recommended Tags

On the weekend at TagCamp, I made a few points about the possibilities of and Flock for bootstrapping the development of rich, personal ontological models. In that framework, I made some unfounded criticisms of current practice that I should correct publically.

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April 05, 2005

Yahoo 360 and Lucasfilms' Habitat

Reading Yahoo! 360 through "The Lessons of Lucasfilm's Habitat". A great little article with another great little article in a link. Well worth the read.

April 01, 2005

Intermediation, REST & Bookmarking

In The architecture of intermediation, Jon Udell suggests that there might not have been the need to "clone" (see in order to be able to experiment with the structure and services. He suggests instead the with the proper "intermediation" in terms of proxies etc. there should be ways to do things with that the designers haven't anticipated.

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