Beth Kanter has a great post on Joshua Schachter of del.icio.us, who was recently interviewed by David Weinberger at the Berkman Center:
Weinberger started the next question off with “You’re the poster child for Web 2.0 and folksonomy.” Schachter jumped in with, “I don’t use the word ‘folksonomy. Tagging in delicious is about 1/3 classification and 2/3 functionality. Something easy to do that let's you recall the item. The goal isn’t to classify, it’s to remember.”
Weinberger said, “The other aspect of delicious is that I can participate in a tag stream that is of interest to me. For example, taxonomy. That stream of tags that comes through everyday is very rich and a valuable resource. One of the reasons that I tag stuff is that I want to contribute to the knowledge stream.”
Schachter, “Exactly, think of tags as votes. You’re doing it for yourself, but the good of the group. Delicious is about memory first, discovery second.
Weinberger noted, “Delicious feels so social to us, we want to know who else has tagged the information, we want to know who they are.” Schachter, “I haven’t come out with a pleasing way to display the information. When delicious tells you the number of people who bookmarked, I hate the way it looks. When I took it out, people complained. I replaced it with a bar graph. It shows popularity – large number. If just one other person bookmark, it shows a link. Popularity or lack of popularity lets you know something.”
Weinberger, “One of the problems with tagging is the ambiguity of language that we use for tags. Enterprise can mean one thing in the business community or it can mean Star Trek. What are you going to do as the system gets larger?” Schachter replied, “Clustering the data. One tag by one person is one tag by a human. From there, you do math to make connections to what other people are using with the help of statistics. Show your terms in their language.”
Schachter said there are new features coming that are more social or will be group oriented. The first one will be the ability to pick out people for my network and the other will be private groups or private tagging networks.
I'm intrigued by the social tagging features. The ability to specific individuals whose tags are important to me and to designate them as members of my network (and optimally, to prioritize and/or label them within my network) is highly relevant to my work with AttentionTrust, as well as to other social reference tools like Outfoxed (which was developed by Stan James, who also worked on the AttentionTrust Extension.)