Eran's blog

Tag Tuesday

It’s Tag Tuesday, we’re sitting in the shadow of the bay bridge after leaving Gordon Bierch for less noisy venues (i.e. some stone steps on the Embracaderro). Kevin Marks from Technorati is talking about tagging, imagine that! The following is an attempt at summarizing what followed, it wasn’t easy catching everything that was going on, so give me a break, eh? I’ll try to note who said what, please drop me a note or a comment with any corrections or additions.

Kevin Marks:
Technorati tags are distributed unlike other people’s (delicious, flickr, etc.) the advantage is that the user has better control.

Initial experiment: New Year’s resolution. Failed because people linked to pages they thought were cool instead of using actual resolutions. New version (using rel=â€?tagâ€?) is more explicit.

Why tags in blogs fail: people get too clever. Make special database fields for tags and Technorati cannot connect it to the actual blog post. Embed in HTML, keep it simple and it all works.

Matt Mullenweg: How many tags come from categories and how many explicit?
Kevin: Most Technorati tags still come from categories not from people actually tagging posts.

Next stepped up Stewart Butterfield (from flickr/Yahoo):
Sort by date is not as good unless big events show up (when it becomes very timely). flickr is coming up with a smarter sorting algorithm to determine how interesting a photo is, trying to show “goodâ€? photos. (Note: there are people jogging on next to us, very amusing.) It takes time to get ranking this way. Timeliness vs. quality becomes an issue.

Tag spam is an issue. Gets easier when you own the entire system (gives you more info) rather than someone like yahoo or Technorati.
Kevin: we still get good information and can do quite a lot of filtering.

Kevin: Spammer meta-meta data might be useful. Gives you information on relation between tags, example: a person, who was spamming with real-estate information, had enough posts to create a relation between ‘San Jose’ and ‘San Francisco’ tags.

Both Technorati and flickr are planning a future for geo-tagging.
Flickr is planning a separate table for geo-tagging information, this enables special handling for geographic information, allowing them to calculate distances, etc.

Tantek: Geo tagging is hard. Using coordinates ended up in a “mirrorâ€? of the US superimposed over Mongolia (because people confuse longitude and latitude).
Stewart: This becomes an easier problem when you have the resources of Yahoo to solve the problem. It’s possible to use landmarks, roads, etc. to let people find the right location.

Ryan King: Technorati’s developers’ page has a page on geo-tagging (updated. thank you Tantek and Ryan for the URL). GPS info has little relevance as it doesn’t include scale and radius of interest. There’s an artificial precision to latitude and longitude information because most people use a simple system to get coordinates of the city they’re in which gives a location in the middle of the city.
We need a geo-tag that’s one click verifiable.

A microformat, hopefully, is coming.

Evo from Jet-Eye: do you expect that people will start using auto-tagging, thereby flooding the Folksonomy with popular information?
Stewart: There’s always tension between free form and auto-tagging. Flickr supports auto-tagging for photos sent by email (popular example is “cameraphoneâ€?). Basically, any info on a photo is better than what we have right now.

Kevin: Technorati has 1.2 million unique tags out of 40 million tags. But these numbers are influenced by Technorati’s use of blog categories.
Stewart: flickr has 0.5 million unique tags out of 40 million tags. Numbers get better if you look at tags that are repeated (Note: maybe because this eliminates spelling mistakes and personal Taxonomies?)

Stewart: A common mistake, repeated by flickr was using space separated tags. Bay to breakers ended up creating “bayâ€? and “breakersâ€? tags. Comma separated is more familiar to most people and we can be even smarter than that!

Final note: There’s apparently a 7.0 earth quake some 300 miles away from the California coast and we should all go home or face the wrath of the ensuing tsunami. A small part of the group reconvenes at a private residence (names and addresses withheld to protect the innocent) where I promptly ignore everyone and work on this here blog post.

Update: Kevin has his presentation up.
Update2: Scott Beale posted more pictures.


Filed under: The Net

9 Responses - Comments are closed.

  1. Tantek says:

    Excellent summary Eran!

    BTW, the LocationFormats / geo-tagging research page that Ryan mentioned can be found here:

    Hopefully with the analysis of this earlier work, and what has been working (and what has not), we (the community) can come up with a simple and reliable geotag microformat.



  2. […] teresting ideas. As requested, here are the slides I projected on the ceiling. Eran Globen took good notes on me and Stewart speaking down by the bay, before tsunami warnings broke the meeting up. Techno […]

  3. Otis says:

    Thanks for the notes for us here in NYC!

    I was very happy to read this bit:

    “Stewart: A common mistake, repeated by flickr was using space separated tags. Bay to breakers ended up creating “bayâ€? and “breakersâ€? tags. Comma separated is more familiar to most people and we can be even smarter than that!”

    I said the same thing on Tagsonomy.com exactly 1 month ago: use commas, we;ve been getting used to them for hundreds of years!

    Here: http://tagsonomy.com/index.php/ken-norton-humans-at-both-ends-of-the-rope/#comment-46

    As far as I know, Simpy ( http://simpy.com ) is the only tagging service that got this piece right.

  4. […] chnorati tags still come from categories not from people actually tagging posts. source: Hellonline

    DRAFT ()


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  5. Chris Stevens says:

    I tried to open the presentation but all I see is the first page. Can someone help?


  6. limbo says:


    clicking anywhere on a page in the presentation should get you to the next one. Also, the forward and backwards keys should work. One last trick: hover over the lower right corner (at the bottom of the technorati banner), you should see the controls for the presentation appear.

  7. Susie says:

    I am trying to educate some developers I’m working with about using tags in a system we’re building. It would be great if that pres. could be converted to a mini white paper or at least into a web page that had notes along with the examples/bullets.

    Overall I’m having a hard time finding a short treatise about building a system based on tags…if there’s something on the Techno. dev section please tell me as I couldn’t find it. Thanks all.

  8. Search Engine

    Hellonline » Blo…

  9. […] a wiki page at Technorati on the topic. Please contribute your thoughts to this. Eran has a better summary of the evening, which ended as the coast guard came by to tell us that there was an earthquake […]

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