Slashdot adds tags

Slashdot adds tags

Posted: March 5th, 2006, 11:53am PST by Phu

Slashdot has now added tags for subscribers but strangely, they seemed to have misunderstood the underlying point of tagging.

The criterias for tagging as well as the message that tags will be moderated ignores the fact that a lot of the intrinsic benefit of tagging derives from the fact that it’s informal and messy. By the work of the many, the aggregate value of tagging filters down to the individual. It may be chaotic on the micro level but, like evolution, it works on the macro level. Trying to manage the behaviour means losing a lot of the associated benefits.

Standardised tagging is really just taxonomy by another name. There’s nothing wrong with that as long as you’re aware that’s what you’re after; categorisation does have it’s place. But pretending that this is tagging and that it’ll work as such is lying to yourself and your users.

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