I tend to use tags for Technorati purposes on my blog, but otherwise tag little since I cannot find standards that most people play by. For example, I tend to use proper nouns in tags with capital letters and spaces, but others do not. Without standards, I find it more work than it is worth to try to account for all possibilities of tagging.
I do like tagging, and hope that we can move this conversation and aspects of social media in education along. I know I would tag more if I found other people find it useful. However, I have never received any tagging feedback, and do not really have a need to tag my own items for myself.
Watching and learning is the story of my life!!!
I know what you mean about different standards. I have trouble juggling processes like that, and would rather use the least common denometer (I think that is the right phrase) for this so I only have to learn one way. I struggle with proper names (how do I have a first and a last name--with or without spaces or under scores or with or without capital letters?), and this alone drives me crazy with them.
For tagging to work, I think the tags should be straight-forward and direct. For example, I would (and will) never remember using "scope668" for our work here. I would then struggle for something else to use, such as "scope social media in education," which is long. I then would be right back into the initial dilemma (of "scope_social_media_in_education" or "scopesocialmediaineducation"). Ultimately, these things make sense to me, but if they are not a bit broader or open to the use of others, then they are not doing me much good.
From Re: TAGS, a librarians worst nightmare. (or are they?) by jeffkeefer on Monday 03 December 2007 10:13:00:
I know I would tag more if I found other people find it useful. However, I have never received any tagging feedback, and do not really have a need to tag my own items for myself.
My approach is that if others find my tags useful, so much the better. However, if I tag things, I do them the way that *I* find useful; and for myself. One of the reasons that I never really got into del.icio.us is that I was too worried I'd forget tags I'd created in the past. I prefer iKeepbookmarks, as I can shove things in folders. However, it's becoming clear to me, that sometimes I'd want things in two different places. I use WordPress, and can achieve that with it; as the categories let me. However, I can also see the use of tags to further delineate things.
The consistency that Jeffrey mentions is a difficulty though - even when it's only me that I really care about!
As to the spaces / underscores/ OneGiantWord ... if I do the latter, I always use CapitalLetters to delineate some boundaries, but I think_I_prefer_underscores.
As to the odd tags like "Scope668" or whatever it was, I guess as well as fitting in with what I'm assuming is some scope code, it's also something that someone is pretty unlikely to think of at random!
I've also just been reading several case studies of students and their use of online environments. (Not web 2, but discussion boards). One point that several made was that they liked reading others work, but didn't feel that that needed / wanted to contribute to the discussion. While part of me was wondering why they felt that; and whether or not they felt some guilt at not contributing (and, how they'd feel if no-one contributed; would they feel they'd lost out. If so, whose responsibility would it be to get those that liked writing to do something...)
On reading this discussion, I am now thinking two things.
1: By tending to use tags primarily for my own use, and not for the use of others; am I not contributing to the tagoloply or whatever in the same way as those students aren't contributing.
2: Given that I do feel I give a lot to discussions like this - does it "let me off", and, if that's the case, what might those non discussion board students be doing to contribute to the class - perhaps not online, so it's not showing up in the case studies that I was reading...
Incidentally, when I asked my class of 17 or so final year computing undergraduates - in the UK - one of them thought he might have heard of del.icio.us; the rest certainly hadn't; though, as with Jeffrey's students, they're all facebookaholics.
Emma, I like all your comments, and it makes me muse on how much more reflection and consideration we can have with these issues.
Do I smell more of of a discussion on this topic in the future, or perhaps a research project of some sort?
It is early days yet for tagging and the semantic web.
Shocking admission. I had a delicious account for a year-ish before I started using it. Didn't feel comfortable putting all my bookmarks in public view. Plus I wasn't sure about which social bookmarking site I should use. I learned del.icio.us has the most users and has the most valuable information for my purposes. I imported my bookmarks as unshared bookmarks and will share and tag them - someday!
Emma I haven't seen too many students using del.icio.us here either. Wandering around the lab I see web browsers email and facebook. I appreciate your comments about your experiences with tagging and social bookmarking - thanks for sharing them.