If you want to find David Weinberger’s upcoming book “Everything is Miscellaneous” from Amazon, try such keywords as taxonomy, folksonomy, databases, or unique identifiers. For me, David’s Aula Talk gave a lot to think about. Among many other things, it reminded how extremely important (and political!) the discussion about tools and practices for ordering knowledge in the Internet actually is. It is not irrelevant, how are users enabled to search information from the Internet; what kinds of metadata systems for public use are created; in what kinds of databases is information stored; who owns those databases and who gets to use them.
Here are a couple of miscellaneous notes from David’s talk:
- If you want your stuff to be found online, include as much potentially interesting metadata on your item as possible. Postpone the moment of taxonomy.
- In general, there is no prediction of how users are going to tag their stuff. Obviously, user-driven tagging creates a huge mess, but it’s a fruitful mess.
- In designing services, it ‘s good to keep in mind that users are contributors of metadata about objects. Metadata systems are essentially about ordering knowledge.
- Recommendation services like del.icio.us and last.fm enable “semantic friendships” (finding of other people through shared things) as well as finding of new things through other people. In this context, unique identifiers rock.