Tag me

Tag me

: Much buzz about Technorati’s cool new tags from David Weinberger, Ross Mayfield, Mary Hodder.

So I’ve been thinking: Why stop at tagging text and photos.

It’s time to tag people.

This comes out of David Galbraith’s one-line bio and out of arguments I’ve made over time that the real future of classifieds is a generation beyond Craig and Monster: It’s a distributed world where resumes and jobs (or men seeking women and women seeking men) live anywhere and they are found and matched by some specialized successor to Google that uses tags (e.g., work status, education, location, languages…. or smoker, nonsmoker, single, divorced, great personality). In that world, in essence, people, ads, and content are all tagged.

This also fits into the discussion below about the ethic of exhibitionism — finding a way to exhibit key facts about our perspective so our public can judge what we say in that context.

So I started to wonder how I’d be tagged. Would I tag myself? Would the crowd tag me? Would a machine (based on my content and the links to it)? Would it be some Frankensteiny combination?

Would tags go to war with each other? Would the Democrats for whom I’m not conservative enough slap the Repubicans for whom I’m too liberal or would it all average out to centrist?

Would the tagee have the right to modify tags (like a credit report) or would that be self-promotion?

In the end, it needs to be a way for people to find people as well as content and comment and communities.

So how would I tag myself? Here’s a try: media man… blog boy… tall… fast-talking… parent… Howard Stern… Entertainment Weekly… TV Guide… New York… New Jersey… Iraq… Iran… FCC… centrist… shaky Congregationalist… exploding TV…

I would ask how you’d tag me. But I don’t have the guts. So how would you tag yourself?

: Note also how Micah Sifry is adding tags (instead of categories) to his posts using brother Dave Sifry’s new tagging convention.

I want a plug-in that lets me add tags to posts as easily as I add the less flexible categories. Better yet, I’d love a smart plug-in tied into a network of Technorati/Flickr tags that suggests tags to me.

  • Regarding job postings, here’s something I’m working on. See Step 5 for an XML formatted resume. For instance, with a million XML formatted resumes you could quickly, easily, and accurately find all the people who had attended a certain school or worked for a certain company.
    The ideas in the post are similar to the “semantic web.”

  • Jeff,
    There’s some good bookmarklets out there that make it easy to add Technorati Tags: here’s one:
    There are also plugins for MT, WordPress, and other blog tools. Ecto support is coming, according to Adriaan, too.

  • For a long time now, Ecademy.com has had a field on user records that we call “50 words”. This is exactly personal tagging. And we export this in our FOAF. Given the sudden explosion of tagging in the blog world, I’ve been trying to grok how to make this more explicit and get those tags out of Ecademy and into the outside world to places like Technorati. But here we’re talking about relatively static data about users rather than the dynamic data of blog entries and the various blog aggregators and search engines aren’t very interested.
    Something that would kick this up a gear would be MT, Blogger, WordPress plugins that made it easy to build an “About Me” page. Over time this could morph into a personal identity server a la LID. It should provide lots of API hooks (like FOAF) in the same way that Blog entries provide RSS/Atom. If this happened, then a “50 words” tag field in the plug in would make good sense.

  • Tagging people is already done to an extent in some social networking sites, e.g. with groups in Orkut. I think that people join groups at least as much to tag themselves as to facilitate finding other contacts.

  • So we need a cross-platform database for tagging people, preferably from an already-established site. The FOAF system, for some reason, never took off, and reviving old systems doesn’t work so that’s out.
    People would want to integrate linking too, so the tags would also help form a network. We’re basically looking at a less centralized Friendster here, a system that succeeds because, unlike Friendster, it has no agenda and is not a site but a tool.
    Could Technorati pull this sort of thing off? What kind of system resources are we talking here? Should we ask LazyWeb?

  • Ebb Tide

    My tags for you are a writer, journalist, reporter, conversationalist.
    If there were no such things as an “internet” or a webpage, you’d be writing and publishing using a quill or a printing press. There’d be nothing “insta” about it, but you’d still be doing the communicating and trying to make it a conversation.
    Thankfully, these days, you have better tools.

  • joy

    What about XFN?

  • zephyr

    cool. also, i want to figure out a good way to tag places.

  • You’re using Movable Type, so you’ve already got a “keywords” field. You can use that.

  • I would ask how you’d tag me.
    Right-wing whore.
    You do nothing but shill for the right. Even when you think you’re being fair and balanced, you’re still doing nothing more than shilling for the right. Look at your coverage of the Zephyr/Kos thing for example. Even in the face of overwhelming evidence, you still refuse to call it what it really is; a lie peddled by the WSJ and propagated by the right whingers.
    So how would you tag yourself?
    Left-wing crap flinger.

  • As Dave mentioned, there’s an MT plugin that automatically generates keywords for a post and makes them tags. Also, one point of note that a lot of people haven’t seen about Technorati Tags is that they use the categories you’ve already set up for posts to assign tags, by reading your feeds. That means if you’re assigning categories to posts, you’re *already* tagging posts.
    And yeah, categories are too hard to set up right now. We’ll try and fix that up.

  • Once you tag me, you negate me.

  • “Number 6”

    That’s right. I will not be pushed, stamped, filed, indexed, briefed, debriefed or numbered. My life is my own.

  • LiveJournal has had this kind of tagging for ages, except it’s called interests. But it works wonderfully.

  • Blogger does this too! (Also with “Interests,” etc.) See, e.g., Profiles with books that include Snow Crash, and all the interests tags people have created. They should make this surfable, like Flickr.

  • There was a website years ago (I don’t know whether it’s still up) that did something like this. You place some information about yourself – age, location, gender, interests, etc – and it will generate a code that you put on your website. The idea is that when people search for related keywords, they will find your website.
    If only I could remember what it was called; I remember that the profiles came with a tiny icon that normally denoted your gender. Does anyone know?