K12-Online Conference- I Like Delicious Things: An Introduction to Tagging and Folksonomies

I Like Delicious Things: An Introduction to Tagging and Folksonomies
by Chris Betcher

Here is his presentation’s teaser clip

Directly off the batch, I was impressed with Chris’ video technique. Since I presented with a video at last year’s K12 Online Conference, I KNOW how much time and effort went into those 20 minutes of video footage. I wondered many times “How did he do that?” 🙂 Great job Chris!

Chris starts out with showing the viewer how one can benefit from using tags when uploaded photos to a service such as Flickr.

Tags are ways you categorize images, music, or any other file in a way that make sense to you and allow you to later find these files using the tags as a search function.

With great screencasting detail, he shows step by step instruction on how to search through your own photos as well as everybody else’s photos by using the attached tags to each image.

Images are not the only files that benefit from being tagged, Chris moves on to tagging websites using the bookmarking service “Del.icio.us“. If you have subscribed to Langwitches for a while you know that I have been using Del.icio.us for a long time and actually post the bookmarks daily to this blog. With the link, it also uploads the tags that I used. If you click on the tag link, it will take you to ALL the bookmarks that I tagged with that particular link.

This presentation makes it very apparent that tagging is a great way to manage our increasingly bigger repertoire of information that we are storing in digital form and online. With the use of tags, we can have hope of actually finding that resource that we bookmarked or that one image that is clumped and lost in the sea of the other thousands we took.

Chris points out that after using tags for a certain period of time, one can usually see a pattern emerge in ones tagging habits. It can give you an insight what kind of websites you find interesting. What kind of keywords summarize your interest, your work or can show you a breadcrumb trail of your progress. I checked my tag cloud out on Del.icio.us

It makes it apparent the what the websites I bookmark the most are about. Chris reminded me again, that I can also use Wordle.net to generate a “more artistic” looking word cloud of my Del.icio.us tags.

Chris uses the German word “Zeitgeist” (Spirit of the Times) for generating a snapshot of your tags. I like that, since a Zeitgeist shows what is important at a certain time in history.

What a great example the Tag Cloud that is generated by the US Presidential Speeches. There is a slider that allows you to go back in time and view the “Zeitgeist’ of all the different presidents back to Washington. Tags giving an “Insight”- what a concept. How valuable!

Chris’ presentation is a great introduction to the idea AND value of tagging. Viewers will take a new outlook on the insight we can gain by adding OUR own way of information organization and classification to the rest of the “folks” out there. Creating folksonomies that are classifying the way the Zeitgeist of OUR times sees the information around us.

I will definetley recommend this presentation to my teachers and parents!