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Machine Tags in Use on Flickr

January 24, 2007

Flickr is rolling out a new feature called “machine tags” that allows users to be more precise in how they tag, and how they search, their photos. Cool stuff, I’m glad Flickr is supporting a “deeper” way of associating data to images other than just keywords. But it too comes back to the folksonomy vs taxonomy problem:

# Are machine tag namespaces reserved?
No. Anyone can use a namespace for anything they want.
If you are concerned about colliding namespaces you should consider adding an additional machine tag to define your namespace. For example :
dc:subject=tags
xmlns:dc=http://purl.org/dc/elements/1.1/
Like tags, in general, we expect (hope?) that the community will develop its own standards by consensus over time.

Folksonomy “standards” is an oxymoron, so is this really just a fancy way of trying to put structure around chaos? Getting people to create metadata is difficult enough, let alone creating complex metadata. I’d much rather see Flickr adopt a “tag suggestions” feature, a type-ahead to offer tag choices based on their popularity. Its the low hanging fruit of the metadata clean-up problem- big pay off (cleaner tagging) *and* low effort.

Sigh. The more I play around with sites with tagging, the more curmudgeonly I get about enforcing cleaner data. :-/

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From → Interweb

2 Comments
  1. I got tagged by this website. Do you know how this tagging works. What can I do to to not tag by anyone else.
    Infact my whole address book, got an invitation to join me as a friend.
    Thanks,
    Akhilesh

  2. http://www.tagged.com/, this was the website and this is email address akhilesh.singh@sun.com

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