Lori and I were taking a break and talking about a recent tagging problem we had on DevCentral, and I finally had enough. She's Mrs. Web 2.0/3.0, and is happy to talk about tagging saving the world. I'm more realistic. Tagging is user-applied meta-data. It doesn't take a genius to see how well that has worked in Doc Management, ECM, or Disk-based meta-data. The users who follow the guidelines do fine, the ones who don't ruin the system. We can't make it work in most organizations, and now people are all googly over making it work for the entire world? Give me a break.

The real solution here must be automated in order for it to have any chance of working. Lori has a great idea for F5 customers to automate this process, but that doesn't resolve the issue for all of Web 2.0 unless we're going to grow even faster than the analysts think. Lots faster. Since the solution needs to be automated anyway, the correct solution is to bypass mandatory tagging and implement better search engines. Google (and others) are of course working on just that, so all will resolve itself. My concern is that in the interim a whole bunch of us will waste a whole bunch of time building taxonomies that are ever-changing and never-complete. Then we won't need them because the problem will be solved from another angle.

My take? Skip tagging - what do you use it for that can't be done with your search engine already? Spend your time getting productive work done, and let search engines and aggregators figure out the best way to classify documents based on what they are, not based upon what someone says (or does not say) they are.

Just a thought. When you know something hasn't worked in other fields, and the reasons are reasonable and easily quantifiable, applying those same processes to your field and expecting different results is not exactly wisdom.



Imbibing: Mt. Dew

Reading: Not reading, writing a book for TLG/Tri-G with my reading time