November 08, 2005

Orkutians on Flickr

I had no idea. All of the basic beautiful people from Orkut are over on Flickr. I found this out from Henrik, who committed Orkutcide. Then I found Adam Rifkin's contacts and browsed them and so many of the old gang are there, and are kindly using their same old handles. Flickr is good for photos, but not so good for Social Networking though. I can't figure out stuff like where to write people Testimonials or even how to view their contacts - I had to reverse engineer the URL for that. I'm sure it's in there, but you have to be in the right part of the site to navigate to other parts. Anyway, it was still cool to see everybody there.

November 01, 2005

Tags of the Commons

I post my photos on Flickr. Like, there's the tag thing. And you can view the "most common tags". And this just strikes me as a very good way to suss out the best keywords for search within a given user environment. I mean, on Flickr, it becomes very clear that beach, wedding, family, and friends are going to work for people as tags. Of course there are authority problems. Some people use cat, some people use cats. That's probably the main difference between librarians and computer people. Computer people prefer to find a way around the messiness without cleaning it up: just make sure people know there's the "cat" tag and the "cats" tag. Or program it so results for both come up. Librarians have a hard time constraining the impulse to force people to choose a discrete tag. Librarians would probably ask the programmers, "can you make a little pop-up note that tells the user, 'you wanted to tag this as cat - please use the tag cats instead.' "

I like the visual Flickr uses, when you look at "popular" tags, or your own tags, or someone elses tags, it shows you which ones have the most photos associated with them by using size.

Wow, clusters. Flickr has a new thing called clusters. You check out all the photos people have tagged with "Red", then you can view clusters related to red. All the photos that were tagged "strawberry" or "autumn" in addition to "red". I am to be liking this.

UPDATE: OK, I guess I am just an idiot - no, I am just out of touch. Apparently there is actually a name for the whole phenomenon of user-created tags. Either that or Adam Rifkin coined it, but he has a delicious tag called "Folksonomies". I really need to keep up. But that's not likely to happen now that I'm a Mom.

ADDITIONAL MUSINGS: OK, so one problematic thing about these tags is how people handle phrases. Some use social_networking, some use social-networking, some use socialnetworking. So, again, there has to be a way to either bring similar tags together or exert authority control. Otherwise, valuable categorization work is lost, or subject to the vagaries of serendipity (which is not altogether a bad thing, but messy).

June 10, 2005

Lost Hit Counter

Apparently my hit counter got re-set somehow. Maybe I should use a different one.

April 11, 2005

What's Up With Google Q. and A.?

So, I took Google Q and A for a real quick spin just now but there's a few things I don't get. I tried, who is peter norvig?" Surprise! I got an answer. But at the beginning of it it says "Property". I didn't know how to interpret that. I guess they're trying to say that the content string (all of 16 words) is property of the attributed source, Wikipedia. I think this could be worded differently.

Then I tried, "who is Abraham Lincoln?". Strangely, no response.

"Who is Jerry Garcia?" worked just fine, though. Again, Wikipedia was the chosen source. Kind of a no-brainer since it's copyright free, I guess.

Another slightly awkward thing is that the response under the query says that the words who is "are very common and were not included in your search". However, I have to assume that it is the words "who is", and/or the question mark, that tipped Google off to the fact that I was asking a question.

Gotta run, more on Q and A later.