Tagging data "all the rage among the digerati"


According to the New York Times, organizing data by tagging it is now "all the rage among the digerati":

Here's how we tend to organize our digital photos: We stick them into a folder on our computer and label it ''Hawaii trip,'' or whatever. Here's a new way: Forget folders or albums. Just ''tag'' the photos based on what's actually in each frame. Now, extrapolate this concept to the ideas, images, videos -- and people -- you meet or wish to find online. If they're properly tagged, they're far easier to find ...

Tagging has the potential to change how we keep track of and discover things digital -- even whom we meet online. Several startups are banking their futures on it.

Complete article (registration required).


A cataloger I know had these comments about the article. I read through the article on tagging. We already talked about how it's like adding subject headings, but without a controlled vocabulary. Also, you could think of these tags as "access points," which we use in cataloging. Access points in MARC records are authors, titles, subjects, and series. At the end of the article, it mentions how Flickr is trying to deal with the lack of a controlled vocabulary by providing alternatives. Those would be like cross-references in our catalogs.

The idea of other people being able to add tags would be kind of like using OCLC. You find the appropriate record and then edit it to your liking. Of course, it's much more controlled and the "master" record stays the same (except for those libraries who are qualified to change "master" records).

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