[uf-discuss] xFolk thoughts
Kerri_Hicks at brown.edu
Sun Aug 27 17:43:06 PDT 2006
On Aug 27, 2006, at 5:04 PM, Bud Gibson wrote:
> I agree with Tantek's sentiment to keep xFolk simple unless there
> is justification to make it more complex. When I wrote xFolk, my
> intention was to have a format that would allow tagged links to be
> harvested, not so much to display lists of the links that were thus
> harvested with proper citation back to the linker and reference to
> a harvest date. That's great because people get what it's for
> without too much trouble, and as a result they don't have too much
> trouble implementing.
One thing I find useful in folksonomies is that they can represent
popular opinion on a particular topic at a particular time. One
benefit of adding dates to individual items in folksonomies is that
it allows an aggregator to more aptly weigh tags over time. This may
not seem all that valuable at this point, but as the web ages, I can
see it becoming a more important issue.
Here's an example: Links to Mel Gibson's bio page (not implying any
relation to Bud). In aggregate, over the years, Mel will have been
tagged as handsome, professional, talented, etc...he was long held in
high esteem by lots of folks. Recently, though, his actions have made
him sort of a parody of himself.
So, an aggregator that's displaying info about Mel Gibson's bio might
still show that he's considered more handsome, professional, and
talented than irresponsible, because the aggregator will have
collected more of those positive links in volume, even though that
doesn't show an accurate picture of the public perception of him
right now. Conversely, in a year, the tags may have caught up with
him, reflecting a more accurate current popular view, completely
eliminating the fact that he *was* at one point well-respected.
One could argue, then, that the history of the folksonomy of a
particular bookmark is irrelevant, and we don't want to facilitate
people looking back, but if that's the case, one must also consider
that a week after Mel's arrest, when you look at the folksonomy of
his bio page, what it is displaying is, in fact, nothing more than
history -- and not the current popular opinion -- if the tags aren't
weighed by date, but only by volume.
It could be that we expect aggregators to simply datestamp entries
when they're scraped, but that necessarily puts any new aggregator at
a disadvantage to its earlier competition -- scraping old items
without dates is the same as new.
I have no answers, but thought this might be an interesting enough
issue to explore.
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