Saturday, January 30, 2010

tag, you're it - Multiliteracies

I'm reblogging posts from EVO 2010 Multiliteracies workhop; this one, tag, you're it, reflects belatedly on a Week 1 one assignment on tagging and folksomonies. My reflections tend to be more from a singular and personal perspective rather than the prescriptive by implication focus of collaborative and classroom perspectives. That is to say, more about just tagging and less about the essentially collaborative enterprise of tagging creating folksomonies, aka "shared metadata." Of course, tags that match other people's tags make searches not just easier but possible, but naming also speaks to how we think about, classify, things, ideas, pages, etc. Maybe there is something to be said for not starting out too dependent on the words and categories of others but instead coming to them from our own not borrowed understandings, not just receiving but negotiating meanings.

I truly intended to write about tagging and folksomonies last week when it would have been appropriate to syllabus and readings. Instead I've been tagging (not just evomlit related tagging either) and in the process thinking of my own personal tagging history, all the places I've come to tag, tags vs folders - aggregating, bookmarking.

I started with a Delicious account some years back, mostly as a reaction to having lost the big fat bookmarks file on my hard drive. Later I got back that file and imported it to delicious. Not only did my tagging leave a lot to be desired, I'd forget to do it at all way too often. Looking at old bookmarks now, I often wonder why I tagged them as I did. Better that though than untagged. Catching up on back tagging is tedious. I went "off" using Delicious for a while.

By the time I returned to online bookmarking, I'd been blogging for a few years. Tags there too, although I must confess to not having learned my lesson. I came to blog tagging belatedly. This time the task of back tagging a blog burned the necessity of tag-as-you-go into my brain ~ and with it better tagging habits, which carried over to other tagging areas.

Those include gmail, where it is the primary mode of organizing, feed readers, twitter and sure a few more that have slipped my. The Google feed reed reader also organizes by tagging, or rather tagging + folders created by primary tags that categorize the feed but with the option of adding tags to individual items.

Cut to the chase: there's a cumulative (dare I say aggregating?) effect at work here and well as an evolutionary one. My tag use is evolving. I doubt the trajectory is the same for all users of apps with tagging. In evolution, form follows function, which is not the same for every tag user. My own tags got better as my tagging evolved from aide memoire keywords to a filing system I eventually came to prefer to folders. Tag collections, each with its own url is such a giant leap forward from the ubiquitous static links page ~ so web 1.0. Now I am exploring Diigo and still need to work more on the sharing/ collaborative parts.

No doubt symptomatic of procrastination, I even started writing about e-portfolios and blogging v. microblogging for week 3. I stopped myself, cut the passage and pasted it to a new blog post that I save in drafts. Hopefully, having twice as many posts in drafts as published will encourage me to complete and publish this one.

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