An idea had been lurking behind all the persiflage of the last couple of days, engendered by Dan’s post and gestating undeveloped in my own long-winded intrusions.
If I were engineering tags so that they’d really catch on, I’d want them to be reader-generated (as in del.icio.us and flickr), but also to involve some sort of affirmation-disapproval mechanism, so that if a couple dozen people think that David Weinberger should be tagged “genius,” but one Lenny Bruce impersonator thinks he should be tagged “schmuck,” the two tags don’t have equal weight. (I don’t know whether the heroes of the information revolution at Technorati (“Technorati: the tag-related site that actually begins with an upper-case letter!̶!:), flickr, and del.icio.us are already on top of this — iot hasn’t looked that way, and the “MLK” brouhaha suggests that weighting tags hasn’t gotten that far).
The sense that my link-tag-vote counts in a cumulative way — “I should really tag David as a genius, lest the ‘schmuck’ votes defame him” as opposed to “now somebody’s tagged David as a genius, so I don’t have to” — that motivation might give this project legs.
I myself, of course, think that David Weinberger is a genius of unparalleled insight and profundity, as long as the monthly check clears.
Despite my positive remarks about tags in this and the previous post, I’m still reluctant about the whole enterprise. I suppose that thinking about the topic spurs me to pay closer attention to some of the positive prospects, while having actually to do something about it triggers my already-overloaded-ness. On the other hand, I’ve now begun going back through my del.icio.us bookmarks. . . and tagging them to make them more useful to me and others. It makes sense, durn it!