On Thu, 04 Aug 2005 18:00:12 +0200, Joshua Kinberg <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> 

>> And that place should first and foremost be on your own blog. Brownie
>> points to mefeedia for wanting to support technorati-style tagging.
> Sorry Andreas, this is retarded. Why can't your
> viewers/readers/audience tag stuff too. Tags are not only for authors.
> This is what makes tagging interesting. This is why Del.icio.us is so
> freaking cool.

I said "first and foremost", not "only". :o)

I have to admit before I continue that my prior e-mail as vague as it was 
had as its primary goal to bait you into the conversation. I was hoping 
that you'd take offense. It's a rhetorical strategy because now I can 
write about how I really feel and at the same time present myself as some 
pseudo father figure (or in layman's terms: A know-it-all). But since you 
called me retarded I think we're even now. :o)

Two warnings: I'm going to swear at least once, and I'm going to tell you 
that Flickr is evil.

Technorati-style tagging is nice. And it's a really good start - you have 
to agree with me on that. The ability for an author to tag his own blog 
posts with keywords is powerful and shouldn't be belittled. However as you 
point out it's not the complete picture. The next step is to allow for a 
person to tag *any* URL.

You hail delicious for doing that, and we can safely lump Flickr in the 
same group. They both allow for tagging of other people's stuff. But at 
the same time they break the first rule of not being an evil corporation. 
They compete on data submission. Never, ever compete on fucking data 
submission. Delicious is better than Flickr in this regard. I can tag any 
URL at delicious, but I still have to be a member. At Flickr I'm 
completely locked in - it's their whole business model. I have to be a 
member to tag content, and I have to be a member if I want my content 
tagged. And here's the kicker: If I don't pay up I'm only allowed X number 
of photos. Great, now I have to *pay* to be a part of the network. Fuck 

Information should be free. Corporations should not compete on who has the 
best data (because information should be free, damnit!). They should 
compete on what they do with the data.

And *that's* why the tagging should happen on people's blogs and not under 
the control of some company. Peter might be open up his tag data today, 
but when some other entity buys mefeedia from him all those tags might 
disappear over night. They might not disappear to mefeedia customers, but 
to the world they're lost.

Mefeedia is a closed system today, but Peter has promised to open up so 
that I can get my content tagged in mefeedia without being a member. 
Mefeedia reads my blog and reads my tags in it. *I'm* suddenly in control 
of my tags instead of mefeedia. That's a huge shift, and Peter should be 
applauded for it.

What is needed for this to happen is a standardized data format. Only if 
you have a standard format can this work. I've mentioned xFolk more than 
once to you because xFolk is what can take this to the next level where I 
can tag *any* page on the web on my own blog. I'm still in control of my 
tags because they're on my own blog. Unlike Flickr, where Flickr is in 
control of my tags. With an adoption of xFolk you can't have a monopoly 
like Flickr. Any teenager with a computer can write a competing service 
because the information is *free*. Then you can talk about having a basis 
for innovation - collecting the data is no longer the issue. You can focus 
on Doing Cool Stuff.

And then! We can start talking about useful tag islands. And I hope we'll 
see many of them. From Golfing tag engines to Greenpeace anyone can mine 
the data for whatever purpose they have. But don't fucking base your 
business model on the data collection.

- Andreas
Commentary on media, communication, culture and technology.

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