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    NevOn is the archive weblog of Neville Hobson, a British business communicator based in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, a record of commentary and conversations from December 2002 until 22 February 2006. This site is no longer updated - please visit www.nevillehobson.com.
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2006 Public Speaking

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« Separating reporting from propaganda | Main | Search engine to acquire Bloglines »

05 February 2005


Craig McGinty

Must agree I was in exactly the same boat!!! When the penny dropped you could hear it rolling around my skull...

Neville Hobson

Thanks, Craig. Thank goodness I'm not the only one!

Scott Kingery

LOL...and I just got this today as well. A world wide epiphany is going on :) If you use Blogger or some other system that doesn't have categories, it's still simple to just add a link like you have at the top. And it can even point to somewhere else. The href = part isn't important, just rel ="tag" and the word you choose.

Allan Jenkins

I touched on this last week, deep in a post (http://allanjenkins.typepad.com/my_weblog/2005/01/tagging_and_fol.html) about Shelley Powers' tour de force on taxonomies.

My question was (and is): how will/should the category = tag relationship bound to affect how bloggers used categories? Until now, I have tried to be broad in my categorization, to aid the blog reader. But if category = tag, and if tags should be as specific as possible, then the smart thing to do would be to sharply increase the number of cats.


Allan Jenkins

Sorry, that last was mangled by the grammar gremlin:

"My question was (and is): how will/should the category = tag relationship affect how bloggers use categories?"

Neville Hobson

Allan, that's a good (unmangled) question!

If the system works based on categories, then it will be a strong influencer on people to use categories if they don't now. If they want to be included, that is, in all the conversations that Technorati is tracking and thus increase their chances of making more connections.

This is where hosted services like TypePad are great because you don't need to do anything - your posts are automatically tagged. With services like Blogger that don't have categories, you have to manually include the tags. A pain, as it's easy to forget. Would that mean, then, that posts in Blogger blogs will not be included in conversation lists if they don't have the tags? I guess so.

Your point about increasing the number of categories is a good one. It's actually interesting, I think, because if you take TypePad as an example, one's blog comes with a set of pre-defined categories. I would imagine they are the most common ones, and the ones most people will use.

If you create your own categories (I've done that), they'll also get included in Technorati's 'conversations array.' But if no one else has the same categories, then your post would be a lonely voice until more people use similar categories.

But isn't that really the only way how the system will get more breadth and depth?

Elizabeth Albrycht

I feel a little torn about how the Technorati tags could force a homogenization of categories. If I want more readers, I have to choose what people are reading...but then that could end up with enormous, broad sets of information, which aren't helpful in the end. Also, I choose to use a smaller amount of broader categories vs. lots of specific ones. This might be a mistake ...I am not sure. I still find search to be the best way to find information.

However, I am fascinated by how tagging can identify emerging topics, maybe even systems of thought.

Lots to consider...this is a good discussion!

Neville Hobson

Homogenization - that was in my mind too, Elizabeth.

Would how people see the Technorati tag system mean they might tend to publish posts with categories that are aligned with the ones that get the most Technorati hits rather than ones they might initially think of? So we'd end up with a narrow categorization of the things people are talking about rather than expanding the topics.

Or is thinking that way a bit of a conundrum?

Allan asks similar questions in his post on his blog.

Indeed, lots to consider...

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