Tagging: What if a machine gave prompts?

Stephen Baker

I was sorry to miss the Weblogs and Social Media Conference in Boulder last week. But if you click that site, there are links to all the technical papers presented. Awarded best in show was a paper by researchers at Northwestern on an automatic system to help people pick the best tags for whatever they're posting online. It surveys the existing tags, calculates which are the most effective, and assigns a score to evaluate each tag we choose.

Here's are a few thumbnails from the session by Matthew Hurst. One especially provocative point: He cites Danah Boyd, who says the real danger facing young people online is less from sexual predators and other media fodder than from exploitative marketing machinery. I'm looking forward to the video of her talk, which focused on MySpace, teenage culture, and the transitions between the physical and virtual worlds. Matthew says the video will be online shortly.

Longer summary from Valery.net, who groups all of these technologies and initiatives with the ever controversial tag: Web 3.0.

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