Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Playing and Learning With Tags

Tag Cloud from The Math Whisperer

Berger and Trexler state (as cited from Kroski, 2005) "Tagging is not about the right way or the wrong way to categorize something and it is not about accuracy and authority, it's about remembering." Here in lies part of the problem with my tagging system. In the past, I have been tagging but more so now since it has become a major focus of my inquiry project. I need to have common words I remember and an organizing structure for the tags I use in other Web 2.0 tools or for tagging for reference to refer back to.

The library system of taxonomy has always alluded me and the system of folksonomy has done the same until reading Berger and Trexler's (2010) chapter on social bookmarking. I have discovered that tagging is a vital way of staying organized and allowing others to find what you have tagged. 
I now know why tagging is important. The big step is to remember what my tagging structure is and continually use it. Kind of like finding a filing system or storage system that works for you and using it and modifying it as needed. 

Russ Goerend (2011) talks about using the first letter of each word when he is tagging student files in Evernote. Here is the link for the video (I was unable to add it to this blog) http://screentuts.posterous.com/my-thoughts-and-strategies-on-tags-and-notebo
For example, word work for Bob might become ww-Bob as a tag in Evernote. I liked this idea for Evernote especially when you want to tag a students note for quick reference.
Berger & Trexler (2010) mention "tagging as performing seven functions for bookmarks:
the first four functions are intrinsic to the tagger and include:"
  • The first function is to identify what or who the Web site is about.
  • The second function is to identify what it is. Is it a blog, podcast, tweet, etc? 
  • The third function would be to identify who owns it. For example, Berger & Trexler, Russ Goerend, etc.
  • The forth function would be to refine the categories. This particular one I understand it to be about making your tags simple to understand. 
Berger and Trexler (2010) go on to mention the other three functions as being personal to the tagger.
  • The fifth being identifying qualities and characteristics.
  • The sixth being a self-reference system.
  • And the final function of organizing by task. For example,  read later,  masters, Web 2.0 tools (p. 46).
After reading this page I knew I'd found a system I could potentially try but tweak it so it works for me.  I liked the first three functions and the last one for sure. This means now when I tag something in Diigo, Flickr, Podcasting, Reader or any of my other Web 2.0 tools I will be trying to identify what or who it is about, what it is, who is the author, and organizing them according to the category it should belong to (e.g. technology, Web 2.0, master, education, primary, etc). I am hoping with a small organizational system my tagging will become a bit easier for me to find and relate to. This is a classification system I feel I can remember and use often when tagging on the Internet. If you are at all wondering about how to tag, what tags are all about or how to tag you should read the chapter called Social Bookmarking in Choosing Web 2.0 Tools for Learning and Teaching in a Digital World by Pam Berger and Sally Trexler.


Berger, P., & Trexler, S. (2010). Choosing web 2.0 tools for learning and teaching in a digital world. Santa Barbara, CA: Libraries Unlimited.

Russ Goerend (Producer). (2011). My thoughts and strategies on tags and notebooks in evernote  [Screencast]. Retrieved from http://screentuts.posterous.com/my-thoughts-and-strategies-on-tags-and-notebo

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