Bad at this

Playing around with that fastr game (in which you try to guess the common tags between random pictures on flickr), I’ve realized the biggest drawback to folksonomy: people are generally bad at tagging things. For example, a selection of photos came up in which pretty much each one focused on a single flower – most of them zoomed in to the very center of that flower. We’re talking macro enough that no other plant life was in frame. Oh yeah, and one picture featured a fox laying down in a patch of grass. You know what the tag was? GARDEN! I’m sorry, but absolutely none of the photos that came up should have been tagged with “garden” as none of them actually showed a garden.

It seems that many people want to have as many tags as possible on photos and other such entries to make sure they’ll come up in appropriate searches/sorts. But most of the time, they shouldn’t. I mean, should this entry be tagged “garden” just because I used the word as an example of misuse? Maybe it should be tagged “office,” because that’s where I currently am sitting?

I’m not just pointing the finger at everybody else – my tags tend to suck, too. I’m just wondering how useful a scheme can really be when it is so open-ended.

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