Having just become familiar with the term “taste neighbours” and after exploring and comparing two social databases www.thinktag.org and www.twine.com I am wondering whether there is also the concept of taste tags. Does anyone use this to describe the ontological structures that arise from online knowledge sharing?
Thinktag is a database that allows users to upload items and share them within a dedicated private or public channel or across platform. The commenting and linking functions allow discourse to develop around shared items that can range from books (one click ISBN upload), video, links, images, files.
Twine a similar platform with a much wider international membership is also fully compatible with other web 2.0 applications such as Twitter, Facebook or Digg.
Thinktag as the name conveys centres around social tagging and allows tags to be manually inserted, updated and edited by registered users, comments i.e. “replies” to inserted item comments and memorabilia also carry tags allowing label on-going dialogues. Twine, even with its recently updated interface does not have this option. Twine has an automatic tagging feature which will generate interconnected concepts. When I uploaded a video of how to paint Mona Lisa in MS Paint and tagged it Mona Lisa, Paint and clicked saved the community tag box immediately inserted “Microsoft” – fair enough this is straighforward conceptualized connection. What about other patterns and relationships?
Apart from Common Tags what other standards exist? It appears that a lot is based on markup language RDF, OWL, the techonology that enables computers to interpret the data that is then shared. This techonolgy also “understands” the what things are in relation to other things. So will an “apple” tag be referring to Gwyneth Paltrow’s bay, to Apple Inc, the fruit or the Beatles record label?
And how exactly does this system work and what sort of tagging standards exist? How aware of them are we and how do they influence search, inter-connectivity and flow of ideas? These are just some of the questions that I am pondering for Module 2 (of my Master in Multimediatà per L’e- learning coordinated by Roberto Marigliano at Rome 3 University) has led me to explore the current evolutions in the semantic connections and social tagging . In considering how social database contribute or help with personal information overload I will also try to research more fully how automatic subject metadata creation works across languages and cultures. What steps do we need to take as educators to analyze and create environments which move beyond the collective sharing of items towards the cooperative construction of meaningful items and debates?
On the blog post Why I Migrated to Twine, the author feels the semantic garden that Twine interacts with “uses machine learning & 300,000 taxonomic categories of the Wikipedia for reference” whereas from my experience of Thinktag (mainly on the Parlare le immagini channel for Roberto Maragliano’s book) tags are entirely “user-generated”. This allows for far greater creativity and personalization but also risks being extremely dispersive and unstructured for meaningful connections in content discovery and sharing.