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  • Questioning Technorati – New facets now available

    The analysis of Technorati user tagging makes it possible to question the Technorati community in a new multifaceted way without anybody having to do any extra work, other than apply some very simple automated rules.

    For example, from the ‘Medium of communication’ facet, a blog-reader could choose, say ‘Movies’ and ‘Movie’ combined with ‘Family’ from the ‘Personal’ facet and ‘Reviews’ from the ‘Point of view’ facet. The facets enable much richer questioning of the sources than looking down indexes, or random key word searching.

    Looking at the analysis, it is impossible to miss the fact that ‘Purposely unclassified’ is the fourth most popular tags facet. Frankly, this kind of tag does not add a lot of value to the community. On the other hand, as part of a multi-faceted question injecting an element of ‘random’, ‘randomness’, and ‘Random elements’ might be desirable for those in search of serendipity.

  • Analysing Technorati Tags: 1) Communications media top tag list

    How people go about tagging and searching Technorati must be an indication of what they are thinking about and what they believe is important.

    Here is what content analysis suggests are the six most used categories of tags on Technorati. During the next couple of weeks, the plan is to carry out an introductory analysis of what people are talking about under each of these supertags.

    1) Medium of communication – 2,825,217 items tagged
    2) Personal – 1,065,158 items tagged
    3) Points of view – 791,935 items tagged
    4) Purposely unclassified – 782,950 items tagged
    5) Technology – 690,903 items tagged
    6) News – 353,916 items tagged

    By far the most tags are about a Medium of Communication, with Weblog being the most common tag of all by a factor of more than 2. Does the fact that 1.7 million items are tagged Weblog mean that people are mainly into blogging about blogging? Or does it mean that hundreds of thousands of Japanese bloggers automatically tag all their blogs as Weblogs, even if their content has nothing to do with Weblogs? A cursory look at the latest blogs suggests that the Japanese auto-tagging hypothesis would be worth looking into.

    If tags are to have any meaning at all, then massive uncertainties like these must be understood and clarified. Otherwise, people are just wasting each other’s time which works against the interests of any community.

    Once the issue of generally agreed meanings is surmounted, the problem with the alphabetical nature of listing can begin to be addressed. Once again, Technorati’s most popular tag illustrates the difficulty. Different tags professing to mean more or less the same thing under ‘b’ for ‘blogs’, ‘m’ for ‘Metroblogs’, ‘Metblogs’ and ‘My Blogs’, and ‘w’ for Weblogs. One agreed supertag, say Weblogs to bring them all together, along with a few subtags to distinguish more specific concepts, such as ‘Metro Met blogs’, which are blogs about urban regions.

    The second most evoked Medium of Communication on Technorati could be categorised as the ‘Written Word’ with potential subtags including ‘books’, ‘book’, ‘writing’, ‘words’, ‘Poem’, ‘Poetry’, and ‘Love Poems’. Although heartening for those who value literacy, the popularity of this group of tags is hardly surprising given that blogging uses the written word. Top rated tags, however, also exist for many other communications media led by ‘Movie’ and ‘Movies’ where were4 used to tag approximately 110,000 blogs. Media executives might be interested to know that Technorati community members are a lot more interested in blogging photography and podcasts than about television.

    In the next, blog the second most popular supertag, Personal, will be analysed and it will then be seen how supertags enable a new type of multi-faceted question to be be asked of the Technorati community.

  • Taxonomy assisted tagging project started

    Tags are the leaves on the tree, categories (or supertags) are the branches on which they must hang. The fruit is the knowledge to which the tags point.

    This Technorati tags analysis is a first step in new supertagging project which aims to bring bloggers the benefits of classification systems (also known as ‘taxonomies’) without all the pain and the jargon. As the author of the best-selling “Taxonomies: Frameworks for Corporate Knowledge” (which sells to corporates at £395 a copy), I believe I can give this public supertagging project some useful guidance and assistance. Material on this blog will be used in a new book, “Taxonomies for taggers: Giving more power to the people” (£5 for a .pdf copy) which will show taggers how to benefit, both themselves and their communities, from the knowing some of the tricks, the mistakes and shortcuts to improving on their ever growing alphabetical list of tags using taxonomies.

    To work in the user-led world of bloggers where basic service is provided at no cost, supertags must be free. Therefore, all classification schemas contained on the Supertaggers blog are available for use without copyright restriction, although it is recommended users join the supertaggers conferences (when they are set up) in order to suggest changes, receive updates and to discuss usage issues.

    This supertagging project is dedicated to using supertags as a both means of improving the findability of blogs and of monitoring what they are saying. Technorati was chosen as the first to be analysed because it is one of the biggest blog tagging communities in the world with more than 21 million participating bloggers.

    The first finding is that Technorati’s top 200-odd English tags can be analysed into 12 top-level categories. All tags fit consistently into the meaning of each category. There was no need to assign two categories to any tags or to use the dreaded Misc., non-category. (For the categories and stats relating to the top Technorati tags, see last week’s posting.)

    Of course, all blogs can be categorised with more than one tag. Each tag represents a different facet of the item being described.

    Simply, by adding this single level of supertags, Technorati’s very, very long alphabetical list becomes a simple, easy-to-use, multi-faceted taxonomy giving blogs a new dimension in findability … the multifaceted query.

    Instead of random words shot in the dark, a multifaceted query enables users to find and to combine whole sets of tagged blogs at once in order to isolate what is most of interest to them. Even with the vast majority of people tagging privately as is now the case, the automatic sorting of tags under a set of top level supertags, as has been done in this Technorati pilot, adds value to a random alphabetical list without adding any significant cost for any of the stakeholders, whether readers, writers or service providers.

    If groups of collaborative bloggers went further and decided to develop and share common classification terms, the benefits of multifaceted supertagging in terms of findability and intelligence gathering would be dramatically extended.

    That is not to say that this analysis is the only (or even the best) categorisation of Technorati’s top tags. It is useful, though, in giving both some meaning and some critical appraisal of how users are tagging their blogs.

    Tip 1: The key to getting started is first try to agree on some very general top level classifications.

    Next week’s Blog will make some inferences about what Technorati users are thinking about from the pilot analysis.

  • Top Level Technorati Supertags

    The top Technorati tags make an intriguing and meaningful fit in the following super-categories.

    1) Communications media – 2,825,217

    2) Personal – 1,065,158

    3) Points of view – 791,935

    4) Purposely unclassified – 782,950

    5) Technology – 690,903

    6) News – 353,916

    7) Play – 229,958

    8) Transport – 228,171

    9) Business and Economics – 122,921

    10) Wider contexts – 98,517

    11) Places – 78,993

    12) Politics and Law – 64,150

    Categorisation is not right or wrong. Rather it works or it doesn't work. Here is Version 1.0 of top level Supertags for Technorati. It works because it juxtaposes like with like. It provides some information superstructure which gives added meaning to each list of tags. Its meaningful tag juxtapositions give tag users a much richer experience than ploughing through an alphabetical list. People can, if they should wish, use them right away by using these supertags as prefixes to their own tags on Technorati. Tags within each category are sorted with the most popular tags at the top. Use this organisation as the first step in searching the top Technorati Tags.

    These tags also provide a basis for an analysis of what bloggers are doing. It also shows how some more collaborative tagging would eliminate a lot of waste. The next blog on this topic will be coming soon.

    1) Medium of communication - 2,825,217
    Weblog... 1,761,663 Blogs... 55,192, My blog... 8,904
    metroblogs ... 14,751, metblogs... 14,732,
    books...155,597, book... 40,257, Writing... 31,745, words... 18,884
    Poem... 11,895, Poetry... 40,982 Love Poems... 6,307
    Movies... 64,074, Movie... 45,462
    Media... 84,266
    Musica... 33,737, Musik... 18,583, Lyrics... 25,369
    photo... 52,342, Photography... 35,605, Fotos... 15,060
    Journal... 60,056
    Video... 43,191, Videos... 15,974
    Podcast... 25,166, Podcasts... 22,172
    Pictures... 28,876
    Television... 27,336
    Live... 24,277
    Website... 19,949
    Anime... 16,182
    Advertising... 13,776
    Comics... 12,804

    2) Personal - 1,065,158
    Me... 86,705, About Me... 14,417, My Life... 64,467
    hobbies 91,936 Hobby 16,211
    Love... 82,518
    Home... 77,892
    Family... 77,503
    Work... 71,266
    Health and wellness 65,021
    Fun... 50,963
    Friends... 48,718
    Food and Drink... 46,059
    Funny... 37,498
    Sex... 30,356, sexy... 6,933
    Feeling... 21,315, Feelings... 10,745
    Cooking... 13,419, Recipes... 14,654
    Baby... 21,971
    Shopping... 18,587
    Mood... 17,919
    fashion... 16,658
    Shoes... 12,366
    Private... 12,030
    Knitting... 10,689
    Relationships... 9,708
    Babes... 9,572
    Dogs... 7,089

    3) Points of view - 791,935
    Entertainment... 216,651
    Reviews... 55,113, Review... 26,068,
    Humor... 64,124
    category... 59,166
    Tips... 47,104
    Ramblings... 30,719
    Quotes... 28,891
    Development... 27,516
    fAcTs... 26,447
    meme... 16,865, memes...9,682
    History... 23,886
    Announcements... 22,297
    memo... 19,531
    Amusement... 17,690
    Rant... 17,485
    Opinion... 17,098
    Research... 16,781
    test... 13,724
    Philosophy... 13,013
    Projects... 11,534
    gossip... 10,104
    Journalism... 10,046
    dreams... 9,228
    murmur... 8,289

    4) Purposely unclassified - 782,950
    random... 108,821, Randomness... 12,939, Random thoughts... 16,569
    stuff... 133,301
    Misc.... 63,493, miscellaneous... 37,950
    thoughts... 79,199
    2005... 75,969
    days... 48,765
    Resources... 39,303
    etc... 32,385
    uncategorized articles... 31,275
    EveryDay... 27,171
    Everything... 21,030
    others... 18,486
    Asides... 13,846
    Whatever... 8,733
    All Posts... 7,978
    General Posting... 5,737

    5 Technology - 690,903
    Computers... 124,015, Computer... 45,713, Computing... 10,647,
    PC... 37,202, Macintosh... 9,441
    Computers and Internet... 90,366
    software... 88,237
    Apple... 35,923
    Google... 34,685
    Search... 29,528
    wordpress... 22,645
    Hardware... 21,856
    Tools... 20,948
    audio... 17,134
    Wireless... 15,866
    Java... 12,949
    Spam ... 10,983
    Firefox... 10,537
    VoIP... 10,193
    Flickr... 9,894
    CSS... 9,337
    Asterisk... 9,113
    General webmaster threads... 8,687
    Cell Phones... 5,004

    6) News - 353,916
    News and politics... 86,395
    events... 71,218
    Updates... 36,438
    Weather... 11,645, Katrina... 22,555, Hurricane Katrina... 11,104
    In The News... 25,118
    Current events... 21,407
    Site news... 18,183
    General news... 17,514
    Terrorism... 12,837
    World news... 9,845
    Latest News... 9,667

    7) Play - 229,958
    Games... 85,876, Game... 62,326
    Football... 25,191
    Baseball... 20,098
    Poker... 18,509
    Golf... 17,958

    8) Transport - 228,171
    Travel... 162,548, Voyages... 17,054
    Car... 36,406, Cars... 12,163

    9) Business and Economics - 122,921
    Business... 86,786
    Real Estate ... 25,811
    Car Insurance... 5,375
    Health Insurance... 4,949

    10) Wider contexts - 98,517
    Society... 20,941, People... 30,107
    Organizations... 24,359
    Environment... 11,756, Nature... 11,354

    11) Places - 78,993
    Iraq... 26,711
    Europe... 15,102
    USA... 13,654
    China... 12,806
    London... 10,720

    12) Politics and Law - 64,150
    Law... 30,146
    Bush... 19,661
    Military... 12,171
    Legislation... 1,682
    Votes... 490

  • title-347575

    Technorati Profile

  • Aiming to demonstrate simple supertags

    By using a bit of clustering organisation, I aim to use supertags to give some meaning to the random alphabetic terms which form the 250 top tags on Technorati.

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