January 19, 2005

Technorati Opens Spam Tagging - Updated

The talk this past week was all about Technorati and their tagging tool, but the tool offers very little value and may be an incubator for spam more than a folksonomy tool.

Where del.icio.us gets folksonomy right (I know this is reflexive) by having many people tag online objects, Technorati gets folksonomy backwards with one user spitting tags into an aggregator. The only link I would trust in Technorati's tool is one that I also found on del.icio.us.

Why so harsh? Technorati has created a tool not from social interaction and using the internet to build value through the network effect (Technorati made the power curve popular, which is the visualization of the net effect). Technorati has no moderating the content that can be dumped in my any slimy spammer that now has a ripe new target. Lacking moderation and any socially derived checks to the system I am quite disappointed with Technorati and this effort.

I use Technorati keywords to track things I have an interest in and their tool does a great job pulling in information (I also use Feedster for the same purpose) and find it to be the top of its class in this effort.


Eric Scheid provides an excellent suggestion, which made me realize it is easy for Technorati to get it right and much of my problem was the links went in the wrong direction. Eric states...

I have a suggestion for another link format for "technorati" tags which would turn things around ... it would look like this:

<a href="http://whatever.bloghost.com/page/etc" rel="tag.TAGNAME1 tag.TAGNAME2">descriptive text for the link</a>

This way I can tag the pages I *link* to, and not just the pages I publish.

I'm also able to assign multiple tags to the linked page, and of course since other people could well be linking to that same page they can apply their own tags too. Think of the social tagging nature of del.icio.us without the intermediary of del.icio.us.

All we need is the "tag." prefix to identify the tagging relationship, as distinct from other relationship types (eg. vote-for, XFN, the usual W3C things, etc).

Yes, this modification would make Technorati tags a true folksonomy. Will they fix it to get it right?

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