Sunday, January 14, 2007

del.icio.us for people

Why does del.icio.us for people not exist yet? This would be a means of tagging people with words; annotating their interest areas, likes and dislikes, how you know them, where you met them and probably many other aspects of meta data.

People-tagging would ideally have full portability across the Internet including social networking applications (myspace, LinkedIn, plaxo, etc.), personal IM, email and blogs and corporate/other group applications. Like regular webtags, peopletags could be self-assigned and/or discovered and shared with tiered permissioning.

Instant Affinity Tag Communication - Next Gen RSS
Imagine being able to instantly transmit news, blogposts, videos, events, etc. to a variety of affinity groups without having to remember which friends and colleagues are interested in which topics, Markets 2.0, videoblogging, sustainable energy, etc.

Even more robust would be a next generation of RSS, auto-alerting any identity with a "Singularity" tag, for example, with immediate notice of any new content tagged with Singularity posted to the Internet. Instant Affinity Tag Communication would not only provide richer data streams but also allow anonymity and reduce the requirement of personal relationships to obtain information.

Is it ethical to tag people?
Why not? A tag cloud accompanying people would be a better implementation of currently self-specified interest areas. Like many technologies, some form of people-tagging seems inevitable and mostly productive. The legal frontier would grow to address the extension of libel and slander as hate-tagging, inaccurate tagging and other problematic tagging occurred. Early people-tagging implementations could allow only self-tagging.

A people tagging system could be imbued with trust and value through tag attribute granularity such as by having a parameter for self-tagged vs. tagged by close-circle or wide-world others, disputed/ambiguous/conflicting tags and the ability to filter based on tag attributes.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

blogs, google, tv, radio, magazines, news media are already tagging everything, including people

think britney spears and the tags are there in your mind already about her...they don't have to be put into a colorful tag cloud...they exist in the synapse cloud thanks to media saturation and human desire for idols

LaBlogga said...

Hi anonymous, thank you for the articulate comment! What I think is important about transferring the tag info in the Human Synapse Cloud to the digital medium is 1) for humans in other places and eras to see what people thought was "important" (e.g.; Britney) in this time/place but more importantly 2) so non-human intelligences can quickly grok human society from the meta level

Deepak said...

You should take a look at Spock. It's not quite there, but has the seeds of what you are tying to track, in that it is people centric.

LaBlogga said...

Hi Deepak,

Thanks for the comment. Spock does allow you to tag people but you can't do much with the functionality after that except see other people with a certain tag.

The simple but surprisingly not yet existing functionality is to tag your friends and colleagues (in address books or social networking sites like LinkedIn, etc.) and then be able to send a communication to just that group based on the tag.

For example, I want to send an article I just read to all the people I know - friends, colleagues and acquaintances, as well as any subscribers of my activity (e.g.; fans), who are interested in synthetic biology, or whatever other tag.

An even bigger possibility is to receive a notification anytime anything (person, information, etc.) anywhere on public web sites is tagged with my affinity interests.

There's no way to interact based on tags in these ways yet.

Deepak said...

Agree completely there. But the social networks have to be smart too, since two different tags can have the same intent. Some semantic mapping would be useful there.

This is a subject that would be good to discuss at Scifoo :)

LaBlogga said...

Hi Deepak,

Thanks for the discussion, I agree, even the Spock tags have somewhat limited use since they do not have another level of information making them more meaningful.

Eventually, I see information being modulated with relevancy attributes.

Let's discuss further at Scifoo. Great blog, btw, I love the Bioscreencast.com concept & thank you for drawing attention to the Science Commons work.