A few weeks ago I had a tag-discussion with a very smart chap who's work I respect a lot:
He suggested that filtering should be used to minimise the number of irrelevant tags that will appear if an object/subject is open to tagging by all.
Applying logic to the namespace-creation as it were.
He argued that if "Britney Spears" namespace consisted of a long row of "relevant" tags and somebody adds "nano technology", then that would be silly and should be filtered out.
OK, sounds reasonable... filtering, standards...
But, hang on, say a kid in Brixton started a rumour that Ms Spears had some sort of nano technology implanted in her left breast. Daft of course (and apologies to Ms Spears for the absurd idea), but still, it would not take long before a group in Brixton would use "breast" and "nano technology" as their first tags if they were to find the object of this fine lady.
And, the extra tags will not affect the namespace usability when in anataxonomy finding mode. It would merely broaden the group of users-that-can-find-the-object and perhaps even heighten the knowledge that can be gleaned from the namespace!
The grudge I hold towards tree-structures is the logic-applied-at-source and the ensuing:
- I have to assimilate the logic of the creator (wonder where this web designer placed employees in his navigation tree...)
- I need a manual (PKZ-8763-vy-55? What car part would that be I wonder, looking over the shoulder of my friendly Audi repair shop mechanic...)
- I need training (elevating the confusing to "intuitive", but effectively leaving out my not-so-young mother who's quite new to computing...)
With anataxonomy-in-practice we would have none of that, so why apply any kind of logic to free-tagging? Then the whole replace-tree-structure-exercise would be for the birds...
Let's have logic-free anataxonomy and bye-bye to training, manuals and loosing our ways :)