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Why Bother…

October 28th, 2008

From Talis: “Jim Hendler at the INSEMTIVE 2008 Workshop”

“that people will (and do) create metadata when there are obvious and immediate benefits in them doing so. No-one really consciously sits down to share or create metadata: they sit down to do a specific task and metadata drops out as a side-effect.”

I can not agree any more. I have tried to tag all my blogs once upon a time, after a few weeks, I found myself bored because there is no clear, immediate benefits for doing so. I would only tag things that I have to, like to tell my friends a list of posts of the same topic.

The only tagging system that is consistently successful upon me is the gmail labeling: I organize mails related to the same task (like writing a paper) on daily bases, because it is very useful, and immediately useful. Even though, I only label a tiny fragment of all my emails.

I have seen too many people have their desktop full of files and too lazy to organize them – myself is one of them. Every year I have to spare a day or two to reorganize my harddisk, and dig out the hidden treasures of my “Downloads” folder. I believe for semantic web to be successful, creating an ontology should be at least as easy as and as useful as organizing files on a harddisk.

In fact, people are creating meta data or even ontology everyday: every email sorting, every contact on the cell phone, every folder creating, every calender item, every wiki post, … We just need to make them explicit, and most of all, without bothering the user to click even one more button.

Jie Bao

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  1. October 29th, 2008 at 05:02 | #1

    that reminds me the CMU image tagging game that adopts collective intelligence approach. Web users need a strong incentive to contributed data or metadta. A game, a reward, a grade, a better knowledge management environment, a cool showoff, a funded research project, and so on…

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  1. October 28th, 2008 at 16:09 | #1