Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Tagging: the chain letters of the blogosphere

Yazan Malakha Ranting and raving about a contaminated blogosphere. Intoxicated by their newly struck friendships; and attempting to create better personal connections, Arab bloggers managed to contaminate the blogosphere with a new form of junk, forgetting what blogging is all about. Chain letters infuriate me probably more than any other piece of spam I ever encountered. I still can’t get over how intelligent grown men and women, lose all sense of reality and forward along these ridiculous, badly written, error-ridden pieces of garbage. I find it peculiar that those inbox fillers have managed to find their way to blogs. Let me remind you of what blogging is all about: From a technical side; blogging is all about posting, subscribing and tagging (not to be mixed with the chain-letter phenomena); these are the three fundamental building blocks for all the different kinds of blogging. Posting came first; people have been blogging in some form since the advent of the Internet. Creating Geocities pages for instance was as early forms of blogging. Then came subscribing; RSS is a big deal, but it’s a technology not a human behavior, it’s an enabler; subscribing is a human behavior and is fundamental to the whole blogging equation. Tagging is the third and final leg of the stool. With well over ten million bloggers posting a couple of times a week (on average), how do you keep track of all the content generated? You can’t, not in an absolute sense anyway. But you can establish a framework for user generated content and build on top of it. There are two forms of Tagging, self tagging and aggregated tagging; both equally important, Think how difficult it would be to find photos on Flickr without tagging, get the picture? Now think how Technorati simplified blog search. There are several forms of blogging, it’s not limited to posting a short blast of text into your favorite software be it blogger, typepad or wordpress. Podcasting is blogging, posting photos on Flickr is blogging, hell even posting a video of your dog is blogging. To blog is to chronicle your thoughts, your opinions, maybe your activities and personal life, either in the hopes of enlightening yourself and others, or because your ego is the size of Texas. I fail to see how chain-letters would serve to do either. The ease of use of web logging tools and the lower entry barrier should not be abused to create a new problem of internet communication. Use it to engage wider audience, tackle the incredible amount of misinformation being tossed about, or to find the true facts behind the stories! Enrich your lives and others. Break the chain, nothing bad is going to happen, I promise. Or at least find a new name for your "chain-letter" trend. Till next time.. Tagging who?


Roba said...

I think that tagging is a part of something that keeps blogs connected. When you tag someone, you are endorsing a chain conversation that you can track back and track to, and thus having yourself introduced to other blogs and having others introduced to yours.
It's is in no way similar to a chainletter. No one says that you are going to die if you answer a tag. It's just a general study of the different mentalities of the blogosphere. I consider it semi-spam because it takes a while to think up of answers and that's just a pain in the "arse".

Yazan Malakha said...

I disagree with everything you've said.

Introduce you to other blogs? How on earth do you tag someone you do not know, or a blog you do not read? How does that introduce you to new people?

A link out to other blogs is a way to stay connected, tracking back a re-blog is a way to stay connected. Directories such as JordanPlanet are a way to stay connected.

General study of the different mentalities? What you're a shrink now? These are not personality tests, and even if they were chances are they're written by college kids who have undertaken just enough eastern religion and philosophy courses mixed with a bit of Psych 101 to make people believe these studies or tests are somehow meaningful.

Save such content for a meeting or a chat, discuss the books you read not just list them etc.

jameed said...

Yazan, you are becoming my most favorite Jordanian blogger named Yazan that I know of. Did I mention you speak of gems lately?

I am forming an organization which will be called ABCT (Association for Banning Chain-letters and Tags)

Yazan Malakha said...

Oh count me in!