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?