Using Tags to Help You BrowseFor a recent report on how art museums are using tagging, a subject I discussed in an earlier post, you can have a look at this March 28 New York Times article, by Pamela LiCalzi O'Connell.
O'Connell emphasizes the significance of the divergence between how professionals at museums categorize individual works of art, and how members of the public the museum's largest clientele categorize them. For example:
The Metropolitan Museum of Art ran a test in fall 2005 in which volunteers supplied keywords for 30 images of paintings, sculpture and other artwork. The tags were compared with the museum’s curatorial catalog, and more than 80 percent of the terms were not in the museum’s documentation. Joachim Friess’s ornate sculpture “Diana and the Stag,” for example, was tagged with the expected “antler,” “archery” and “huntress.” But it was also tagged “precious” and “luxury.”One of the most appealing outcomes of getting the public involved in labeling the "content" of artworks is that it makes online museum collections easy to browse.
Looking beyond the museum world to the wider realm of Web content, it is not hard to see the value of tagging for making relevant content accessible to people searching for information and ideas in particular areas. For example, someone trolling for recent thinking on the topic of "exerting influence in business interactions" can go to del.icio.us, search for items that people have tagged with both "influence" and "business," and then browse through the resulting list to see what might be helpful.