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Tagging, knowledge, and inverted clouds

Tim “LibraryThing” Spalding bought a box of copies of Everything Is Miscellaneous, Lor’ bless him, and decided to hold a contest of sorts to give the remaining dozen away. So, he asked people to comment on how tagging changes knowledge. Now he’s collected a sampling of the 170 replies. Great stuff.

Also, Tim now let’s you see a reverse (inverse? converse?) tag cloud, which he calls a tag mirror. He says:

Instead of showing what you think about your books—what a regular tag cloud shows—it shows you what others think of them, in effect using LibraryThing’s twenty-two million tags to organize and surface interesting topics from within your own collection…

Here’s a for-example. I don’t use the tags gender studies, patristics or theory. They’re just not terms I use. To some extent, that reflects who I am. But I have a fair number of books that, to others, fall under those categories. It’s interesting to slice my books up in an alien way—to see them through other eyes. Maybe I’m more interested in gender studies than I thought.

[Tags: everything_is_miscellaneous tim_spalding folksonomies tags tag_clouds knowledge ]

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