Saturday, February 03, 2007

Tagging Troubles

I've been using for a few years now. I really like how it works. Before that I'd used Backflip, but tagging works better for me than filing. Therefore, I'm glad tagging is slowly expanding to other apps. I can tag my photos in iPhoto, and my mail in Gmail. In fact, in the apps that don't have it, I keep losing things-- for example, I wish our Outlook at work could tag. I wish my and even the Finder at home could, although Spotlight usually does find what I need eventually.

Given my success with tagging, it surprises me that in the past few weeks, I keep finding myself at a loss for a tag. Usually what happens is that reading a blog post leads me to a website that I want to tag. I'll hit the tool on my web browser which takes me to my account, and there I sit. I can't figure out what tags to give the page.

I think my problem lies in that given my new job, I'm often now sure of why or how I'm going to use the information. I know it is good stuff and I'll want to get to it again, but I don't yet have a big enough picture to foresee where.

Another piece of the problem is that my tags are so full, are so broad, that they are starting to feel less useful. For example, two years ago I started to use a web_apps tag. Back then I was adding a page or two a month using that tag. Now I could add a few a week. The tag is too broad to be useful, but I don't really want to start breaking the apps down by type. I need a different way to organize them, but I can't see what it is.

I'm experiencing that same confusion in many areas. For example, there have been a number of interesting education manifestos on the web and samples of next generation tech planning. How to tag those beyond ed_change and tech_coord? I've tried seeing how other people have tagged the same sites, but that hasn't given me any better ideas yet. Is anyone else experiencing this tagging block? Has anyone found a way around it?