The murmur of the snarkmatrix…

August § The Common Test / 2016-02-16 21:04:46
Robin § Unforgotten / 2016-01-08 21:19:16
MsFitNZ § Towards A Theory of Secondary Literacy / 2015-11-03 21:23:21
Jon Schultz § Bless the toolmakers / 2015-05-04 18:39:56
Jon Schultz § Bless the toolmakers / 2015-05-04 16:32:50
Matt § A leaky rocketship / 2014-11-05 01:49:12
Greg Linch § A leaky rocketship / 2014-11-04 18:05:52
Robin § A leaky rocketship / 2014-11-04 05:11:02
P. Renaud § A leaky rocketship / 2014-11-04 04:13:09
Bob Stepno § The structure of journalism today / 2014-03-10 18:42:32

Search Is a Folksonomy

This is a notion that popped into my head during a discussion with our search vendor today: online search is a folksonomy. Every search a user performs could be seen as a tag she’s applying to the result she ultimately clicks on. Over time, you could imagine a page featuring a tag cloud formed of all the searches that got people to that page.

Maybe that’s an insight obvious to everyone but me, but it felt novel. It seems we always talk about how tags could help search (hand in hand with the discussion of how no one actually uses/understands tagging, which may not be so true); why don’t we talk more about how perhaps the most common activity performed on the Internet is actually a form of tagging?

Bonus: The tag cloud you’d see if we did this for all pages on Snarkmarket would feature “snarkmarket” in giant letters, and then the following phrases, getting progressively smaller: breck girl, media galaxy, googlezon, listenings, robin+sloan, matt thompson, shipbreakers, homeless by choice, matt+thompson, by your command, giantess, media+galaxy, chicken porn, breck+girl, robin+sloan+and+matt+thompson, eminence gris, snarkmarket “this i believe”, mothball fleet, “by your command”.

And that would be my favorite tag cloud ever.

February 6, 2007 / Uncategorized



Actually that’s where the real value in folksonomy lies I think – where it combines with search tracking and taxonomies. We’ve done this at a museum in Sydney with our collection database . . . .

Combined it is possible for users of our collection to ‘browse’ the collection – something that museums traditionally have found difficult to make happen in the virtual world, despite that being the quintessential experience of a museum in the physical world. The user/folksonomy tags on our site are dwarfed in importance by the impact of ‘recommended searches’.

(and BTW, you and Robin do a great blog here . . . essential reading for my team)

LPS says…

I had a funny conversation with a friend of mine about this recently. The number one search that resulted in visits to his band’s page was “pop project” which is the name of the band. But the number two search was “women having sex.” A bit further down on the list was “naked women having sex.” We enjoyed imagining the thought process of the person who performs this search:

Hmm, what am I in the mood to look at on the internet?

I know, women having sex.

Oh man, that returned way too many results, better narrow.

How about, naked women having sex.

Ooh, this site looks good…

S***, it’s just some lame indie rock band!

The ‘breck girl’ search is my favorite. I love it that we are the SECOND result. I think it’s the subject line of your post — ‘Breck Girl Explained’ — that does it. We should title more things ‘X Explained.’ Even if we don’t actually go on to explain anything.

The snarkmatrix awaits you

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