February 6, 2007
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.