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Author Topic: Tags for multiple users - problems (& solutions?)  (Read 2671 times)

tomos

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Tags for multiple users - problems (& solutions?)
« on: December 23, 2010, 03:33:29 AM »
I was querying what "Categories" to use for a new Q&A website and got this reply:

Re: categories, I'd be more in favor of tags. They're more flexible. Alternatively you could go with a system that allows suggesting new categories. With *either* solution you want an auto-complete of some kind or a "suggest" function so there is less chance for spelling-related miscategorization, etc.

I dont use tagging much. I dont use any programme that really successfully implements tagging IMO.

One big problem is that, even if you have auto-complete and some sort of auto-list where new tags get added to the list, you're going to have people using different words for the same "thing".

Another approach - that could be combined with auto-complete/auto-list - would be that, when you click on a tag to see entries for it, it would be like a fuzzy search, showing e.g. pigs piggy and pig etc.
In order to get around the problem of different words being used for the same thing e.g. pig & swine - these could be manually associated so if you search for one, you get both.

Anyone know of any implementation of tagging for multiple users that helps minimise these problems? (software or website)
Tom

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Re: Tags for multiple users - problems (& solutions?)
« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2010, 04:08:22 AM »
If you only let the uploader assign tags, then you will run into the problem you described.

If you let everyone assign any tags to any image (multiple tags would be best), then each person will use what they want. Eventually, with enough people, every image of a pig will be tagged with all possible tags that could be used to describe it (pigs, piggy, piggie, pig, piglet, swine, hog, sow, babe, wilbur, etc.), including misspellings, and fuzzy searching will become unnecessary.

tomos

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Re: Tags for multiple users - problems (& solutions?)
« Reply #2 on: December 23, 2010, 04:47:41 AM »
If you only let the uploader assign tags, then you will run into the problem you described.

If you let everyone assign any tags to any image (multiple tags would be best), then each person will use what they want. Eventually, with enough people, every image of a pig will be tagged with all possible tags that could be used to describe it (pigs, piggy, piggie, pig, piglet, swine, hog, sow, babe, wilbur, etc.), including misspellings, and fuzzy searching will become unnecessary.

very good point app  :Thmbsup:
Tom

app103

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Re: Tags for multiple users - problems (& solutions?)
« Reply #3 on: December 23, 2010, 05:02:01 PM »
Just be warned, that when you allow people to tag stuff with anything they want, things like this can happen.



One of the ways to try to get around this is to consider tags in 2 groups...personal and community. Personal tags are tags applied by a single person. Community is tags in which at least a certain number of people have mutually tagged an item as something. Last.fm requires at least 3 people to tag an item the same before a tag shows up in the community list.

This will keep out a lot of the irrelevant tags a little more than using all tags submitted by everyone. It will also allow users to tag things for their own personal use, to make finding select items easier for them in the future. A user could tag items related to a personal project with the project name, and this tag would only be accessible to them. It would never show in the community list.


adi_barb

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Re: Tags for multiple users - problems (& solutions?)
« Reply #4 on: December 27, 2010, 05:18:58 PM »
the best solution is to manually edit and adapt the tags to your website style by allowing moderators or super moderators to edit them somehow.

tomos

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Re: Tags for multiple users - problems (& solutions?)
« Reply #5 on: December 28, 2010, 05:18:44 PM »
Just be warned, that when you allow people to tag stuff with anything they want, things like this can happen.

the best solution is to manually edit and adapt the tags to your website style by allowing moderators or super moderators to edit them somehow.

I wonder how Quora get on with their "Unorganised Questions" invitation to tag untagged questions.
I havent fully figured it out - it will search for your tag and suggest ones that are similar alphabetically. But then it seems to accept the tag even if it wasnt there before. Presumably new tags get moderated. Then they have what they call a context.

(I cant even find the tags in Quora. They show me a very short - & narrow - list of "Suggested Topics" - based on one topic/person I looked at. Apart from that, they suggest that I "Find People to Follow" and invite me to look at my gmail contacts.
Odd IMO.)
Tom

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Re: Tags for multiple users - problems (& solutions?)
« Reply #6 on: December 29, 2010, 01:49:22 AM »
Just be warned, that when you allow people to tag stuff with anything they want, things like this can happen.

the best solution is to manually edit and adapt the tags to your website style by allowing moderators or super moderators to edit them somehow.

I wonder how Quora get on with their "Unorganised Questions" invitation to tag untagged questions.
I havent fully figured it out - it will search for your tag and suggest ones that are similar alphabetically. But then it seems to accept the tag even if it wasnt there before. Presumably new tags get moderated. Then they have what they call a context.

(I cant even find the tags in Quora. They show me a very short - & narrow - list of "Suggested Topics" - based on one topic/person I looked at. Apart from that, they suggest that I "Find People to Follow" and invite me to look at my gmail contacts.
Odd IMO.)

Quora tags are moderated by the community first. Anyone can edit, Wikipedia style. All edits are kept in the history for an item. If a user thinks a tag is inappropriate, he can remove it. If someone removes a tag and someone else thinks it was a good tag, they can reverse the edit to put it back. Right now Quora is very good at self policing because they have a lot of members that care about the quality of the site. They will even fix grammar and spelling mistakes in your answers! I don't know if this will work long term for them, though, especially if there ends up being more people that mess things up (intentionally or not) than people that care.

To see a tag page on Quora, enter a tag name in the box at the top and watch what happens. If the tag already exists, you'll see it in the auto-list. To see even more, click "search" at the bottom of that list.

tomos

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Re: Tags for multiple users - problems (& solutions?)
« Reply #7 on: December 29, 2010, 01:42:36 PM »
To see a tag page on Quora, enter a tag name in the box at the top and watch what happens. If the tag already exists, you'll see it in the auto-list. To see even more, click "search" at the bottom of that list.

Yes, the search though is for the topic you entered - there's nowhere you can get an overview and browse - I presume they simply have too many tags.

if you add a tag to a question, you are asked if you want to make it the "context" - I presume this is like making it the main tag.

It's an interesting site but I wish it were more accessible - that I could simply browse topics/tags. Because I initially looked at a couple of questions about food (I think I clicked to 'follow' one foodie persons posts), it now only shows me questions about food, and only suggests food related topics... I know I could search for e.g. Software but I'm not looking for anything specific - I'm just thinking out loud here really...
Tom

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Re: Tags for multiple users - problems (& solutions?)
« Reply #8 on: December 29, 2010, 10:07:25 PM »
There is also the trending topics page and the browse page (which has a number of topics listed at the top). Browsing the questions at the bottom of the page can lead to more topics, too.

If you keep hitting those on a regular basis, you are bound to come up with some topics to follow, a little at a time. Might be best not to overwhelm yourself with 1000's of topics at once and add them gradually as you come across them. You could also add me or browse the list on my profile (I am following 200+ topics).

The site is an adventure and a treasure hunt, to say the least....bring a shovel and dig.