We’ve just added del.icio.us tags to our articles. These are single keyword categories generated by the O’Reilly readers as they bookmark our articles in del.icio.us. The sum of these tags is a taxonomy (some say folksonomy) of articles that emerged from our readers rather than being handed down by our editors.
There’s value in both types. One’s authoritative. The other’s flexible and dynamic.
If you want a better way to keep your bookmarks (and also contribute to the O’Reilly categorization system), head over to the del.icio.us site.
We’re calling this Beta because we’re still experimenting with it. We’ll be releasing early and often. And keeping a diary of the results here.
We were tempted to self-populate our articles in del.icio.us. Only 22% of our article content has been tagged. It’s hard to leave so much good content
out of the categorization.
However, the numbers look much more encouraging when viewed by year. Here’s percentages of articles with del.icio.us tags: 2005 - 71%, 2004 - 51%, 2003 - 23%, 2002 - 16%, 2001 - 10%, 2000 - 6%. The article coverage is rising with the popularity of del.icio.us.
We’ve gotten two deliveries of data so we’re already able to say which tags are on the rise. The top three gainers (over the course of a week) map exactly to the buzz around the office, ajax (+469 tags), ruby (+378 tags), rails (+333 tags).
Our editors were concerned about innapropriate tags. We can live with typos or synonyms, but you’re not going to be seeing naughty words get through. That’s
because we’re moderating new tags before they get incorporated into the site. So far there’s been 1174 tags, plenty of typos, and no obscenities.
Joshua Schacter, founder of del.icio.us, gave us data for all our pages (like weblogs)- so there’s a lot more to work in. I have a feeling that he’d like to offer this data to all sites. Thanks Joshua!
What do you think of folksonomies?