Is Tagware a "natural Recommendation Network?"

In his recent post, The Long Tail of Tags, my compadre Alex Barnett contends that,

“Looking at the tagging data in this way (and without any use of fancy algorithms) we can see the inherent potential of using tagging as a basis for collaborative filtering and recommendation systems. Based on the the simple and unscientific analysis I’ve done here, it appears that the world of tagging holds related Long Tail networks everywhere.

In other words, tagware =  natural Recommendation Networks.”

I agree with Alex but…

I can’t help but opine that whereas “tagware” provides a solid quantitative foundation, it falls short of providing the type of qualitative information that would make it as compelling as good ole WOM recommendation networks: our friends, families, and trusted acquaintances. To approximate the utility of WOM recommendation networks and the passionate exchages of opinions that make them so potent, Tagware is reliant upon its users to consistently apply high value qualitative information (opinions) about the value of tagged resources. Insofar as the comments associated with individual tags enable taggers to do just that, tagware has the potential to be as (or more) compelling as WOM recommendaiton networks. However, tag comments are only sporadically and haphazardly applied by today’s tagerati. You need look no further than my TagTail for an indicaiton of the truth of this contention. If/when tagging really takes off, which I think it may, nothing inclines me to believe that this [presumed] usage pattern will change.

Thus, I would propose a slight modification to Alex’s equation: tagware + x = natural Recommendations Networks.

Any thoughts about what x might be?

Comments (0)

Skip to main content