2009.05.05

The following is a proposal for the use of machine tags for content related to Bucketworks. I’d love feedback from people familiar with machine tags, and people involved with Bucketworks.

The idea behind machine tags is adding a sort of namespace and hierarchy to a tagging system, and to assign it to a specific thing.

So for Yahoo’s Upcoming site (which lists events) PhotoCampMilwaukee had a tag like this:

  upcoming:event=1518729

These are used by Upcoming, which uses the Flickr API to gather photos for display on it’s site.

Now, we can assume that every event at Bucketworks would have a unique ID number, and use something like this:

  bucketworks:event=47264

This number could come from Drupal, CivicCRM, SalesForce, whatever… Just needs to be unique, and referenceable.

Now, we can see the same thing with users… on Flickr, if I see that Gabe is in a photo, I could use the tag:

  flickr:user=heygabe

where “flickr” represents Flickr, “user” is the thing we are specifying, and “heygabe” (his username on Flickr) is the value.

So… extended to Bucketworks, if Gabe’s username there is “gwollenburg” we might use:

  bucketworks:member=gwollenburg

Hmmm, maybe Gabe is not a member… and lots of people who come to events at Bucketworks might not be members (yet!) so maybe it is better to use “person” (but then, “user” could be the proper term as well, as the people are “users” of Bucketworks, right?)

  bucketworks:person=gwollenburg

Obviously every person needs a unique (to the Bucketworks network) username we can reference them with. (Note that I used Gabe’s Yammer username “gwollenburg” and not his bucketworks.org username: “heygabe”. (Is there also a username in SalesForce? It would be nice if there was a way to cross-reference all of them, though really, we want the most publically used one, so they are easy to determine.)

Jenn asked about tagging photos at Bucketworks with the room names, so we might use:

  bucketworks:space=greenhouse
  bucketworks:space=flowspace
  bucketworks:space=playspace
  bucketworks:space=cafe
  bucketworks:space=chromatarium
  bucketworks:space=parkinglot
  bucketworks:space=loadingdock
  bucketworks:space=sidewalk
  bucketworks:space=roof
  bucketworks:space=outside

Here are photos on Flickr with the tag bucketworks:space=playspace

(I went with “space” rather than “room” because I think it’s open to a wider interpretation, and luckily, Bucketworks seems to agree…)

(Are you thinking about geotags yet? They are another form of machine tags, and we should be using the coords for Bucketworks as well…)

The thing about machine tags is that you don’t so much just “come up with them” as they are defined by some entity, and then presented, and (hopefully) used.

So, if we did come up with a bunch of these, we would need to make them public, promote the use of them, show why you would use them (what cool things could be done, like, a slideshow with all photos from an event at Bucketworks) and having tools that make these things valuable would also be good…

What’s that? This reminds you of RDF, well, that’s okay :)

See Also: http://www.flickr.com/groups/api/discuss/72157594497877875/ and http://tagaholic.me/2009/03/26/what-are-machine-tags.html

Thoughts?

6 Responses to “Machine Tags for Bucketworks”

  1. Mr. GNo Gravatar says:

    I’m not very good with meta data, so I might be the wrong person to consider this. There has to be a ubiquitous way for me to use those machine tags or I’m not going to use them. Is there a way for Bucketworks to own the implementation?
    I see two ways of making this work, and both probably requre some kind of a software intervention, really.

    1. Could a program suck down the “Bucketworks” tag from Flickr and spit out relevent machine tags using Flickr’s API?

    2. Is there a way to make the syntax easier for remembering machine tags using Greasemonkey. Bucketworks could distribute a script that lets you right click on a Bucketworks Tagged image and add relevent machine tags, that maybe it grabs from a bucketworks server?

    So, I right click on a picture of James in the flowspace. And choose:
    Bucketworks Tag –> Person –> James.
    Then I right click again on the same picture and choose:
    Bucketworks Tag –> Space –> Flowspace. I would totally do this occasionally if such a greasemonkey script were distributed.

  2. Dear Gabe, yes… tools are the key to people actually using these, and yes, I am first looking at Greasemonkey, though there could be some other options through the Flickr API.

    Also, if the tools make it easy enough, I will do it to your photos so you don’t have to. (Or, someone at Bucketworks could do it if it creates value for them.)

  3. I think this is a great idea, and made possible, I think, only if we have something programmatically generate the tags, so we don’t have to think about it. The big challenge is how to get people to use long tags like that–maybe I missed something, but the concept of having to type ‘bucketworks:space=outside’ every time I tag a photo might pose a problem for some users, who just won’t bother. Is there an additional way to associate these tags with the content that doesn’t require data entry, something like a ‘tag wallet’ that I can use for a specific event easily?

  4. James… this is where I see Greasemonkey or another tool coming in.

    The thing about all of these ideas is, you have to start somewhere, and if the ideas are good, the tools will follow, therefore making it easier for everyone to use.

    At least that’s been my internet experience for the past decade…

  5. TatumNo Gravatar says:

    How do you play kidpix.

  6. Tatum, I usually play KidPix by finding an old Mac that has it installed and then launching it.

    Which has nothing at all to do with Machine Tags for Bucketworks…

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