Saturday, September 15, 2007

Tag Bundling

The great thing about tagging is that gets around the contstraint of having to put a bookmark in just one "place." That is, the old way of bookmarking in both Internet Explorer and Netscape/Mozilla/Firefox required that we put bookmarks in a single place, a folder. Sure, we had the ability to organize hierarchically, but that didn't address the real cognitive behavior. It was a typical example of behavior constrained by technology. The fact is, when we save a bookmark we want to save it in bunch of "places" at once. More accurately, we want to associate a bookmark with multiple mnemonics. That increases our chances of recalling it. Sometimes I wonder if it is analagous how we store and retreive things in our brain (don't forget started out as a personal memory tool aptly named "memepool.") We don't have to know anything about brain structure in order to easily recall things. Does the brain store many paths in order to reach the same destination?

So, a friend asked me about bundling. Seems he had uploaded all of his bookmarks, apparently quite a lot, and we was concerned that he would be forced to labor through bundling them all. I tried to assure him that it wasn't necessarily important. But of course, it is so ingrained in our old behavior that it can be hard to understand how bundling isn't critical. I only use bundles to manage the UI. But in fact, sometimes bundles actually make it harder to locate a tag. You can always find a word in an alphabetical list. But what happens when you take it out of a universally understood ordering system and put it into some bundle that supposedly makes sense (made sense at one time anyway) and then you forget which bundle you but it in?! To get to a group of things in common I use tags and tag operators.

Everything I "know" about USAID is here:

All my links to USAID data are here:

No comments: