Pew’s latest report on tagging doesn’t offer much in the way of surprises: 28% of Internet users tag, 7% on a typical day. Things on the folksonomy front are definitely taking some root. But even here there is evidence of a divide: taggers with broadband outnumber those without almost 2:1, and the higher your income and the better your education, the more you tag. (Interesting, though, that the race/ethnicity with the highest percentage of taggers is black, followed by Hispanic. Wonder what that means…)
Worth a read as well is the interview about tagging with David Weinberger that comes with the report. A couple of pull quotes to whet your appetite:
Maybe the most interesting thing about tagging is that we now have millions and millions of people who are saying, in public, what they think pages and images are about. That’s crucial information that we can use to pull together new ideas and information across the endless sea we’ve created for ourselves.
We’ll also undoubtedly figure out how to intersect tags with social networks, so that the tags created by people we know and respect have more “weight” when we search for tagged items. In fact, by analyzing how various social groups use tags, we can do better at understanding how seemingly different worldviews map to one another.
The whole self-organization meme is really interesting me of late. It’s crucial that our kids get their brains around it in effective ways. This quote from Donald Tapscott’s book Wikinomics speaks to it as well:
We are shifting from closed and hierarchical workplaces with rigid employment relationships to increasingly self-organized, distributed, and collaborative human capital networks that draw knowledge and resources from inside and outside the firm (240).
I love the way that’s stated. Networked learning requires self-organization. I’m still constantly tweaking the way I tag and sort all of this information, and to be honest, I’m not sure I’m as effective as I could be. But it’s the process I learn from, and once again, the way I’m doing it now looks little like what’s happening in most classrooms I see…
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