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"Tag" metaphor

From: ben syverson <w3@likn.org>
Date: Wed, 23 Mar 2005 10:20:47 -0600
Message-Id: <acd836e9f67a8d58e1c59905c271e1e3@likn.org>
To: semantic-web@w3.org

Hello all,

With the recent tag ontology RFC and official announcement of 
"tagtriples," what are people's thoughts as to how tags fit into the 
goals of the Semantic Web? When I follow the "tag" metaphor, I think of 
a tiny bit of shorthand information temporarily elastic-banded to 
something else. The tag often has meaning in its specific context; in a 
furniture warehouse, a tag with four letters might be an inventory 
code. Yet a nearly identical furniture warehouse just across town might 
use a different annotation to mean the same thing. Furthermore, the 
four letters might have a separate meaning to someone else (such as if 
they spell out "DUCK"). Who do you trust? The majority? How is this the 
tag metaphor something to aspire to?

	Tags seem very interesting for organizing bookmarks and grouping 
photos, but will you ever be able to carry out any inference with them? 
Because the tags themselves are ambiguous, you wind up with all the old 
problems of distinguishing "python" from "Python," etc. Add to that the 
issue of millions of users creating tags, and you have a nightmare of 
overlap and duplication. What can be done with the triple "Becca plays 
JazzFlute," by a non-human? The reasoner can then see that someone has 
said "JazzFlute type MusicalStyle," but someone else has said 
"JazzFlute is SceneInTheMovieAnchorman."
	The latter statement would be increasingly more likely if we were to 
stick to strict triples, as in tagtriples. How would you say "there is 
a scene in the movie Anchorman that depicts Jazz flute" without Bnodes?

I'm not trying to be contrary; I'm just curious, as a newbie, what the 
advocates of tags have in mind for them in a broad SW context.

- ben
Received on Wednesday, 23 March 2005 16:20:50 UTC

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