Monday, February 07, 2005

More on nptech

[This is a version of a comment I made on the Omidyar network]

The question at hand is: How can we use the nptech tagging project.

So here's my thoughts on the potential outputs/outcomes for this project:

  • A collection of bookmarks. As Emily's noted, this project has resulted in 400+ bookmarks. This can provide a basis for people delving into the topic of nonprofit technology.
  • A collection of interested users. From my standpoint, this is also interesting. Via the users, I've found weblogs and projects that I didn't know existed. It feels like, at a base level, the start and/or extension of a community.
  • Weigthed importance of links. This is very rough but the number of users who link to any given URL provide a "weight" for this URL. I'm reluctant to translate this directly to "importance" but it's a judge of reach, need, and interest.
  • A collection of words. This one requires more of a leap and I'm not sure if I'm making the right leap or explaining the jump very well. So, if we pull together all the words that different users used to tag a single link, we'll get an interesting collection of descriptive terms. Some of those words will have been used more than once. Those words become highlighted -- these are the words users (even if they are relatively geeky users) are using to describe a parrticular link. Begin to link those together and this can provide the hierarchy for the directory that Emily talked about. It can also begin to provide the basis of a nonprofit taxonomy.

The real question for me is about that last one. How realistic is that? Can a folksonomy be mined to begin a taxonomy? And what, exactly, are the uses of this taxonomy?

(in: folksonomy, nptech_about, nptech_outcomes)