Monday, May 09, 2005

Am I a tag spammer?

I use del.icio.us as a kludge to create my own categories on this blog. I write a post, figure out how I want to tag it, include the tags in the bottom of the post, and then, once it's published, I use del.icio.us to bookmark adding the tags that I've already decided upon.

I also use del.icio.us as a way to mark and share the URLs in which I'm interested. I use the nptech tag as a defined way of doing that. But I also republish the RSS feed (though a mechanism too convoluted to explain and much harder than it actually needs to be) in the right rail of my webpage. Effectively, this splices together the URLs in which I have interest and the postings on my own weblog.

While that's useful to me, it might not be useful to you.

In fact, some very informed opinions consider this kind of behavior tag spam.

If you look at del.icio.us as primarily a sharing tool -- a way to let others know about bookmarks in which you are interested -- then, yes, it is, in fact, spam. But if you look at del.icio.us as a mechanism for organizing your own data (no matter where that data actually lives) then it is not spam.

I tag plenty of non-me items words or phrases that are either opaque or, like @read only useful to me.

None of these uses -- deliberate sharing, self-organizing, or self-interested tags -- break the system which is the reason del.icio.us works so well.

But what do you think? Are any of those uses better than the others? What will lead to abuse? What will break the system?

(in: spam, tag)