A rose by any other name might smell as sweet, but it would certainly be confusing to order online. Consistent naming is useful, but requires much effort to get right. In identity management, which I hadn’t thought of as closely related to taxonomies, Zooko has argued that names can be “secure, decentralized or human memorable…Read More What’s in a Name?
In “In the Classification Kingdom, Only the Fittest Survive,” Carol Kaesuk Yoon writes about the profusion of naming schemes for animals: Then there’s uBio, which has sidestepped the question of codes and regulations altogether and instead aims to record every single name ever used for any organism, scientific or common, correct or incorrect, down to…Read More A Profusion of Taxonomies
First, a very brief bit of terminology: A typography is a way to organize things, much like a taxonomy. Each item within a typography has clearly distinguishing characteristics, but there’s no hierarchy such as animal, vertebres, mammals, hominids, humans. To be honest, I’m not sure if this is a typography or just some categories. But…Read More A few Typographies of Bloggers
The categories I’ve set for this blog are non-functional. I have 16 categories, of which maybe 4 are ever exclusive. Do you look at my categorization of posts? Do you look at the category archives? Should I create a new set of categories? If so, what? (mmm, Choicepoint! Not.) Should I abandon categories and go…Read More My Categories Suck
Nude Cybot, in an email in which he promises to emerge soon, presumably to be exceptionally cold, mentions that folksonomies have hit Wired News. The Wired article points out that there are more “cat” (16,297) tagged images than “dog” (14,041) in Flickr. But the conclusion they draw from this, “If the photo-sharing site Flickr is…Read More A Few Ideas Connected by the Tag "Folksonomy"
I’ve just stumbled across this abstract comparing full-test searching to controlled vocabulary searching. The relevance to Clay’s posts on controlled vocabularies is that our intuitive belief that controlled vocabulary helps searching may be wrong. Unfortunately, the full paper is $30–perhaps someone with an academic library can comment. …In this paper, we focus on an experiment…Read More Folksonomies, Tested
In his latest post on folksonomies, Clay argues that we have no choice about moving to folksonomies, because of the economics. I’d like to tackle those economics a bit. (Some background: There was recently a fascinating exchange between Clay Shirky and Louis Rosenfeld on the subject of taxonomies versus “folksonomies,” lightwieght, uncontrolled terms that users…Read More Economics of Taxonomies
In “Metadata for the masses,” Peter Merholz presents an interesting idea, which is build a classification scheme from free-form data that users apply. He points to Flikr’s “Cameraphone” category, which would probably not exist if there was only a pull-down list. He also points up problems: Many categories for one thing (nyc, NewYork, NewYorkCity), one…Read More "Metadata for the masses"
The September 30th issue of the Economist points to an article in PLoS Biology by Hebert, et al, discussing a new technique for identifying species. The technique, which relies on mitochondirial genes for cytochrome c oxidase I (COI), which is a 648 pair gene.  This technique helps settle the question of “Is Astraptes fulgerator…Read More The Tree of Life, COI-ly