Yesterday I had another person comment to me that tags looked too like Meta keywords in html pages, and that we'd pretty much discarded those because they got spammed to death. So far with flickr and there's very little incentive to tag spam and so we haven't seen much of it. But the moment that money is involved you can bet that somebody will think it's clever to swamp a tag system with every keyword they can think of.

Imagine for a moment that Craigslist discards it's broken sucky category system and switches to a folksonomy. If I have an iPod to sell in London, it would make sense to me to add tags to my enry so that it appeared in every tag search a potential buyer might use. This will quickly degenerate in an escalating war of tag placement and destroy the folksonomy. So the list developer will have to put some feedback loops and limits in.

  • Maximum number of tags on a post. Well ok. But you could still do serious damage with 255 tags. So where's the limit?
  • Allow others to edit a posts tags. Won't this just stress the system as tag edit wars break out?
  • Allow others to add tags but give them less weight. Tricky to fine tune.
  • Combine with a reputation system that devalues people who tag spam. We're on a rising complexity curve here.
  • Administrator moderation. Adding a controlling human to the system is not going to work. We're back to librarians and site owner hate and it doesn't scale.

    What we need is some positive social feedback loops that denegrate bad tagging and reward good tagging. Ideas?

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    [ 01-Mar-05 8:48am ] [ , , ]