Brain Dead Bloggers
John Dvorak, a PC Magazine editor, takes a swipe at bloggers in an article on the issue of “tagging.”*
Enter yet another more baffling attempt at tagging. This one is fascinating since it’s been gussied up with a new name, and for some unknown reason been given the blessing of a bunch of brain-dead bloggers. This is because a few of the favorite sites that the bloggers love have tacitly approved of the so-calledÃ¢€”get thisÃ¢€””folksonomy tags.” Oh, a new term! This one is a laugh riot, since there is nothing new here except the new name: Folksonomy. I mean even in HTML there was the “metatag.”
The influential bloggers should be defined here. These are people whom you’ve never heard of, but whom other influential A-list utopianist bloggers all know. I reckon there are about 500 of them. He (or she) influences other like-minded bloggers, creating a groupthink form of critical mass, just like atomic fission, as they bounce off each other with repetitive cross-links: trackback links, self-congratulatory links, confirmations, and praise-for-their-genius links. BOOM! You get a formidable explosionÃ¢€”an A-bomb of groupthink. You could get radiation sickness if you happen to be in the area. Except for Wired online and a few media bloggers, nobody is in the area, so nobody outside the groupthink community really cares about any of this. These explosions are generally self-contained and harmless to the environment.
The “folksonomy” notion is the bloggers’ last hope of invention, although it’s a rewrite of the prebubble “semantic Web” technology at best. And it too is doomed to failure. The utopianism and idealism that exist in the online societies ignore the real problem with tags, metatags, Ãƒ¼bertags, folksonomies, and the like. This is because they honestly think that most people are goodhearted. The online world, because of its anonymity, encourages bad behavior. “You suck!” is a common post, and it would be the number-one tag if tagging ever became popular. Then would come the tags about “Online Casino!” One site promoting folksonomies is the darling of the bloggers: Flickr.comÃ¢€”an excellent photo-sharing site where being in perpetual beta is a marketing tool. The same people who hate Java and Flash love Flickr, which epitomizes everything good and bad about Java and Flash. Okay, whatever.
Who, exactly, are these A-list bloggers who are promoting the “Folksonomy” tags? I’d never heard of it or seen reference to it on any of the dozens of blogs I read, including many A-listers. The Wikipedia entry on the subject says it originated in 2004 at something called Del.icio.us, which ain’t a blog. The only thing even related to blogs in the entry is Technorati.
Now, Technorati has been pushing the “tag” idea for a few months, and I’ve seen a bit of discussion of that on the blogs. It hasn’t exactly taken off, though. And, certainly, I can’t imagine too many A-list bloggers tagging “You suck!” and the like to their posts.
*I stumbled on it when reading the Spam Zomby article and thought it would be useful for some content management stuff I’m doing at the office. It wasn’t.