05 March 2005

Technorati Related Tags: Want another way to find similar tag names?

Technorati has related tags, they're like a thesaurus.

Interestingly, not all the Technorati related tags cross-back and forth. This is to say that if you look at the ajax related tags, you'll see one for PHP, which does not list ajax as a related tag.

A solution

One thing to do is to look at the del.icio.us visual map of the same term.

The next step is to take the words off the del.icio.us map, and plug those into the Technorati tag-search.

Let's try one. Look at both lists again: Technorati and the visual tag browser. Open up both so you can see the list on Technorati; now look for a word that does not appear on both lists.
Tip Use the horizontal scroll bar on the visual tag browser, so you can make the diagram smaller or larger.
Notice "javascript" [from the visual browser; related to "XML"] does not appear on the list of related Technorati tags for XML.

Now do the same for Javascript in Technorati tags: See how both the visual map and Technorati do not overlap? Not all the words on both lists complement each other or match.

Something to think about when you're doing your naming conventions: The same words "relates" differently in the different platforms.

What does this mean

It means that the naming conventions between two different communities [Technorati, and del.icio.us] are starting to diverge. With time, both communities should be expected to develop slightly different "similar" lists.

This is interesting to watch. It shows how "the same web community" can segregate itself and make subtle nuances. Kind of like how languages develop, and DNA and evolution can occur in biology.

It remains to be seen whether the tagging platforms develop systems that can cross-back and forth to ensure the terms are consistent, regardless the community. Perhaps this is something the FeedMesh might want to look into.

Back to the tags

Something else that is interesting to do is look how different feeds report tags. Let's take a look at the visual map for XML.

We're going to have to pretend here. Do this: Make the visual map small. Go up to the horizontal bar, shrink it down to take up 50% of your window.

Now move that XML-cluster to the left -hand side. You should have a big open space.

Imagine that XML-cluster is related to one-feed; and the open-space corresponds to a second feed-cluster. In this case, let's take a look at some words in the related list.

Imagine that on the right hand side of the visual cluster there is a second visual cluster for the second feed, but it is using the Technorati-related-tag-list.

Bridge Concept

What would be nice is to see a third-bridge or cluster between the two sets of lists. This would be our third-feed. It is called the bridge feed. It is new data from both unrelated lists, but the bridge feed is then created to search into a third platform like BlogDigger.

The user then has injected into the aggregator this bridge feed, which will search for content from either source, but it is a single feed that returns content. To read more about the XML Search Bridge, go to where it was originally raised. [Also, you can see the Technorati Search; or jump to the blog.]

To discuss this bridge concept more, use this tag

Updates: Added direct link to previous blog discussing, "XML Search Bridge."
Technorati has related tags, they're like a thesaurus.

Interestingly, not all the Technorati related tags cross-back and forth. This is to say that if you look at the ajax related tags, you'll see one for PHP, which does not list ajax as a related tag.

A solution

One thing to do is to look at the del.icio.us visual map of the same term.

The next step is to take the words off the del.icio.us map, and plug those into the Technorati tag-search.

Let's try one. Look at both lists again: Technorati and the visual tag browser. Open up both so you can see the list on Technorati; now look for a word that does not appear on both lists.
Tip Use the horizontal scroll bar on the visual tag browser, so you can make the diagram smaller or larger.
Notice "javascript" [from the visual browser; related to "XML"] does not appear on the list of related Technorati tags for XML.

Now do the same for Javascript in Technorati tags: See how both the visual map and Technorati do not overlap? Not all the words on both lists complement each other or match.

Something to think about when you're doing your naming conventions: The same words "relates" differently in the different platforms.

What does this mean

It means that the naming conventions between two different communities [Technorati, and del.icio.us] are starting to diverge. With time, both communities should be expected to develop slightly different "similar" lists.

This is interesting to watch. It shows how "the same web community" can segregate itself and make subtle nuances. Kind of like how languages develop, and DNA and evolution can occur in biology.

It remains to be seen whether the tagging platforms develop systems that can cross-back and forth to ensure the terms are consistent, regardless the community. Perhaps this is something the FeedMesh might want to look into.

Back to the tags

Something else that is interesting to do is look how different feeds report tags. Let's take a look at the visual map for XML.

We're going to have to pretend here. Do this: Make the visual map small. Go up to the horizontal bar, shrink it down to take up 50% of your window.

Now move that XML-cluster to the left -hand side. You should have a big open space.

Imagine that XML-cluster is related to one-feed; and the open-space corresponds to a second feed-cluster. In this case, let's take a look at some words in the related list.

Imagine that on the right hand side of the visual cluster there is a second visual cluster for the second feed, but it is using the Technorati-related-tag-list.

Bridge Concept

What would be nice is to see a third-bridge or cluster between the two sets of lists. This would be our third-feed. It is called the bridge feed. It is new data from both unrelated lists, but the bridge feed is then created to search into a third platform like BlogDigger.

The user then has injected into the aggregator this bridge feed, which will search for content from either source, but it is a single feed that returns content. To read more about the XML Search Bridge, go to where it was originally raised. [Also, you can see the Technorati Search; or jump to the blog.]

To discuss this bridge concept more, use this tag

Updates: Added direct link to previous blog discussing, "XML Search Bridge."
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