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This is your mind on media.

Musings on the effects of media on cognition.

Trusted Searching

There are an awful lot of folks who seem to think that tagging is the next big thing and that it is going to increase the effeciency of the web to a large degree. But I find myself agreeing with Mark Glaser over at topix.net who argues that tagging has yet to find a way around the eventual problem of spamming. I don’t think tagging has inherent in it a solution to spam, either, but I do think that combined with “white lists” of fellow taggers in Friendster-fashion could create a kind of trusted search that uses human brains to keep the spammers locked out. Something like trusted search should be able to be employed with Googl, using it to search specific del.icio.us archives. By typing the search terms “whatever site:http://del.icio.us/ruzel” into Google I should only get search results from my del.icio.us archive (although this actually doesn’t seem to work, it technically should). Further, I’m not sure if Google allows for multiple site searches (I tried it and it doesn’t seem to work either) but theoretically I should be able to say, search my archives and the following people I know and trust for X. Of course del.icio.us already has its own search down pretty good but it doesn’t have the friendster-link capability that I’m describing here. What del.icio.us really needs to offer is the ability to cluster taggers and allow those sets of bookmarks to be searched. Like-minded taggers are not only likely to re-enforce each others’ findings but I would argue that they also are likely to be using similar tags. In fact, I wonder if once such clusters started to evolve, they wouldn’t purposely try to “align their tagging”.

Update: I recently discovered Raw Sugar and the fact that they may soon allow for this kind of “trusted search”

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