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Flickr is a social bookmark manager. Instead of trying to manage your own bookmarks and browser history into folders and drowning in too much information, try instead. When you bookmark something, you can add a bit of free form text but most importantly add some free form tags. When you come to look at your list of bookmarks you can search and sort them by tag as well as by history. What makes it interesting is that groups everyone's bookmarks so you can see all the posts people have made with the same tags. Here's the stream of bookmarks tagged with Japan. And you can see other people who have tagged the same web page as you. There's lots of RSS feeds and other ways to cut the data and the system is open enough that there's a ton of helper apps appearing as well. See this for more. Soooo people can%u2019t stand it! - The Social Software Weblog -

So now instead of trying to build a brittle hierarchy that is always wrong like DMOZ or Yahoo, we're building a big connected tag space. So now apply it to photographs.Which is where Flickr comes in. Flickr makes it really easy to post your digital photos to the web. Just like when you post a photo, you can add free form text to describe it and free form tags to categorise it. Want to see a constant stream of photos tagged with "Japan"? just go to Again, there's an open API, lots of RSS and people are starting to build extensions.

Which brings us to Music. watches what you listen to via all the common PC based music players like Winamp and Windows Media Player. From this it builds a profile of what you like. And crucially you don't have to rate music or tag lots of songs, you just have to listen to music. Now it's got lots of profile information it can find people with similar tastes to you. And having found them, you can then listen to a radio station that selects tracks that have been listened to by people like you. You get the randomness of people's listening habits with the filter that overall theyre a good match to you. There's also the sort of things you'd expect of recommendations, links to Amazon, samples and a music library. And again there's an open API and RSS. Which means that didn't have to write all the plugins for all the music players, that got done by the community. And crucially and like the other two systems, you don't have to search through a fixed category hierarchy that doesn't make sense. The "Similar Artists" and "Similar People" lists are built by what people actually listen to, not some arbitrary label like "Downbeat Ambient".

What's common about all these systems is that on one level they answer a personal need. A better bookmark system. An easy way to post photos to the web. A music recommendation system with no effort. But because they aggregate social behaviour, they add value that wouldn't have been possible with just an individual's actions. And because they are open and explicit they're creating feedback loops that add more value. And the open APIs are leading to a community of developers enhancing and adding to the basic structures. [from: JB Ecademy]

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[ 28-Oct-04 10:10am ] [ , , ]