One way or another, it looks like distributed categorization is going to really take off, and soon. There’s just too much chatter going on about how to implement it for it not to happen pervasively.
Let’s start by summarizing the stuff that I’ve already posted on the topic:
- I quoted John Udell on how Flickr and de.licio.us use tight feedback loops to show users how their tagged item fits in with the universe of items that share the same tag
- I pointed out how Stephen Downes created a meme tracker using a method that Martin Terre Blanche refers to as “shibboleth.”
- I suggested that a meme-tracking system could be created in which URLs function as tags and a Bayesian filtering system could help identify overlaps in tagging systems.
This morning I found a slew of pages all sniffing around roughly the same idea space:
- Gunnar Langemark points to Carrick Mundell’s post on how he would love to have a plug-in for his blog that gathers “related posts” from other blogs besides his own.
- Langemark, while pointing to Carrick’s post, also refers to Drupal, an Open Source content management system with some blogging features. I’m not sure what he had in mind, but it might be the feature called “site cloud,” which appears to track similar sites. (I can’t give you the details because I got a “permission denied” error when I tried to look at the details page.)
- In the comments on Mundell’s post, a reader notes that something called “WayPath” does what the author is looking for in the Movable Type blogging system. I couldn’t verify this because, as of this writing, the WayPath site (http://www.waypath.com) appears to be down.
- Another comment on Mundell’s post points to a post on the Aquarionics blog about something the blogger calls “Threadnaught,” which has a more centralized model with something like a DMOZ categorization system where blogs could ping their categories via XML-RPC.
- The same Aquarionics post notes that Topic Exchange implements his idea, although “nobody uses it.” (I can see why; the implementation is horribly awkward.)
So there’s a lot going around this idea. It will be interesting to see what comes of it.