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Tagging and Stumbling Around

I’m glad I read Communal Categorization: The Folksonomy (Sturtz) before I started working with tagging—even though it says a complete set of tags is one or two keywords (1). It was my understanding that you shouldn’t limit it yourself, but rather use as many as you think you need (Zalenka, 124).

One of Sturtz’s comments that I found interesting was “A major benefit of the folksonomy is beginning with a blank slate on which the structure of a content space can be allowed to develop through use until patterns emerge (Haverty, 2002). Once those patterns have emerged, methods are needed to formalize those structures and form them into solidified supports for the content they describe? (5). I found that when I began using del.icio.us to move my own bookmarks online, I would see what words others had used, and I would frequently use the same words, so while there is no formal structure for tagging, there is some structure. I started working on tagging the NYTimes and it’s kind of amazing where all the links are leading me.

What I really like about Connect! is that it’s almost like an interactive book. I’ve been taking notes while I read so when I hop online I can check out what Zalenka is talking about. On Wednesday morning, I tried StumbleUpon (Zalenka, 115), and surprisingly, I was able to download it onto my work computer. Who knew that the Jackson Pollack site was interactive and that Halliburton was charged with selling nuclear technologies to Iran (http://www.projectcensored.org/censored_2007/index.htm). I like this; it’s fun and I now have a new recipe for cheesy bread that looks delicious (and it has been del.icio.us’d as a personal bookmark). But if I’m not careful, I think the entire afternoon could have been taken up by stumbling around.

I also plan on trying out a RSS and a notebook application. And once I’m unemployed, I think I’ll try setting up a custom search engine for job searches.

Ideagoras (Wikinomics, 98) are an interesting idea, but I can’t help but think of the existing R&D people within a corporation. I’m sure I’m putting too much thought into this and it is probably because of my current job situation, but do you think they are told that they’ve failed and the company is going outside of their group? Or maybe they aren’t even told and then one day, voila, the solution arrives. Or maybe they suggest it? I don’t know, but I think it might make one worried about job security, which I realize there is no such thing. Ok, enough ranting about jobs and employers…my baggage.

I was happy to see that on page 118, Tapscott doesn’t believe that all R&D should be outsourced. “Companies that invent get an opportunity to shape the future.? Not only do they shape the future, they make their own future. If you don’t own your ideas and are just making another company’s product, then you’re just a manufacturer. Or on the flip side, like the Dell/HP example, Dell isn’t the manufacturer, but just slaps their name on a (potentially) inferior product. I like the idea of a company using “its internal projects and competencies, and …the external marketplace to leverage new IP and capabilities? (123). Very smart.

Comments

Michelle, I totally agree with your post in regards to existing R&D people within an organization. People now days don't really have a sense of job security already. Ideagoras in a way would even make it worse. I agreed with Tapscott in that not all R&D employees should be outsourced. There is a need for companies to still invent to make their own name for themselves, otherwise you really are just a manufacturer.

Hi Michelle, when I read what you wrote: "I found that when I began using del.icio.us to move my own bookmarks online, I would see what words others had used, and I would frequently use the same words, so while there is no formal structure for tagging, there is some structure."--I was looking back at when I was tagging in del.icio.us this week. I really like how when we added words in the tag line and we could tell if the words have been used before because it highlights the previously used words. It was definitely helpful.

I remember you had mentioned about your job situation during the first week of class and you have brought it up again. Whatever happens, I really hope it turns out well. You wrote, "I can’t help but think of the existing R&D people within a corporation. I’m sure I’m putting too much thought into this and it is probably because of my current job situation." You put as much thought into it as you want, Michelle. I totally understand your situation. I've been through two restructurings within the same company within a span of 1-2 years; that was at my last job. Yesterday, it was announced that a co-worker accepted another position within the company; however, it was also announced that her now-vacant position will not be filled and her responsibilities will be divided among us that remain. I guess where I work right now, they are trying to cut cost due to the not-so-great economy. I really hope the economy goes up! In addition, other job responsibilities among other colleagues are being shifted and re-organized. So, I'm going through another restructuring--this one is minor though. Whew, three restructurings within a span of 2-3 years. That's heavy duty. I could tell you so much more about my eventful past few years ... and they are very eventful. Anwyays, if you every want to talk ... I wish all the best for you.

Hoang-Uyen, Thanks for your comments, I appreciate it. Sounds like you are going to have added job duties. Hope you get the paycheck to match.

I should find out this week whether or not I have a job. I have to admit that I really hope I don't. They have handled this entire process so poorly that I am fed up with the company and am ready to go. This is my third layoff since 2000--at one job I had a 6 month notice (and got a nice retention bonus), at another I got a same day notice (the band-aid removal method), but never before has it been "we're going to rank everyone and then we will let you know." Going to work seems utterly pointless...I'm just glad I'm taking two classes. Thanks to homework it's not a complete waste of time.