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SXSWConference: first two days

Time for me to start keeping up my end of the blog! It's morning, before the sessions, so we'll see how far I get before I have to get going. This may be posted in two or more parts. I'll also be posting our pictures and fun stuff later. There's a lot of interesting people to meet here and pretty much everyone is very open and friendly. The people here collect one another's business cards as if they were baseball cards!

Saturday Sessions
Beyond Folksonomies: Knitting Tag Clouds for Grandma
The interesting bits and points:

  • There are many articles that have been written about managing del.icio.us (none were specifically cited)
  • Really, users are best off when they can utilize BOTH taxonomies and folksonomies.
  • Interesting site Attention Trust tracks which pages on the Web you use the most.
  • Not that many people in the real world tag. It has to be almost effortless (or at least be integrated well enough into the things they already use) for people to be motivated enough to tag well enough to be useful to them.
  • People are less likely to tag things that they can search for with text, and more likely to tag things like video and pictures that they cannot search for as easily using words.
  • Interesting concept (and book, and session that we missed because it overlapped with a couple of others...but rumor is that there will be poscasts available of most of the sessions after the conference!): the Wisdom of Crowds. In th context of the session, this described decisions (e.g. tag or category choices) that you can gather from collecting and aggregating the response of a group of people instead of picking out a small sample of individuals or using just your own response. Generally, if you can get an authentic response from each of the people in the "crowd," it will be “wiseâ€? information, but if you get the expected or instilled response from the people, it's likely to be an unwise (i.e. "Group Think") response.
  • There are actually 40+ social bookmarking sites similar to del.icio.us (one mentioned was Shadows).
  • There was a lot of talk centering around how we need to make peoples' lives easier instead of trendier with new UI affordances because they won't be motivated the way we are about trying out the cool new thing on the Web.
  • Most people on the panel found the most useful thing in del.icio.us the fact that you could tap into the "attention stream" of someone else that seems to find many of the same things interesting as you do. You may have never met or interacted with that person, but you want to know what they are looking at because you have found that you are likely to also find those things interesting (an example is the fact that I've added a person's del.icio.us that I have never met before to my list of links because whenever I check back on it, he/she always has a bunch of new links I've never heard of that I think are really cool. I found the user's list because we had a page on "Sounds of the World's Animals" in common on our lists…interestingly enough, the person also seems to be a Web designer, though the page we originally had in common has nothing to do with Web design.).
  • One of the people on the panel has created a script that splits his Firefox into three panes whenever he does a search: a search of the pages he has bookmarked, a search of the pages he's visited recently, and a Google search of the Web.
  • Another use of things like del.icio.us is to find the word(s) that others are using to talk about a subject, for example, in a book or panel and realign your vocabulary with theirs.
  • Also, can use this info for word clusters... "did you mean 'java' as in the coffee, the programming language, or the island?"
  • other links mentioned: itags.net, Technorati, odeo, Last.FM

to be continued...