Findability with tags: Facets, clusters, and pivot browsing

For a while I have been thinking of different ways of supporting finding information with tags that go beyond tag-clouds. There are three trends that are worth pointing out.

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Faceted Browsing Metaphor
The first is faceted browse interfaces. A good example of such an interface is wine.com. You can start browsing by picking any of the facets (price, region, type). For example, you might start by looking at wines from a particular region. Next, you decide to view by price. If you don’t like that option, you can change the facet, and start looking by type. You are in control every step of the way. In many ways, this could be the holy grail for tagging systems.

The metaphor that comes to mind for faceted browse is that of driving a car. You are in control, you decide when to turn right, or when to turn left, when to stop.

There are several different ways of going from tags to facets. RawSugar, Siderean (fac.etiou.us), and mefeedia.com are different ways of going from tags to facets.

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Speaking at the Webvisions conference about “Designing for Social Sharing”

Heading to Portland tomorrow to give a talk at Webvisions. I really like Portland and have been saving up my book buying for a trip to Powells. I will be giving a talk on Social Sharing. Its about social media, emergent information architecture, networks, wisdom of crowds and tagging. Its inspired by some work that we have done with web video and other media sharing recently. Below is the abstract. I will “share” the slides for the talk after the event (I always work on my slides till the last moment!).

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