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Re: [mb-experts] Clouds Don Redman Sat Aug 12 23:21:57 2006

On Tue, 28 Feb 2006 16:40:38 +0100, Steve Wyles wrote:

And this makes a moderation system obsolete.

Erm, no. It doesn't replace the moderation system. All it provides is various views upon the data, one of which *might* provide authoritive information. Look at the mess freedb is in, because different people want their album to look a particular way.

Yes it does make moderations obsolete if (and only if) you view clouds as *tags*.

Tags are not objective facts. They are subjective labels which get their validity from the fact that someone uses them. What last,fm and del.icio.us do, is to statistically analyse the subjective labels of thousands of users. The 'mean' of this statistical analysis is not 'objective' but gets it right most of the times, because it reflects the semantic concepts of the majority.

Tags are always something vague. I realise that Simon's original idea is not vague in this sense. He wants to construct a very specific clound that he calls "Mike Portnoy".

Now there are two ways to achieve this:

a) Have a voting system and let people debate and vote which elements belong to "Mike Portnoy" and which do not. At the end you will end up with a cloud based on the *oppinion* of the majority.

b) Just *use* tags. Let people tag all those things that belong to "Mike Portnoy", according to their *usage* (not *oppinion*, user A might just tag those albums that she owns). If you make a statistical aggregate of all these tags, you will end up with a could based on the *usage* of the majority.

My point is that while the second option cannot claim to be objective, it is as useful as the first one. In this context common useage is just as good as a criterion for validity as democratic vote. And it removes the need for voting, delaying changes to the db and all that stuff.


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