A cognitive analysis of tagging
Rashmi Sinha looks at several aspects of tagging. One point she makes is that a single item can have several tags – whereas “categories” suggests that you just have a single “label”.
She makes the point that digitally, incorrect categorisation can be problematical – as you have to reassign items when you decide that you made a poor choice.
From reading this, and my own experience of “categories” in WordPress, I think that I’m doing “tagging”, though trying to limit them as I might, were I categorising things. As such, there have been categories that I’ve decided weren’t right after all.
Sinha makes a comparison with Gmail (which I use for a mailing list & friends I have through that), saying
most systems assume that you are done with an item once you categorize it. It’s taken away from you. The brilliance of Gmail was to separate the tagging from the archiving.
She also points out:
In my opinion, tagging eliminates the decision – (choosing the right category), and takes away the analysis-paralysis stage for most people. (Note that some people might still freeze up in deciding between different tags, or figuring out ways to optimize future findability. These are valid concerns that tagging systems can address better than they do now).
I think that I need to rather quickly re-visit how I’m using “categories” here – and probably start moving more towards proper “tagging”