No, everything isn’t miscellaneous metacrap.

My title is a mash-up (look at me, using trendy tech terms!) of works by Cory Doctorow (author of “Metacrap“) and David Weinberger, (author of “Everything is Miscellaneous“) respectively. 

I mashed them up because Weinberger is doing a series of interviews, co-sponsored by Wired News and the Harvard Berkman Center for Internet and Society (of which Weinberger is a Research Fellow), and the first interview (which is also available as a podcast), features Doctorow and is pretty thought-provoking.

I confess, I haven’t read “Everything is Miscellaneous” yet, but, as soon as I get done with “Information Architecture for the World Wide Web,” I am on it.

 I confess, I’m still having some difficulty with Doctorow’s uses of the phrases “explicit metadata” and “implicit metadata.” Additionally, I’ve noticed, after seeing it brought up in “Information Architecture” that proponents of folksonomies as the new classification panacea tend to utilize the same two examples (Flickr and del.icio.us) over and over, and this article is no exception.

 However, there is one example that I can think of off the top of my head that marries folksonomies to the structured taxonomies prevalent in the library world: PennTags. Turns out, Weinberger has blogged about this too, and I share his view that:

Integrating tagging with the book catalogue (and therefore with the book taxonomy) instantaneously provides the best of both worlds: Structured browsing leads you to nodes with jumping off points into the connections made by others who are putting those nodes into various contexts, and tags lead you back into the structured world organized by experts in structure.

Is this a case of being able to have our librarian-cake (bibliographic control) and eating it too (letting the users tag at will)?

Something else to ponder. Great, like I needed one more thing. 🙂

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