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It's True: Yahoo Acquires del.icio.us

As first reported by TechCrunch and now echoing throughout the web, Yahoo! has purchases del.icio.us, the leader in social bookmarking. There's no word on how this will integrate with Yahoo's other services, but done right, it could be huge.

Yahoo has already purchased photo tagging site Flickr, and unveiled its own tagging platform MyWeb 2.0. With Amazon getting in on tagging, the momentum seems to be increasing in this area. While search technology is (hopefully) getting better at semantic analysis, these tagging sites may provide additional insight into words, meanings, and the sites that we browse.

I think of a "tag" as a semi-reliable label on an arbitratry grouping of objects. Semi-reliable because anyone can tag anything with any word they like, which introduces noise to the system. However, humans do noise filtering and disambiguation all the time using their brains and it seems inevitable that we will be modeling that activity to some extent, improving the search and retrieval of information. While systems today seem to make good suggestions, the addition of more and more layers of context might continue to improve the user experience and the value we get.

Could machines become intuitive? One of the most intuitive things we humans do is use language. We draw understandings and make new creations without knowing how we do it at the time; it's a fully intuitive process that occurs below conscious awareness. Can we model this process in such a way as to create analogs in information systems? If so, we have a growing corpus of text, and relationships between texts through hyperlinking and tagging.

While many think of Google as building the ultimate information system, we would be foolish to overlook Yahoo, quietly building an aresnal of highly-addictive social internet tools bound to tap into the intelligence of group activity which may emerge if the right mix of constraints and freedoms is implemented.

Posted on December 9, 2005 | Permalink | Tag this post with del.icio.us | This Post Now Lives Here


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I like it so far! I need to give it a more thorough test drive in the next few days to have a solid feel for it, but for now it should suffice to say that Blinklist seems to show off the personality of MindValley as far as I can gather from the MindValley site- one of the most engaging company sites I've ever seen.

With del.icio.us, we have a straightforward, early adopter tool that's simple but quite powerful. I need to run Blinklist through its paces, but it seems to have a more friendly, more thought-out feel. As with many web applications, the seemingly small things can really make a difference. For instance, I'm impressed by the thoughtful addition of the ability to invite your friends to join, and autosubscribing to their links.

Posted by: fuzzyfreaky | Feb 16, 2006 2:02:16 PM

Given your interest in this space, I thought you might like to check out www.blinklist.com. If you do, would love to hear your thoughts. Mike

Posted by: Mike | Jan 31, 2006 5:54:20 AM

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