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Friday, September 08, 2006

Joshua Schracter Of del.icio.us

In the din about Digg founder’s prosperity, other heroes of the new generation web are slowly
James Surowiecki profiles del.icio.us founder Joshua Schachter upon his winning the 2006 Young Innovator Awards.

Schachter says he looked at bookmarking for two reasons: for future reread if one likes it or marking it for a future read when you do not have the time now. The question of managing them becomes more critical and by making memory scalable through usage of technology del.icio.us found a scalable solution. With volume usage, all those individual tags created a useful system for categorizing Web pages. On the surface, del.icio.us doesn't seem designed to do this, since each person makes his or her own tags, and there's no overarching authority to maintain order. But even with no one in charge, the product of all the individual decisions of del.icio.us's users is surprisingly well organized-and surprisingly intelligent. That is, if you do a search on del.icio.us for all the pages that are tagged with a particular word, you're likely to come up with a remarkably good and well rounded selection of related Web sources. In other words, although del.icio.us didn't need lots of users to be useful, once it had lots of users, it became valuable in an entirely new way. Almost accidentally, it became an excellent tool for making sense of the Web.

The real magic of folksonomies-and the reason sites like del.icio.us can create so much value with so little hired labor-is that they require no effort from users beyond their local work of tagging pages for themselves. It just happens that the by product of that work is a very useful system for organizing information. This distinguishes del.icio.us from other high-profile Web 2.0 sites like Wikipedia and Digg, which people contribute to without reaping any obvious personal benefit. No wonder that there wer so much indignation. In contrast del.icio.us always gets a clean image association.One would like to see how Yahoo effectively steers this powerful tool moving forward.

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