Social Tagging Affect Human Memory and Human Search

By | March 17, 2008

Very interesting article from ‘The blog of the Augmented Social Cognition Research Group at Palo Alto Research Center‘ about the effect of social tagging on memory.

[…]As reported in the paper, the results suggest that:

* In the type-to-tag condition, users appears to elaborate what they have just read, and re-encoded the knowledge with keywords that might be helpful for later use. This appears to help the free-recall task (a) above. In other words, users seem to end up with a top-down process and induces them to schematize what they have learned.

* While in the click2tag condition, users appears to re-read the passages to pick out keywords from the sentences, and this appears to help them in their recognition tasks (b) above. In other words, users seem to use a bottom-up process that simply picked out the most important keywords from the passage.[…]

They provide a small technical report to download.

While tagging affect memory it also affect research, it is interesting to note that the way we organize information in our memory will be used to find information in search engines. We are likely to use same keywords/tag to find information, our brain will also save the information using the same hierarchical patterns.

[…]Early adopters found that the automatic clustering of bookmarked URLs by their associated tags led to the discovery of other useful URLs on similar topics. (Shirky 2005) The number of sites utilising user tagging as a form of information organisation is increasing and tagging is beginning to be integrated into web sites with more traditional hierarchical organisational systems[…]

An increasing interest of tags is the description of content by human that could be used to help computers achieving semantic search on documents.

[…]Many user terms were found to be related to the author and intermediary terms but were not part of the formal thesaurus used by the intermediaries and, thus, not formally linked to the intermediary terms. In some cases this was due to faceting of terms for example ‘protein’ and ‘structures’ used separately in the tag lists where they were linked in the thesaurus or the use of abbreviations such as ‘PDB’ for ‘Databases, Protein’.[…]
This suggests that user tagging could provide additional access points to traditional controlled vocabularies and provide users with the associative classifications necessary to tie documents and articles to time and task relationships as well as other associations which are new and novel.[…]

I’m wondering if someone already saw a standardized description of social tagging and what you would expect to find in such a standardized format?

Tagging Practices on Research Oriented Social Bookmarking Sites
Remembrance of Things Tagged: How Tagging Affects Human Information Processing


0 Kudos

One thought on “Social Tagging Affect Human Memory and Human Search

  1. Pingback: Metah - A Web Technologist Adventure » Blog Archive » Why We Tag? Motivations for Annotation