Ah, The News

I’ve been reading up a bit on tagging and differing opinions to see if there is any real reason to implement it on my sites. To be honest, it doesn’t make too much sense on any of them except for a revamp of Cinefuse where I’ve never liked any of the ways I’ve come up with classifying and typing items. All of them are functional, yet always lacking. An organic system like user-based tagging tied in with some form of pre-fab, “suggested” tags could work very, very well.
I find it interesting how it seems news websites are taking advantage of these types of systems, but it makes sense. They record so much data that I don’t care how intelligent your free text search is, it’s not going to find what you really want. In many ways, this seems to function well, such as on sites like BBC News where their related articles section is superb and I always find myself clicking through bits that are in there to discover more news. Obviously there must be some degree of human interaction with this system and I doubt it’s fully automated. But, without some kind of internal tagging scheme, there wouldn’t be anyway for them to find the related bits at the speed they need for a such a massive (and excellent) news publication.
Then, there are times when this doesn’t work. Ironically, one of these was yesterday on SF Gate where a related article for the headline, “Suspect Dies After Chase” was “Check Traffic”. Sure, this seems factually relevant, but at the same time ridiculously callous, self-serving, and just sorta off. My only guess is that there was some degree of automation which wasn’t really checked all that closely. And this isn’t the first time I’ve seen such oddities pop up on SF Gate. It’s funny that a site in London, such as BBC would have a better system than one in San Francisco, which is the navel and frontal lobes of the web. Such it is I suppose.