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Flying Pigs, Iron Balloons, and Top Down Tagging

I love tagging and still persist in vain hopes that I can encourage others to do some shared tagging, but feel lucky if I can get a handful of people to use a single tag. I am regularly tagging web sites in delicious with tags destined to be repurposed on at least 10 different web sites, and am starting to wonder what my cranial capacity is to remember what topics I am tagging for.

How it works!
Creative Commons License photo credit: Steve Roe

So its with some irony I saw some tagging “instructions” for a flickr group. I’ll likely lose my membership for posting this, but small beans. I liked the concept of this Project NetPop group — to “depict how the internet is changing life around you… Post pictures to show the impact of the Internet and technology on your life and the world around you.” In fact I was noodling about a blog post asking folks to share their stories of Good Things that have happened solely through the connected nature of this web thing.

I was invited to drop photos in this group but was floored at the tagging instructions:

Tagging is important! Here’s what we ask:

1. NETPOP: You agree to assign the tag “Netpop” to all the photos you add to this group.

2. LOCATION: You agree to tag all the photos you add to this group with the location where it was taken (if appropriate):

a. City
b. State
c. Country

3. CATEGORIES: You also agree to use any of the other tags, if applicable, listed in the library that is covered in the “USE THESE TAGS…” discussion.

4. SEGMENT: If you take the survey at and find out which segment you belong to, add the segment name to your tags.

Have fun!

Moderators agree to review tags and categorize pictures according to the Project Netpop tag rules.

Have fun? As if I am free form tagging I am going to remember all of this? Do I have to tag my mood, the room temperature, my cartesian coordinates, what I ate for lunch?

Top down tagging seems to me a pipe dream; consider your self lucky if you can get a group to remember to use one tag.

But then again, what do I know?

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An early 90s builder of web stuff and blogging Alan Levine barks at on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person. And he is 100% into the Fediverse (or tells himself so) Tooting as


  1. Alan,

    Thanks for your interest in the group, and your comments about the rules. We hear your pain, and don’t want the tagging instructions to be burdensome. The only tag we ask that you use consistently is Netpop. The others are only suggestions for structure. We highlight the Project Netpop group via a Flickr badge on and the additional structure is helpful.

    You won’t be asked to leave, ever. But, the group moderators may add additional tags to the pictures posted to the group.

    Thanks again!

  2. Alan, you would like us “folks to share their stories of Good Things that have happened solely through the connected nature of this web thing.” Well, I have a couple lined up already. Where would you like me to post ’em and the tag? I’m keen. I await your noodled post.
    Cheers, John

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