Tags VS Folders

OK, this is my next article following this one.

First I promised that I will write about "how human organize information" ,but now I feel that is too big a subject. (meaning: I'm lazy...)

So, instead of that, I thought I will write about "how we use computer to organize information."

Then I realized I have written about it months ago. ( Title: "File Management" )

Oh well, this time I will just "rewrite" that in a clearer way then.

OK, let's start.

Files in computer

We can think of File as a unit of information.
As every computer user should know, computer organizes files in folders.
Actually, this really comes from how we organize papers in the real world.

Look here for the comparison:

We didn't change the concept at all when we evolves from paper to paperless,
and it is quite sad because since we are on computer now, we can use a much better concept to organize information.

And so comes tag.

Tag - a natural way to organize information

This "tag" concept is generally the same as how brain organize information: by association.

Each thing that we remembered has a "tag" or "label" or "keyword" associated with it.

For example:

What do you think of when I say "father"?

I would think of "parent" , "warmth" , "male" ,and "money." This is my tags.

It is very likely that, if I play a guessing game, and someone says all of this keywords to me, I will probably think "father" is an answer.

In other words, tagging is a way to search for information. And this is fast, because it is the way our brain works.

Do you see now how "tag" is better than "file and folder" concept?

I'll give you another example:

You received a word document from your friend "John" last month, and stored it in some folders.
Now you want to find it, but you can't remember the name of the folder, and you for sure can't remember the name of the file ...

In folders world, you might have to look at each folder, one by one, till you find it.
In tags world, you just search by "John", and "last month (ex: april 2005.)"

To really understand what I'm saying
I strongly recommend you to see this demo. (it's 28 MBs, but you'll love it.)
the demo is about how we could organize picture and media files in a new way. watch it.

Screen caps of the demo:

OK, this is getting a little bit long, so I will end here. Next time... I don't know what I will write next, so keep watching this blog until then.



    Using tags for collecting information in our computer might be a next generation of paperless data. You’re right!! It's how our brains really do. But you know what, for me, I think that this idea makes me less of imaginations. Sometime there is no point to open the folder at all. I don’t care what label of that folder. I just want to open it. I just want to see what are inside of that folder. It may seem very weird to you but it was what actually happened to me. I like to see what I am not expected. Accidentally found means that I’m not even think about tags. Like my brain, to find unexpected things will bring my very deep down ideas come to life. I love the world that I can wander around not for searching but just for seeing... and enriching what inside my brain.

    But using tags for searching is a very great idea to me… I really love this method.

    About collecting information, can we use tags but still have some pointless searching? hee hee.

    Well, I really like your ideas. I like to see the world in different ways.

    Looking forward to read your next article.

    Replied to memashow::

    But don't you see that "tags" can also implement "folders"'s structure system?

    You can just add the tag to all of the files in that folder!

    Come to think of it, folder system is really a subset of tag system.

    On Friday, April 22, 2005 8:08:00 AM Anonymous said...

    Dear writer,
    I've read your blog and this is also interesting like the one before. Hope to read your next issue very soon. You're really genius guy.

    Dear writer,
    I've read your blog and this is also interesting like the one before. Hope to read your next issue very soon. You're really genius guy.

    Dear Mr. SimpleBlob

    I'm still waiting for your new article...