Clay Shirky, Stewart Butterfield, Joshua Schachter, Jimmy Wales
At the O’Reilly Emerging Technology Conference San Diego, California, 16 March 2005
Impressionistic transcript by Cory Doctorow [email protected]
Here is a section that sums it up:
Jimmy: Creating a large-scale category system, a small group of domain experts can’t even remotely compete with a large group of people. I wouldn’t even want to think of what it would cost to replicate the Wikipedia categories with paid labor.
Stewart: It’s a deep philosophical issue: Ontology is a controversial subject. The idea that it’s possible to cleave nature at the joints is controversial. Yes, there are countries, Uzbekistan is a country, but ask a physicist or a biologist and the categories are very fraught.
Joshua: The problem is that ontology doesn’t tie in with what my users are trying to do, like remembering something later. You tend not to be too broad nor too narrow, but rather try for a middle ground in your personal tags that serve as mnemonic aids. If you’re into insects, you might have BEETLES, MOSQUITOS, etc, but if you’re not into insects, you might just have INSECTS.