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334GovTrack Machine Tags

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  • Joe Germuska
    Jun 18, 2007
      Has there been any discussion of a machine tag convention for GovTrack "nodes"?  (see http://machinetags.org/ or http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Machine_tag )  If not, is there any interest?

      I could imagine a lot of value to the community of GovTrack users tagging del.icio.us bookmarks or whatnot with tags that could be linked back to specific bills.  For example, Senator Dick Durbin just emailed to to let me know that H.R. 2206 has become law.  I hadn't known about it, and there isn't any analysis in Congresspedia (how new is that? I hadn't noticed)...  I wasn't sure how to google my way to finding out more about the bill, but if there were a tag standard, it might help a little.


      I'm still not sure exactly how I feel about Machine Tags as a method, but I like what they aim to do.  They require enough effort that they may never catch on, but it may be a bit of a chicken/egg problem.  Finding good use cases for them could help build the momentum and motivate tools to make the tagging easier.

      One could easily choose a different prefix for bills (uscongress:bill=h110-2206) if 'govtrack' seemed to somehow box out other political services.

      One could also suggest a format for "people" tags, like govtrack:person=300038 (Dick Durbin)  Not sure if there is any usable unique ID that would make it more "shared" than govtrack.

      For people like Dick Durbin, the likelihood of users selecting the same tag intuitively is much higher than for tagging a bill.  There are 14 URLs tagged "dickdurbin" in Delicious, and 31 tagged "durbin".  Maybe people don't really want to tag things about him that much, although there are a lot more for the junior Senator from IL... 

      Joe Germuska
      Joe@... * http://blog.germuska.com    

      "I felt so good I told the leader how to follow."
      -- Sly Stone
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