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Re: [govtrack] GovTrack Machine Tags

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  • Joe Germuska
    Just to be clear ... Just for clarity s sake, let me point out that I m not talking at all about GovTrack allowing users to apply tags to GovTrack data. I
    Message 1 of 5 , Jun 19, 2007
      Just to be clear

      On 6/19/07, Bryan L. Fordham <bfordham@...> wrote:

      Personally, I love the idea of tagging, though not necessarily as
      something that would be on the front page. It's on my todo list at
      critter watch, though admittedly it's pretty far down the list.

      But yeah, there are a number of problems with it. And some good things.
      I think letting folks tag items, and other users can optionally view
      them (or perhaps view the most popular tags for some items) would be a
      fun experiment.

      Just for clarity's sake, let me point out that I'm not talking at all about GovTrack allowing users to apply tags to GovTrack data.  I don't have a very strong opinion about whether or not GovTrack should support that. 

      Take, for example S. 1348: A bill to provide for comprehensive immigration reform and for other purposes GovTrack already shows us ten blogs that have linked to the tracking page for that bill, using Technorati. 

      But not all sources will know to (or choose to) link to the GovTrack page.  What if I'm passionate about this issue and I find this article on MSNBC about the bill.  If I knew how to tag it reliably in Delicious, then Josh could set up another feed alongside the Technorati one which would pick up on my recognition that MSNBC was talking about S. 1348, even though MSNBC didn't link back to GovTrack, or even use the bill number in the article.  Of course, with the right convention, this is not limited to GovTrack by any means.  Political blogs of any persuasion could do the same thing.

      Now, maybe one of Josh's hesitations is the question about how many taggers in the field would make the correct links, and that's a valid question.  For blogs with more of an editorial position, I think the simple answer is to limit the number of users whose tags are even considered.  And maybe at the end of the day, GovTrack itself wouldn't want to make those choices and wouldn't want to accept a totally unfiltered tag feed (although the Delicious spammers would probably use a lot of other tags first before they start abusing wonky machine-oriented tags).  But since this is a list of people who are generally interested in applying technology to civics, I thought I'd float it...

      I hope the above example clarifies my point.  Should anyone be at all interested, I wrote a few things about this general topic that have drifted off the front page of my blog:


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

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