Del.icio.us Patent Application Points to Calendars, Mapping, and Ads

In a social bookmark system like Delicious, tagging tends to be pretty free form, but it doesn’t have to be.

A new patent application from Yahoo! provides a slightly different look and feel for Del.icio.us. It covers many of the present day functionality of the site, but adds a different way of using tags that presently isn’t in use on the site.

The idea is to let people add some types of tags that can be easily used and understood by computer systems, and then possibly implemented into other types of applications.

For example, letting people tag pages with location information means that the system can then use that geographical information in maps, and mapping type applications. Including date and time information means that bookmarks can be integrated into calendars and timelines and other applications where time matters.

These “structured” tags add some possibilities by their association to formats (time, location, file type, etc) that hasn’t existed in Del.icio.us before. This kind of classification data also adds the possibility of presenting advertisements to the users of the social networking site.

The patent application also describes the present state of the social networking site:

Method and apparatus for tagging data
Invented by Joshua Schachter and Albert Wenger
Assigned to Yahoo
US Patent Application 20070124208
Published May 31, 2007
Filed: October 25, 2006

Abstract

A system is provided that permits the use of classification information that can be interpreted by a computer system.

To this end, a system and method may be provided for creating classification information that may be interpreted by a computer system. Such classification information may be associated with content, and permit a computer system to process the content based on the classification information.

In one example, classification information may be associated by a user, system, or process with a portion of content, and a computer system processes the content based on the classification information.

For instance, the classification information may cause content to be processed in a particular way, presented to a user by a particular application program, cause the content to be forwarded to a particular user, or otherwise influence how the content is handled.

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3 thoughts on “Del.icio.us Patent Application Points to Calendars, Mapping, and Ads”

  1. Interesting. It fits with Yahoo’s move toward the social space. This would help them connect some of those properties in new ways. I want to say I can see these tags also affecting how pages rank in the search engine, but I would think the free for all tags would work better for that.

    It’s interesting to think that you could bookmark some of your favorite seafood restaurants in your area and the next time I visit the area and want seafood Yahoo maps could make recommendations based on del.icio.us tags.

  2. The free for all tags might just have that effect.

    But one of the conclusions that I’ve seen from some of the Yahoo researchers on tags is that they are as commonly about the relationship between the tagger and the document as they are about the document itself. For example, a lot of people tag documents with “toread” meaning that they’ve tagged it, and will get back to it later. That, and some of the other uses for tagging that doesn’t describe the content of a thing being tagged are explored in this document:

    HT06, Tagging Paper, Taxonomy, Flickr, Academic Article, ToRead

    Those many reasons actually make a good argument for including this kind of structured tagging, along with free form tagging.

    And yes, there could be some pretty neat integration of applications based upon these structured tags. I’d love to see Yahoo pursue this some more.

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