PEW Redesign, and publication on tagging

I’ve blogged before about the PEW Internet and American Life project – it’s a fantastic resource, and anyone interested in the future of the web in the U.S. (which means anyone concerned about the future of the U.S.) ought to subscribe to their reports and publications.

The Pew Research Center, which is the parent organization of the IAL project, just launched a major redesign of their site. It looks great – nicely surfaces new research and specific findings while also giving a sense of the breadth of their concerns.

The IAL project itself released yesterday a new report on tagging: “Tagging Play: Forget Dewey and His Decimals, Internet Users Are Revolutionizing the Way We Classify Information – and Make Sense of It.

In addition to the standard reporting of survey results (“28% of Americans say they have tagged content like a photo, a news story, or a blog post”) and a solid overview of what tagging and folksonomies are all about, they also include an interview with David Weinberger, who discusses tagging and the Dewey decimal system in his (forthcoming) Everything is Miscellaneous.

My favorite moment of the interview:

Q: Does tagging create problems?

Weinberger: What doesn’t?

Well said, indeed.

The university library where I did my PhD was for the most part on the Library of Congress system rather than Dewey Decimal, so I spent a lot of time in the PS3500-PS3549 area rather than the 810s (though they did have the old section on the 4th floor where Dewey reigned) but the contrast between taxonomy and folksonomy works well regardless of your frame of reference.