Tagging Infrastructure

If you don’t have a tagging meta-structure on your core resources, implement one now. Tagging has to be the simplest, easiest, most search-able-iest approach to putting a structure to your otherwise slapdash bundle of data. Pretend you are 13, lets play a game straight out of Dorky and Thirteen:

* Do you want to organize your data?
* Would you like to easily find interesting elements of your data?
* Do you think having a structure to your data is pretty kickin’ rad?

Well, buddy, if you answered ‘yes’ to all three of the above questions and you *haven’t* implemented a tagging system in your data, what the hell is wrong with you?!

See, wasn’t that fun?

Show Me the Tagging!

Now that you are clearly convinced that including some form of tagging is the best thing ever, how about a simple example? Take a simple collection of data as such:

{
  "uri":"/a_thing/12",
  "title":"Wonderful Stuff in Here, Man!",
  "picture":"https://superstuff.com/amazing/img.jpg",
  "body": <<best stuff since sliced bread for 54k of characters>>
}

Well, that was great. Apparently this is the coolest resource ever, but we won’t know unless we read through the 54k of body. Sure, we could do it if we wanted to search that monstrosity, but what would happen if we added tags?

{
  "uri":"/a_thing/12",
  "title":"Wonderful Stuff in Here, Man!",
  "picture":"https://superstuff.com/amazing/img.jpg",
  "body": <<best stuff since sliced bread for 54k of characters>>,
  "tags": [
    "NSA",
    "Aliens",
    "Osama Bin Laden",
    "Applebee's",
    "Secret Government Takeover",
    "Breaking Bad"
  ]
}

Now that’s more like it! We know it involves a person, a couple organizations, terrible food, and one of my favorite television shows. We could render this data, we could search for this data with query params, we could cluster the data. A user could add their own tag without changing the actual content of the body. There’s a lot to do with tagging. I’ll leave some up to wikipedia to talk about tagging and folksonomies.

Bring Out Your Tags

Generate your own? Sure. Have someone do it for you, now that is even better.

Some DIY libraries to give you a leg up…

https://github.com/apresta/tagger
https://pypi.python.org/pypi/topia.termextract

3rd party tools to do some heavy lifting…

www.opencalais.com
http://developer.yahoo.com/contentanalysis
www.alchemyapi.com

Lastly, sources of data to build a folksonomy off of…

http://dbpedia.org/About
www.freebase.com
musicbrainz.org

Written by mackay on November 14, 2013 Categories: API Tags: , , ,
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