Workshop Archive

Mobtagging DisCourse

25 | 26 August 2005

25 Aug 2005
26 Aug 2005

Mobtagging, also known as folksonomy or social tagging, is what happens when users freely apply and exchange labels (metadata) to online information. This practice could change the ways in which information is structured in a profound way. Mediamatic organizes in cooperation with Amsterdam New Media Institute a workshop on mobtagging.


Playing Flickr - Mediamatic exhibition, May 2005

There are a number of popular websites which use mobtagging already: In Flickr you can upload and tag photos, in Delicious it is URL’s that are being tagged. Also Technorati, a search engine which indexes more than 6 million weblogs, has started to offer a tagging service to its subscribers. On the Mediamatic Videoletters platform, a social environment for Ex-Yugoslavians, mobtagging is used to combine and structure contributions from its users.

Mobtagged information is structured by users according to their own interests and focus points. A dominant hierarchy of terms and subcategories does not exist. There is no central instance that dictates over terminology and object. The information-network emerges “bottom-up???.

Mobtagging is called “a revolution in the use of the web.??? The expectations are high: it makes information structures extremely flexible and easily adaptable to changing environments. Information is structured along similarities found by a large group of users. Thus each one can partake in other people’s intelligence.
But there are disadvantages too: different interests and backgrounds of users can easily produce a chaotic pool of metadata, which does not facilitate finding information.

Aim of the Workshop

The aim of the workshop is to find answers to a couple of questions:

- For what kind of information structures is mobtagging a more suitable indexing tool than a centralized administration?
- For which group of users can mobtagging be relevant?
- How could a mobtagging application be designed in order to strengthen the advantages and weaken the disadvantages?


The workshop will begin with the presentation of mobtagging environments by several speakers, who will also moderate the subsequent discussion. With some preliminary questions in mind, participants will experiment with pre-tagged information, which we provide. There will be enough space to discuss and evaluate own scenarios as well. Conclusions and ideas will be documented and published on the Mediamatic Website.

Target group

This workshop is designed for 10 to 16 experienced bloggers, webmasters and webdesigners, artists and theorists who are interested in the possibilities of mobtagging.


EUR 275,- (excl. vat) per person. This includes lunch and material.

To register for this course, fill out the online form at the ANMI site.

To prepare for this workshop we offer an online reader