Workshop Archive

Mobtagging Workshop - Mass Controlled Metadata

15 | 16 February 2006

15 Feb 2006
16 Feb 2006

Mediamatic presents a 2-day workshop on social tagging, or Mobtagging. Mobtagging is what happens when groups of users freely apply and exchange labels (metadata) to online information. It allows web users to specify, index, search and share information on their own terms.


Bea Correa's popular tags - Bea Correa

This practice became popular at sites like Flickr, and Technorati and is developing into an important alternative to centrally organized information structures on the web.

Mobtagging the online world

Recently, several popular websites and online communities start offering tagging services to their users. Weblogs, URL’s, photo’s and video’s are already tagged intensively. Mobtagging proves to be an easy and flexible way of adapting information to continuously changing needs and questions. Because of the absence of a central, topdown-structured administration, the user gets to decide how his/her contribution is specified and categorized. Consequently, the information is structured according to the user’s own interests and focus points. By making online information more personal and exchangeable, a database emerges that lacks a dominant hierarchy of terms and subcategories. The threat, on the other hand, is that the practice of tagging tends to turn a large network of information into a chaotic pool of metadata.

Workshop approach

In this workshop we will analyse the inner workings and the social effects of mobtagging, and look into the changing relation between users and online information.
We will discuss the self cleaning capabilities of user-tagged environments, the emergence of collective intelligence, and we'll look into the technical side of making to make existing communities ‘taggable’.
Four cutting-edge speakers introduce various concepts and practices of social tagging, and will assist the workshop participants with the (re)design and evaluation of their own Mobtagging scenario or application.


Jyri Engeström (Finland)
As a PhD student at the Department of Organisation, Work & Technology at the Lancaster University Management School, Jyri is interested in the relationship between technical innovation and organizational transformation. He also is co-founder of Aula, a collective of creative minds who design and use mobile media to flock and blog, socialize and collaborate in geographic and virtual places simultaneously.

Andy Smith (USA)
Andy is a social software developer who is currently working on a beta version of Flock - a free, open source web browser with integrated tools for blogging, publishing and sharing purposes. During the workshop Flock will be used as a tool for experimenting with mobtagging.

Duncan Speakman (UK)
Duncan is a sound and video artist, and initiator of the first European videoblogging conference. He will zoom in on social tagging as the main structuring principle of video blogs.

Ulla-Maaria Mutanen (Finland)
Ulla-Maaria currently studies the interface between industrial design and engineering at the Center for Activity Theory and Developmental Work Research in Helsinki. On her blog she frequently comments on ways to describe relationships between web resources and adding structure to web documents, and came up with the idea of Thinglinks: unique identifier that function as a link between things.

Target group

This workshop is aimed at bloggers, webmasters of online communities, media artists and theorists who are interested in the possibilities of mobtagging. The participants get to (re)design and evaluate their own scenario/application.


Reader for Mobtagging DisCourse
Mobtagging DisCourse Report
Mobtagging at 11