Workshop on Social Tagging


15 feb 2006
16 feb 2006

Mediamatic presented a 2-day workshop on social tagging, or MOBTAGGING. Mobtagging is what happens when users freely apply and exchange labels (metadata) to online information.


Workshop on Social Tagging at Mediamatic - Photo by Bananeman, taken from Flickr


This non-hierarchical method of structuring information is rapidly spreading over the web, with, and Technorati as most famous examples. It gives users the possibility to specify, index and search information on their own terms.

During this workshop we analyzed the inner workings and the social effects of mobtagging. How is social tagging changing the structure of (online) information, and our relation to it? For which user groups and what type of information is Mobtagging rewarding? What roles does Mobtagging play next to more traditional ways of indexing information?

This workshop was designed for bloggers, webmasters, artists and theorists; people with a practical as well as a theoretical interest in Mobtagging. Four cutting-edge speakers (see below) introduced various concepts and practices of social tagging, and assisted the participants with the (re)design and evaluation of their own mobtagging scenario's or applications.

The Speakers

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 weblog she frequently writes about relationships between web resources and adding webstructures. She invented the idea (and software) of the ThingLink, a unique identifier that works as a link between things.

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.

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.

Timo Arnall(Norway)
Oslo-based designer and teacher Timo Arnall focuses on
practices around ubiquitous computing in urban space, and continously keeps an eye out for potential interactions with objects and city spaces through mobile devices. His former research on flyposting and stickering in public space sought design strategies for combining physical marking and digital spatial annotation. He will touch upon the practice of applying metadata to physical objects, for instance through RFID.