Just when you think the world of information science and the web has gone to sleep, bored to tears with endless discussions about when the semantic web will pop up, along comes something fabulous.
Hard on the heels of last week’s fascinating #uksnow Twittering and the lovely animation of tweets across Britain as the snow rolled us over, this week we’re being over-run by Darwin200 tweets using a #darwin tag.
Naturally the great man himself is Tweeting from beyond the grave – if you’d like to follow him he’s @cdarwin, not surprisingly. I wonder if he’s got a netbook with dongle, an N96 or an iPhone? I don’t suppose there are many powersockets on The Beagle. Have a look at his homepage on Twitter: http://twitter.com/cdarwin
Please can someone now do a #darwin mashup map so we can find out where everything is? Over the next weeks and months a string of events are being held all over Britain. Check out http://www.darwin200.org/ . Disappointingly, while a few months ago there was a rudimentary RSS feed of D200 events, it doesn’t seem to be around any more. The D200 site seems really flat and web 1.0.
Thinking about Twitter tags, these user-tagged info clouds could be great low-tech, high-flexibility models for socially-driven information creation. I think it’s fascinating that within just a few weeks, people are making up their own tag taxonomies, placing them in a networked environment, and letting nature take it’s course. Kind of like Darwin, really.
What’s next? A simple, standardised list of artist names, eras, types? It’s not that complex, because what seems to be happening is that users quickly twig which is the most powerful or sticky #tag to use and then the memetic effect that seems to energise Twitter takes over, and the #tag goes everywhere.
Meanwhile, check out the latest #darwin tweets in my RSS feed box up there on the right of the Machine Culture homepage.