Thursday, April 14, 2005

Urban Mythology and Folksonomies

Some ideas are so obviously beautiful that you wonder why no one thought of it before or if in fact some one did and you just did not know. The walls of a city have so many stories to tell us that no tourist guidebook cares about. The [murmur] project gives them the voice they are missing.

In Toronto history is flagged with sign-posts carrying a phone number that cell phone users can call. They will hear real people tell stories about that place as they saw and knew it. You can hear this while you are passing by.

This is perhaps not the history that will go down it the text books blessed and sanitized by the establishment. It will be more a record of urban mythology helping people form intimate connections with places. Given the simplicity of the idea it could be widely adopted.

Somewhat unrelated but the idea of letting users tag web sites creating what Wired calls folksonomies is another way of breaking down the hegemonic "system" of classification and allow natural entropy to establish order over time.

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