Tagging, commonly said, is a practice we use every day to help our brains to better remember and locate our memories.
Here is a classic situation :
You are unable to remember the name of someone you met 5 years ago…
However, stating the name of his employer, the place of your last meeting or the theme of the last evening you spent together, reactives a link to the memory of that famous name. Sometimes that path is longer and more difficult as you need to go through two or three keywords to get it. Sometimes you will not remember and you will apologise assuming your selective memory.
Thus, tagging is a method to improve your knowledge as well as its access, including the addition of tags on a a particular subject or object.
Let’s take the example of a famous imaginary evening. Following a meeting, you should have to remember a wide range of keywords. You are a well-known producer who has just come across that person whose name appears as evidence. “PAUL”! A short encounter that brings you to this personal thought (being in the “working” memory, going through the hippocampus to become “long-term” memory) which is likely to be lost in a mass of other incidents/meetings/thoughts.
Useful and useless informations…
“Project Opportunity in Paris, I did not come for nothing. On 27th October 2014, I have just met Paul, a tall stooped and dark haired guy who is exceptionally working at the Directors’ fortnight – I ran into him 5 years ago when his first film, about human rights, just came out. He was accompanied by a pretty red hair girl. Tonight, he promised he would send his next film script because he wanted me to become his producer. By the way, I have juste received his script by email, on my smartphone. Phew. Let’s see what it is about…”
The next-day memory
“I have to work on this document. It is a real opportunity. From Paul…? What is his name again?”
Timeless transmission to your colleagues
What is quite good is that you do not work on your own so that you decide to convert this single memory into a digitised content to be added on your sharing knowledge platform. You perfectly know that nowadays an email to 2 or 3 people is not enough anymore as there are so many potential or current projects. In addition, you like having an overall view and conversations around a document which enables you to increase your efficiency and excellence.
First action to be made: upload the script on the platform by adding the movie title and a short description by picking a few sentences in the synopsis .
Then, adding the name of the author in the metadata as well as the year of publication and if possible, any relative document (for instance, a link to his first film, already available in the platform).
All you need now is to tag in order to give more visibility to the project in the search engine and enhance the collective intelligence of your company; during this process, you will find out your own ability to classify and highlight hidden information in hundreds of pages. Indeed, you are more relevant than your super computer which does not have your experience, expertise and perspective !
Tagging simulation :
Try to imagine the related tags that should be applied on this picture
Difficult, isn’t it ? You’re obviously not the Movie Director…
Sector: Human Rights
Country: Cambodia (“I have already been there, that’s a shame Paul did not mention it”)
Theme: romance , landscapes, malnutrition (“neither the first nor the last film on this subject”)
Year: 1930 (“well, a classic old movie”), 2015 (year of production)
Status: prior, funding
Format: feature film, 4k, sequence shots, black-white
Event: Directors’ Fortnight , Cannes Film Festival
Leading figures : Isabelle Adjani (“right choice”)
15 tags to provide a long-term life and meaning to your document among thousands of others and make your platform be more intelligent and interactive. 5-8 tags could be enough, 30 would be rather complex. The act of tagging requires the ability to choose and to put in context. But for your brain, this strength seems obvious as it is used to do it continuously. This is evidenced by the fact you put aside tags like “red” and “curved” which remain anecdotal information on a collective point of view even though these words are undoubtedly emotional and symbolic for our fictional producer. Here, appear the comments, used to share these kinds of stories.
Want to understand more about the workings of your talents and memory ?
Maurice Halbwachs (1877-1945) explains that “the process of locating a memory in the past ( … ) is not at all to delve into the mass of our memories like a bag to remove memories closer and closer between which take place on memory to locate. “ The use of benchmarks facilitates the expression of a particular memory, without that it is directly linked to the referent . ” The benchmarks are states of consciousness , in their intensity , fight better than others against oblivion, or complexity, are likely to generate a lot of reports, to increase the chances of revival . ”
Creative commons licence for the picture, by HENG FU MING, on Flickr