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1Donogh
Aug 23, 2007, 4:06am Top

Just noticed this on my profile

"Tag Mirror: What LibraryThing thinks Donogh is interested in
Explanation: This is a new twist to tagging. Rather than showing a member's tags, this shows what other members think of a member's books. Please have patience. With 22 million tags, this involves some serious number crunching."

I'm presuming this is a tag cloud of how other people tag the books I have.
Is this a LibraryThing for Libraries feature?

Good stuff, I especially like the fact that we can see which books are being tagged that way (obvious I know)

2timspalding
Aug 23, 2007, 4:31am Top

Blog post

And I'm going to sleep!

3reading_fox
Aug 23, 2007, 4:44am Top

I really like this. I probably won't check it that often, as I doubt it will change much, but it' fun to play with today.

4VisibleGhost
Aug 23, 2007, 4:48am Top

Some of my interests like 'peak oil' showed up and I knew why. Others, like 'Boston', I couldn't figure out until I clicked on the tag and some of the fiction I've read has that tag.

5jimroberts
Aug 23, 2007, 5:00am Top

Great!

6parelle
Aug 23, 2007, 5:23am Top

It's pretty nifty. It would be nice, however, if we could 'steal' someone else's tag via this method.

7reading_fox
Edited: Aug 23, 2007, 5:53am Top

I like that when you click on the tag you get your list of books that have been tagged with it.

But I'd also like a link to the tag page.

#6 I can see value of it, some "add this tag to these works" option, or a link to the poweredit page so you could do so. I probably wouldn't as I like my tags for what they are, but it is a frequently requested improvement, and this owuld be the sensible place to put it.

Note: the "Close This" doesn't seem to actually work. I'm IE7 on XP.

8jimroberts
Edited: Aug 23, 2007, 5:56am Top

#7
"Close this" works for me: Firefox on Linux. Closing takes a while, though.

9edwinbcn
Aug 23, 2007, 7:14am Top

This message has been deleted by its author.

10reading_fox
Aug 23, 2007, 7:23am Top

I'm not sure I understand your point?

These are all existing tags already present on the work page of any book in your catalog. The mirror is just a summery of these. How is this a privacy concern?

They quite clearly aren't your opinions of the work, they are everybody elses.

If a person can't cope with the fact that others share different views about life, books and everything I don't know what world they've been living in.

11Kira
Aug 23, 2007, 8:02am Top

I like this feature! It seems like a good way to get an overview of the type of books others have, even if they don't tag much themselves. For instance my mom's catalogue doesn't distinguish between all her types of romance, but in her tag mirror you can see distinct types: regency, contemporary, medieval... and see how they all compare in size, without her even tagging them that specifically yet.

12verbafacio
Aug 23, 2007, 8:10am Top

I like it too! I was amazed at how many books were tagged in a few categories. I guess I've learned some new things about myself.

13edwinbcn
Aug 23, 2007, 8:16am Top

This message has been deleted by its author.

14nperrin
Aug 23, 2007, 8:39am Top

Just want to say that I love the feature, and have one quick and easy (?) suggestion. Could you put the "close this" link at the top and the bottom of the pop-in? For longer lists it took me a minute to figure out I had to scroll up to get rid of it.

Also, I noticed what seemed like some minor weirdness in the size of tags. How does it work? For example, "Austrian literature" is really big for me even though I've only got three books tagged that way (but they're pretty uncommon books), while "alternate history" is tiny even though I have a lot.

15amancine
Aug 23, 2007, 8:42am Top

I think this is pretty cool. I like it.

16lilithcat
Aug 23, 2007, 8:58am Top

I learn from this that other people tag idiotically and uselessly. Sorry. I'm interested in a bunch of different centuries? That's pretty meaningless.

17infiniteletters
Edited: Aug 23, 2007, 9:24am Top

Um. Tim? The tagmirror cloud loads fine, but the individual tagmirror pages crash Safari. *sighs at browser* Firefox works fine. A lot of the tags shown on the small/medium cloud are my own too, but that's being petty. What about a setting to specifically exclude my own tags?

And because of the scripting, two individual tagmirror pages can't be viewed at one time. Could this be a normal argument instead of Ajaxed black and all?

If I select a different setting for the cloud, such as more books, view an individual page, and then use the provided close button, the tag cloud flips back to the default (smaller) setting.

18Bookmarque
Aug 23, 2007, 9:33am Top

I like it. It's interesting to me to see how others have tagged the same works I own. I wouldn't say anything idiotic though until I know why the person tagged it that way. It might be meainingless to one person, but highly valuable for the creator.

19_Zoe_
Aug 23, 2007, 9:55am Top

There are a lot of tags that I do consider pretty idiotic. I was surprised to see the huge chick lit tag in my tag cloud, but then I realized that it included such works as Life of Pi and Animal Farm (and, okay, all my old Sweet Valley University books and lots of YA fantasy with female heroines).

I'd be interested in hearing how the size of the different tags is calculated. Does it look at how many times a tag is used on any of your books, or how many books you have with a given tag, no matter how few times that tag is applied?

20moorereason
Aug 23, 2007, 10:03am Top

Cool new feature, but I'm a little confused about how the weighting is calculated. For example, I have one of the only two copies of Complete Plumbing (Stanley Complete Projects Made Easy) that's cataloged in LT, and this is the only book in my library of 71 books that has anything to do with plumbing. Yet, the tag "plumbing" is huge in my tag mirror cloud. Does "rare" or "obscure" translate into "weightiness"?

Just noticed another example: I'm the *only* person with Introduction to Aircraft Flight Test Engineering (An Iap, Inc. Training Manual). How do tags for that book (ie. aircraft, flight) show what other people think of my books when no one else has that book??

21readafew
Aug 23, 2007, 10:15am Top

A lot of my tags are actually MY tags from MY works, though there are some interesting ones in there, it needs some more exploration.

22_Zoe_
Aug 23, 2007, 10:20am Top

After further investigation, I have to say that I love this feature. Looking at all of my friends' tag mirrors, it really is a good reflection of their interests.

I also noticed the tag weight button, though I can't say I really understand it. Why is Canadian at 862 so much less prominent than chick lit at 886, while classics and fantasy at 9,009 and 11,887 are only a tiny bit larger?

23timspalding
Aug 23, 2007, 10:29am Top

> edwinbcn, "seriously threatens people's privacy or may create false impressions with people which could be misunderstood or misinterpreted by other people"

Would you be molified if we crafted a sentence or two—at the top of bottom of the page—explaining it more clearly? It could be as simple as "These are NOT XXX's tags. They are the tags used by oher people to describe the books in XXX's collection. If that's not understood, I think you run into some of the problems of Spock.com, where you can get "tagged" pedophile if your blog has discussed the Mark Foley case.

I agree with heather19 (blog) and reading_fox (Talk) that there's nothing new or scary here, so long as people understand what it means and what it doesn't. We could also allow members to disable the feature on their profile, if they want to.

>lilithcat: I learn from this that other people tag idiotically and uselessly. Sorry. I'm interested in a bunch of different centuries? That's pretty meaningless.

Time is meaningless? ;)

>infiniteletters: individual tagmirror pages crash Safari...

Frickin' Prototype. Okay, I'll look at it.

>What about a setting to specifically exclude my own tags?

Actually, not so easy. But I'll think about it.

>Yet, the tag "plumbing" is huge in my tag mirror cloud. Does "rare" or "obscure" translate into "weightiness"?

I think it's counting weight too severely. Although that book was the only thing you'd tagged "plumbing" the book itself was considered VERY much about plumbing (2 tags on 2 copies).

I've therefore changed the algorithm slightly, so that high percentages matter on low-frequency books. If 100 people had the book, there would not be 100 "plumbing" tags, no matter how much it is about the subject.

24readafew
Aug 23, 2007, 10:32am Top

One suggestion for a possible improvement, would be not using the books that are unique to a user (single owner). This will probably speed things up a little (maybe, because of fewer books) and the cloud would be less affected by tags that are obviously only mine.

Trying to clarify, I have been putting my comics, into here and the vast majority of them are single user (me) and I try to find other editions to combine, but MANY of the tags in my mirror are only my tags from books only I own. as a way to see what others are seeing it would be more useful for me if the books I am the sole owner of are not part of the calculations.

Make sense?

25reading_fox
Edited: Aug 23, 2007, 10:34am Top

I think there are only 6 font sizes used, so your classics and fantasy are in one, chicklit in another and canadian just falls into the third.

It seems to go by total usage of the tag, not related to how often you use it. #20 - aircraft and flight are fairly common tags in the global LTtagspace even though you only use them once

edit Just guessing really, but as TIM hasn't revealed the basis of any of the other algorythms LT uses, that's all we have to go on - consensus guessing. gah he's explained! just when I'd posted

#17"And because of the scripting, two individual tagmirror pages can't be viewed at one time. Could this be a normal argument instead of Ajaxed black and all?
"
This happens to me too - please fix!

26timspalding
Aug 23, 2007, 10:33am Top

>A lot of my tags are actually MY tags from MY works, though there are some interesting ones in there, it needs some more exploration.

Yeah, it's ALL tags. You own tags are going to be a reasonable percent of those, particularly if you have obscure books.

A more detailed explanation is, I think, a desideratum.

27readafew
Edited: Aug 23, 2007, 10:37am Top

26 > >A lot of my tags are actually MY tags from MY works, though there are some interesting ones in there, it needs some more exploration.

I hope it was taken as I needed to do some more exploration not you as the LT staff.

28jimroberts
Edited: Aug 23, 2007, 10:55am Top

There is certainly some strange tagging going on. Example, about 1 owner in 40 thinks Pride and Prejudice is chick lit. One percent or less owners giving a particular tag I reckon is just noise: it's probably quite easy if doing mass tagging with power edit to select a book by mistake for the one above or below it, and people confusing books they read a long time ago with similar titles can account for some. But Jane Austen chick lit? No.

Edit:
Only 1 in 20 thinks Pride and Prejudice is classics.
I've been misinterpreting, I think. That's 1 in 20 of all owners, including those who don't use the classics tag and those who don't use tags at all.

29readafew
Aug 23, 2007, 10:56am Top

BUG > Tags with apostrophe's do not bring up the books, looks like an escape problem.

30_Zoe_
Aug 23, 2007, 11:15am Top

I think there are only 6 font sizes used, so your classics and fantasy are in one, chicklit in another and canadian just falls into the third.

I think either they need to be more distinct or there should be more sizes (possibly both). The difference between sizes 4 and 5 shouldn't be so much more noticeable than the difference between sizes 5 and 6.

it's probably quite easy if doing mass tagging with power edit to select a book by mistake

I think some people really do consider Jane Austen to be chick lit, along with the Brontes and works like Rebecca and Anna Karenina, apparently. I do think the weighting has to be adjusted somehow, though. It's strange that chick lit appears so prominently in my catalogue when of the 100 or so books on my chick lit list, only about 20 of them received the tag more than once (and of those, half of them were classics where the chick lit tag is pretty negligible compared to the number of copies).

31eromsted
Edited: Aug 23, 2007, 11:35am Top

Thank you for this feature. It is the first real chance to use the community tags to investigate individual libraries. This is potentially one of the most powerful features of LT.

Two corollary suggestions:

A community tag column in List View displaying x number (user defined) of the top community tags for each book.

And as already suggested above, a search of the community tags that results in a list of books in List View.

32VictoriaPL
Aug 23, 2007, 11:26am Top

I like the feature but it crashes my Internet Explorer at work.

33LucasTrask
Aug 23, 2007, 11:29am Top

The Tag Mirror feature clearly shows what is wrong with LibraryThing. Instead of proper support for multiple authors, anthologies, and better combining and uncombining (to name a few), we get yet another way to display and play with the data.

34jjwilson61
Aug 23, 2007, 11:38am Top

Why would 5 people (out of 14399) label The Hobbit 'chinese'?

35jimroberts
Aug 23, 2007, 11:38am Top

#33
That's a harsh view. As well as being a serious tool (OK, with weaknesses), it's supposed to be fun.

36Noisy
Aug 23, 2007, 11:42am Top

>34 jjwilson61:

Chinese-language version?

>35 jimroberts:

Harsh, but fair.

37_Zoe_
Aug 23, 2007, 11:50am Top

It's taking forever to bring up the list of books for each tag now.

38readafew
Aug 23, 2007, 11:53am Top

yep, I think we're pushing the servers hard.

39_Zoe_
Aug 23, 2007, 11:56am Top

I was wondering whether it might be related to the change that was just made (yay, my inflated chick lit and german tags have been reduced to a normal size!).

40lilithcat
Aug 23, 2007, 12:01pm Top

> 37

Heck, it's taking forever just to bring up the tag mirror itself!

41drbubbles
Aug 23, 2007, 12:01pm Top

>23 timspalding:, "if we crafted a sentence or two—at the top of bottom of the page—explaining it more clearly? It could be as simple as 'These are NOT XXX's tags. They are the tags used by oher people to describe the books in XXX's collection.'"

If I understand edwinbcn correctly, the point isn't who's doing the tagging, it's what the tags are. Even if UserX doesn't tag My Life as a Village People Roadie as 'Gay Porn,' if 90% of the other taggers do, the TagMirror would show that whether UserX likes it or not. And people aren't stupid: if one of UserX's books is heavily tagged 'Gay Porn' by other users, it probably is gay porn; ergo, UserX has gay porn in his collection. So UserX's efforts to tag discreetly would be vitiated. In other words, the TagMirror could be a way to see what UserX might be 'hiding' (intentionally or no) about his library.

This is one of those things about which most people probably won't think there's anything to worry until it happens to them. It's probably a small risk; but if someone's paid money for an LT account, and downplayed a certain aspect of their library for personal reasons, and suddenly functionality appears that exposes that aspect to the world and can't be turned off, there's an ethical problem in my mind.

One solution might be to make a user's TagMirror visible only to that user: that is, to make it private. This could also be another argument for a feature allowing one to mark individual books as private (although that would have to affect tag-clouding).

42tikitu
Aug 23, 2007, 12:04pm Top

Seconding parelle (#6): some way of *using* ('stealing') the tags you see would be nice. I know Tim is basically against tag recommendations, but "browsing my tag mirror page called up some alternate histories that I hadn't tagged that way" (from the blog post) is just the sort of thing I'd say they're useful for.

Also: cool feature, off to play now ^_^

43_Zoe_
Aug 23, 2007, 12:08pm Top

I don't think the tag mirror should be private by default; one of the best things about it is looking at other people's. While it's interesting to see how other people tag the books in my catalogue, I already know more or less what sort of books I have and wouldn't go back to my own tag mirror very often. What I like is being able to see what sort of books other people have in more detail than their own tag cloud provides.

I think the best way to address the privacy concerns would be to allow the option of making it private. It's a simple solution without being overkill.

44_Zoe_
Aug 23, 2007, 12:12pm Top

>42 tikitu: Maybe there could be a way of going from the list of books with a given tag to that set of books in the catalogue? Then it would be pretty easy to add the tag to your books, but it wouldn't seem so much like tag recommendations, and it might be useful for other things too.

45readafew
Aug 23, 2007, 12:12pm Top

44> I like it!

46tikitu
Aug 23, 2007, 12:17pm Top

And a bug report: the popup list of books doesn't play nicely with a narrow monitor*, both left and right margins get lost (including presumably the close button) and the scrollbars don't have any effect (Firefox 2.0.0.6) so there's no way to get 'em back.

* 600x800, really -- tipped over so the *width* is 600 pixels. Works for me...

47tikitu
Aug 23, 2007, 12:18pm Top

>44 _Zoe_: I'm a fan of recommendations myself. But it's a good compromise suggestion, true.

48prezzey
Aug 23, 2007, 12:19pm Top

Wow, this feature is THE prime example of what can be done with the right kind of data that just happens to lie around, and also why intelligence agencies are big on data mining methods ;)

I have only started entering my SF and manga collections, my other collections are only represented with the odd title here and there, recent reads (I do add my recent reads systematically), etc. but eg. I have an amount of math books I have NOT added to LT yet.

However, LT still correctly claims 'mathematics' and with a surprising amount of weight considering that I haven't even begun to add my math shelf. Also 'autism', 'Asperger', 'cognitive science', etc. stuff I haven't even gotten around to adding en masse. I think the only thing that's going to change is the proportions in font size (manga and SF will probably decline while science will shoot up as I add my technical shelves), but I'm afraid it now knows everything there is to know about me! ;)

Yes, it has stuff prospective employers would find odd - eg. 'drugs', 'remote viewing', etc. but I am indeed interested in those. (Though I don't do any drugs - I'm not even taking prescription drugs regularly, thank G-d - and I am generally very skeptical of remote viewing claims.)

With the advent of Web 2.0, people will have to get used to the thought that simple statistics, a clever algorithm or two, and a huge mass of data can be used to acquire surprising information. It can't be helped. This is how ~80% of govt intelligence gathering works. Now it's beginning to fall in the hands of the public... but remember, if someone wanted to find out stuff about you, they could. If you put your preferences online, be it just an Amazon shopping list that's under your name, a lot can be extracted from that. Eg. did you know that in most cases, national security (or the police for that matter) doesn't need to tap your phone and listen to your calls, a simple dump of caller IDs is sufficient for their purposes? Listening to your long rambling phone calls is very inefficient in most cases. Not to mention it requires a court order in most countries ;)

(I'm not trying to strike up paranoia here, I'd just like to point out the strength of statistics. It's one of my pet peeves since I teach applied statistics to beginners and most of them have the initial mindset that statistics is boring and useless... which it clearly isn't!)

And to get back to the tag mirror feature, some people indeed tag oddly - I've just seen someone tag Mishima Yukio as "babylon 5" - and apparently most people are not too clear about the shounen/seinen distinction, but overall it's eerily accurate.

...

Oh the mystery is solved. Someone combined "b5" with "babylon 5", and lots of people use "b5" for other purposes.

49readafew
Aug 23, 2007, 12:26pm Top

"Statistics are like a bikini, what they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital".

Sorry, love the above quote.

50edwinbcn
Aug 23, 2007, 12:33pm Top

This message has been deleted by its author.

51timepiece
Aug 23, 2007, 12:35pm Top

I love it. I've only done very basic tags so for most of my library (2-3 per work, mostly genre and series name), so this gives me a much more detailed cloud than my own.

52edwinbcn
Edited: Aug 23, 2007, 12:42pm Top

>48 prezzey:

Indeed, I am not afraid of what governments could do, they don't need LT to find out all about us.

I just feel LT should not hand this tool over to users who otherwise (unlike governments) would not be able to do this kind of data mining, such as acquaintances colleagues, classmates or (your) students, whom otherwise you would not expose yourself to in this way.

53readafew
Aug 23, 2007, 12:43pm Top

The information is there one way or the other, all the mirror does is really show you how others see you, ( and make is a little more obvious/easy to see). I have nothing against making the optionally private, but the data is all available. If you want to keep a secret the only guarantee is 'DON'T TELL ANYONE".

54infiniteletters
Aug 23, 2007, 12:54pm Top

Or if there isn't a way to exclude my own tags, label books on the individual lists when I have used this tag on that book. :)

55readafew
Aug 23, 2007, 12:54pm Top

Another small bug, I noticed this on my Scooby-Doo comic, I have 2 copies of the same book and no one else has a copy. One tag is Scooby-Doo, and I have it on each copy, for a total of 2 'Scooby-Doo' tags, It shows up as 4, so your tag algorithm is counting tags multiple times for each copy someone owns.

Hope that was clear(ish).

56jlane
Aug 23, 2007, 1:06pm Top

This is interesting, but it does have the effect of replacing connections through book titles with connections through tags. Since our choices of tags are personal, having that public is more than I am comfortable with. I agree, yes, the data has already been available, but before the extent was limited. If a person chose not to tag, invest their time, that was their business. This provides information about them that is too easily accessible. I see a need for a privacy option here.

57timspalding
Edited: Aug 23, 2007, 1:12pm Top

Apologies for a multi-response. I was out this morning:

I hope it was taken as I needed to do some more exploration not you as the LT staff.

Damn. I was going to spend the day exploring your tags ;)

Example, about 1 owner in 40 thinks Pride and Prejudice is chick lit.

An EXCELLENT example. Actually, it's not bad tagging, it's just different tagging. Have you read Bridget Jones's Diary? The hero's name is Darcy. That is, the first real example of chick lit, draws the parallel. That gives it special place but, more generally, you can understand how *some* people want to tag their Austen as "chick lit." Young woman—British woman, and chick lit still has a British tilt—has adventures ending in man. It's now how I think of it, but it's not crazy either. Sometimes a tag is about an influence. And you get to decide what's what, not some external system.

Only 1 in 20 thinks Pride and Prejudice is classics.

The numbers are very hard. They're basically a calculation, not a real number. I need to continue using the calculating for sizing, but provide a more grounded number for the parentheses.

I think there are only 6 font sizes used, so your classics and fantasy are in one, chicklit in another and canadian just falls into the third.

No, the algorithm can generate any number of them. It throttles pretty hard, however, so to get a 40-point tag might require a billion copies of something.

I like the feature but it crashes my Internet Explorer at work.

Can you give us more detail on that. It works on Altay's PC, with IE6. What are you running?

The Tag Mirror feature clearly shows what is wrong with LibraryThing. Instead of proper support for multiple authors, anthologies, and better combining and uncombining (to name a few), we get yet another way to display and play with the data.

I just hired a guy whose main job is to improve book data. I'm sorry if you don't like everything we do. Combining was considered a frill when we introduced it too.

Why would 5 people (out of 14399) label The Hobbit 'chinese'?

They probably have the Chinese edition.

I was wondering whether it might be related to the change that was just made (yay, my inflated chick lit and german tags have been reduced to a normal size!).

Good. The new algorithm should work a little better there.

Even if UserX doesn't tag My Life as a Village People Roadie as 'Gay Porn,' if 90% of the other taggers do, the TagMirror would show that whether UserX likes it or not.

Okay, but you can click on one of their books and see that information. If you're hoping that nobody will notice your gay porn collection because you tag it "straight-people stuff," you're living in a fantasy. One click from your book to its work page will expose you forever.

So, while I sympathize to some extent if people feel it's misrepresenting their real interest, I'm not going to get too worried about exposure.

This could also be another argument for a feature allowing one to mark individual books as private (although that would have to affect tag-clouding).

Agreed.

I think the best way to address the privacy concerns would be to allow the option of making it private. It's a simple solution without being overkill.

That's certainly on the table. (It can't happen until late tonight, however, unles people want me to take the site down for ten minutes.)

* 600x800, really -- tipped over so the *width* is 600 pixels. Works for me...

This is tough. We have to set the size of the "lightbox" explicitly. Google says 600x800 is 5% of our visitors. I'll talk to Altay to see if there are other options.

With the advent of Web 2.0, people will have to get used to the thought that simple statistics, a clever algorithm or two, and a huge mass of data can be used to acquire surprising information

I am sympathetic here, but this argument needs to bring out the fact that we were already providing information of this sort—on the work pages. Your drug interests, such as they are, were already well known.

And we're not just talking tags here. The Library of Congress Subject Headings also ratted you out, at least as far as A Scanner Darkly. Apparently you're into "Drug Abuse > Fiction."

I think there's a legitimate argument to be made about "exposure" being the better part of privacy. As I've said before, there's a big difference between your divorce records being available for hand-inspection at some dingy government office, and having the testimony about your sexual escapades with the baby sitter IMed to all your friends. In this case, I feel like the creep is a small one. The data was one click away. Your gay porn wasn't hiding very well. But it is a creep.

So, I propose a way to turn this off user-by-user and a better explanatory paragraph.

What could make a difference is to set a limit, eg at least 5 people must have applied that tag or better still a measure that takes proportion into account (eg at least 5% of users apply that tag).

That's interesting. Does that really help, though? I mean, the worry is that a gay porn collection will be unveiled, not that some stray tag will make a big difference. Right?

So, Yes, I hope Tim will reconsider this and either make it a private feature or leave it out.

How about if it were optionally private?

I just feel LT should not hand this tool over to users who otherwise (unlike governments) would not be able to do this kind of data mining...

Again, the tags—and the Library of Congress Subject Headings—are already out there for your books. Does this really shift things a lot.

Also edwin, how do you feel about optional privacy?

58prezzey
Aug 23, 2007, 1:27pm Top

Re this:

I am sympathetic here, but this argument needs to bring out the fact that we were already providing information of this sort—on the work pages. Your drug interests, such as they are, were already well known. And we're not just talking tags here.

Tim, I think you misread my comment, I am on your side this time ;) I don't see anything concealable my interest in drugs (or even in Drug Abuse, Fiction).

59LolaWalser
Aug 23, 2007, 1:29pm Top

JOKE!

60prezzey
Aug 23, 2007, 1:29pm Top

Re this:

I am sympathetic here, but this argument needs to bring out the fact that we were already providing information of this sort—on the work pages. Your drug interests, such as they are, were already well known. And we're not just talking tags here.

Tim, I think you misread my comment, I am on your side this time ;) I don't see anything that should be concealed about my interest in drugs (or even in Drug Abuse, Fiction). If I had anything to hide about my interests, I wouldn't be online under my full name.

61prezzey
Aug 23, 2007, 1:30pm Top

Augh, messed up the posting.

> 59

You should take a hard look at my tag mirror ;)

62timspalding
Aug 23, 2007, 1:50pm Top

I've heard of drugs making you see double, but post double?

63slothman
Aug 23, 2007, 1:55pm Top


Okay, but you can click on one of their books and see that information. If you're hoping that nobody will notice your gay porn collection because you tag it "straight-people stuff," you're living in a fantasy. One click from your book to its work page will expose you forever.

It takes a good deal of effort to do that in someone's book collection, particularly a large one, and the tag mirror makes it trivial. It's a matter of raising the level of effort to the point that people aren't going to bother. If someone's determined to find a way to scapegoat you, they can go mining through your library in the mindset of Cardinal Richelieu-- "If one would give me six lines written by the hand of the most honest man, I would find something in them to have him hanged."-- and tagging won't make a difference, but this makes it possible to have it as low-hanging fruit.

I think it is a really nifty bit of code, though, so I think making it part of privacy settings is the way to go. (Having private books and private tags would also be good for that, so people living in a highly judgmental environment can still keep track of their books that they don't want their neighbors judging them on.)

64_Zoe_
Aug 23, 2007, 1:57pm Top

It would be nice if the tag name at the top of the list of books linked to the tag page.

65moorereason
Aug 23, 2007, 2:01pm Top

The issue I had earlier with the tag weighting of obscure books looks to be fixed, but I never saw a response about the second issue I mentioned.

If the tag-mirror is supposed to show you what other people think of your books, why are the books that only I have (me and no other) included in the cloud? Shouldn't the algorithm exclude books that are unique to my library?

Other than that (and even that is a small issue), the feature's great.

66timspalding
Edited: Aug 23, 2007, 2:03pm Top

> It takes a good deal of effort to do that in someone's book collection

I don't think it takes much time to size someone's collection up. Surely most books announce what they are in their titles, leaving aside LCSH, authors, and so forth. The number two book for gay porn is titled Cocksuck Academy. I mean, really. You don't need to look at tags to find out what most books are.

It's always been the rule on LibraryThing that, if your libary is public, it's public, but we don't require any other information—not even an email address. If you're worried about your neighbors looking at your books or your tag mirrors don't let them know your user name.

67drbubbles
Aug 23, 2007, 2:08pm Top

As far as making the option to keep it private: that is an opt-out approach, and as such has the possibility of guilt-by-association akin to invoking one's 5th Amendment right against self-incrimination (similar in kind, not in degree). Better would be an opt-in approach, in which people affirmatively authorize the world to see their tag mirror. I know you could put it in the ToS, but seriously.

Full disclosure: as of yet, I see nothing surprising, embarrassing, or humiliating in my own tag mirror (other than that I'm sort of a Cassie Milquetoast). But, since I use my account as a reading journal, I guess I won't be reading The Story of O again.

{#63: Curse you! You've made my example unnecessary, and it was a Simpsons example!}

68_Zoe_
Aug 23, 2007, 2:13pm Top

I don't think it takes much time to size someone's collection up.

Are you serious? You're not going to notice 20 or so books among 2000, especially because not all controversial books have such ridiculous titles. If you look at the tag gay rather than gay porn, most of those titles give absolutely no indication of what they're about. The tag mirror makes it much, much easier to find things like that.

If you're worried about your neighbors looking at your books or your tag mirrors don't let them know your user name.

Well, it's your loss. I can't imagine people recommending LT to others if they feel unable to reveal their user name for whatever reason.

I'm hoping that this discussion is all purely academic and you've already decided to add a privacy option tonight.

69timspalding
Aug 23, 2007, 2:16pm Top

LibraryThing is about associating yourself—or a user name anyway—with a set of books. Guilt by association is almost the point.

70_Zoe_
Aug 23, 2007, 2:16pm Top

I think it should be opt-out, rather than opt-in. The vast majority of people just wouldn't bother enabling it, and a lot of interesting data would be lost for no reason.

I think it's getting a bit paranoid to assume that people will make assumptions about what you're trying to hide.

71slothman
Aug 23, 2007, 2:17pm Top

I think we're seeing things differently because of our usage patterns. Even in 100-covers-per-page view, my library spans 67 pages, so I see it as requiring great determination for anyone to page through my library without the assistance of tag and author clouds. It's probably much easier to form a direct impression of a more normal-sized library.

72timspalding
Edited: Aug 23, 2007, 2:23pm Top

The scenario you propose is that you have twenty gay books among 2,000 books. You don't want anyone to know about them, so you were careful not to tag them as "gay." You were careful to cull any books that have controversial titles. You're hoping that nobody knows any of the remaining twenty titles and their authors, and that nobody will click from any of the twenty books to see the tags or LCSHs on them, or from the books back to you. You give your user name out freely on the assumption that, although in plain sight, your gay books will still probably not be discovered. You're hoping the "random books" box on your profile never rolls three sixes.

Is this realistic? I'm amazed at this idea.

>I'm hoping that this discussion is all purely academic and you've already decided to add a privacy option tonight.

Yeah, I think I have.

73slothman
Aug 23, 2007, 2:31pm Top

Actually, it is realistic. If the authors, titles, and book covers contain no clues to the content for someone who has no reason to know that any of them are associated with controversial topics, someone glancing through the library directly or reading the random books box may not have a clue. They have to be curious enough to click on individual books to see how other people tag the book in order to form the impression.

e.g.: My wife and I are only in the broom closet with respect to her extended family. We had a pirate-themed wedding where the officiant dressed as a pirate captain and talked about the sun and the sand and the sea and the sky and waved a sword around and none of them had any clue that he was calling the quarters in a pagan ritual, but all of our pagan friends recognized it instantly. Ignorance is bliss.

74_Zoe_
Aug 23, 2007, 2:33pm Top

No, I'm assuming that no one would care if I had five or even ten individual gay books, since plenty of books just happen to involve homosexuality. It's when it stops looking like a coincidence (i.e., when there's a big tag visible at a glance emphasizing the importance of those books in my collection as a whole) that I start wondering whether I should hide my collection from the principal and parents at the Catholic boys' school.

75myshelves
Aug 23, 2007, 2:54pm Top

Tim,

Let me give you a scenario. A teacher in the mid-west (bible-belty town) shares his/her user name/catalog at the school. There's nothing to hide. Some of the brats at the school, not interested in books, but wanting to snoop for info about the teacher, take a look. They find the tag mirror and see that the teacher owns a bunch of books tagged Gay, Bisexual, Lesbian, Queer, etc. They hop on the internet and start spreading the word that the teacher is gay.

Happens that the books involved are Mary Renault's historical novels about ancient Greece and Alexander the Great. :-)

It could happen. Plato's works also have a few of those tags.

76jimroberts
Edited: Aug 23, 2007, 3:43pm Top

#66: Tim
gay porn - "Tag used 12 times by 3 users".

But generally, I don't believe the new feature makes anything available that wasn't available before to a determined user, and probably possible to automate externally to the site as well: not being a determined enough internet user to have gone into this, I'm not sure - Tim?

---

Re. #69, #75
It's the nature of the internet. If you share information with us, your friends, you share it with the world.
But, as Tim says, your profile needn't give away much about who you really are. You can lie, too. If you're the only atheist in Fundieville, USA, you can say you're in Godless, UK.

77jjwilson61
Aug 23, 2007, 2:58pm Top

65:

If the tag-mirror is supposed to show you what other people think of your books, why are the books that only I have (me and no other) included in the cloud? Shouldn't the algorithm exclude books that are unique to my library?

Because those isolated books are still part of your library and people can form impressions of them even if no one else has tagged them. However, your own tags are probably pretty close to what other people would tag them if they could and its the best approximation possible, so why not use them.

78infiniteletters
Edited: Aug 23, 2007, 3:01pm Top

Oh, and also,

1 tag, 2 tags. 1 copy, 2 copies.

Grammar is good.

79SilentInAWay
Aug 23, 2007, 3:02pm Top

For me, a relatively heavy tagger, the overwhelming majority of the tags in the tag mirror already appear in my tag cloud. It would be really useful if my own tags (and tags combined with them) could be excluded. Tim mentioned in #23 that this was "not so easy" and that he would "think about it" -- consider this one more request for this as an optional mode, Tim. (This mode could be called "skeletons" or "dirty little secrets" for all I care.)

As for privacy, I like the opt-out approach--provided that the option is not too hidden (perhaps it could be available both on the tag mirror page and the Edit profile/account settings page). If LT really wanted to cover its butt, a one-time comment could be sent to all members informing them that they can opt out of this feature (as well as an automatic message to first-time users). I'm not sure that would be necessary though...

80jimroberts
Aug 23, 2007, 3:11pm Top

#52 edwinbcn
I am not afraid of what governments could do, they don't need LT to find out all about us.

I would like to nominate this as non sequitur of the year!

81antqueen
Aug 23, 2007, 3:16pm Top

Well. Just to add my vote:

I like it. I like to see other peoples'. I have no particular opinion about an opt-out/make-private option, but I think making it private by default is overkill; if you're paranoid enough to worry what someone might think of you because you chose to opt-out as opposed to not choosing to opt-in, then I think you need to ask yourself whether you really want to list your books somewhere public.

I agree with the suggestion to have a link to the tag page somewhere, like at the top of the individual tag box, because I end up having to go to a work and find the tag and it can take a while if I have to expand the work's tag cloud to find it.

And yeah... it would be interesting to exclude your own tags as an option, if feasible.

82prosfilaes
Aug 23, 2007, 3:34pm Top

75> I don't see how the tag mirror makes it much more likely, though. They could draw that theory directly from the set of tags on the novels anyway. If someone is looking hard enough, they will find something to go off on. If you think you'll have people digging through your library that you can't trust to be reasonable about such stuff, go private or at least don't connect it to your real name.

83rjohara
Aug 23, 2007, 4:02pm Top

I like it. Can we have a version based on LC Subject headings too?

84myshelves
Aug 23, 2007, 4:19pm Top

#82

Granted. But I was postulating students who wouldn't be bothered looking at the individual books unless the titles gave them a clue that they might find something titillating. This way they could easliy find that "Library Thing" (not a handful of users) "thinks" that the teacher is interested in those topics.

Not a problem for me, even if some day I get to make my catalog public. My tag mirror is pretty boring. (I don't need a tag to know the century, or the author, and most of the ones I don't use myself are of that sort.)

I'd rather see what people tagged books themselves, but I can see that this would be quite useful to get an idea about a library whose owner doesn't bother to tag or uses them only for "read/unread" or location.

85ExVivre
Edited: Aug 23, 2007, 4:36pm Top

>75 myshelves: Students are going to say any unmarried male or female teacher over the age of 25 is gay. Sometimes they'll be right. I don't see any reason to delve into the politics of the closet over a feature that is as easily misinterpreted as one's own tags.

Edited to correct grammar oops.

86slothman
Aug 23, 2007, 4:50pm Top

87MikeBriggs
Aug 23, 2007, 4:55pm Top

85> other than one particular math teacher, I thought all my teachers were at least in their 50s when I was in high school, if I ever thought about their age. Now, looking back, I believe most, with some obvious exceptions, were in their 30s or even just slightly older than me and in their 20s.

88DromJohn
Aug 23, 2007, 5:14pm Top

Mine is is the opposite of SilentInAWay. I tag heavily and a quick count showed only 9 of my tags on my TagMirror. Mine must be more like lilithcat's with lots of broad terms instead of my heavy use of unique tags.

Also, I've tagged Pride and Prejudice as "chick lit" twice. I tags em like I sees em. Is it better than To Have and To Hold? No question. If I used "classic" would P&P get the tag? No question. Is it chick lit"? No question? It's the prototype.

Hmmm, For Whom the Bell Tolls as "Southern literature".

Fascinating stuff.

89timspalding
Aug 23, 2007, 5:32pm Top

Speaking of my Tivo thinking I'm gay, my iTunes thinks I'm crazy. Abby and I switched machines some months back, when my machine crashed the day before I went to Ireland. Her music was still on it. Then I added my own. The iTunes "top played" is seriously confused, except for the one or two thing we both like—Sufjan Stevens and the musical Spring Awakening.

90prezzey
Aug 23, 2007, 7:03pm Top

> 86

ROTFL!!! How could I have missed this before?? *laughing SOOO hard*

(LibraryThing recommends me nothing but GURPS books. I'm suddenly happy I haven't added my World of Darkness books yet :D Or maybe I should add more of that drug abuse literature, hmmmm....)

> 83

I'd like to see this implemented, too!

91SilentInAWay
Edited: Aug 23, 2007, 8:03pm Top

>88 DromJohn: I tag heavily and a quick count showed only 9 of my tags on my TagMirror. Mine must be more like lilithcat's with lots of broad terms instead of my heavy use of unique tags.

Substitute "more narrowly-defined" for "unique" and I understand you, DromJohn. I don't see how unique tags would come into play here--wouldn't yours and everyone else's unique tags always be included from the mirror due to their...well...uniqueness?

I tag using broad, narrow and (some) unique tags. What surprises me is that my TagMirror* indicates that I myself have tended to use pretty much the same broad and narrowly-defined tags that other members have used to describe my books. Have I stared at so many tag clouds that I'm beginning to think like LibraryThing?

Tim--if you decide to distinguish between tags that the target member has used and tags not used by that member, please don't implement it using shading. It would be really helpful if we could optionally exclude our own tags completely, so that we get a list of 150, 300 or 1000 tags that we not only don't use, but for which we also haven't used any of the tags combined with those tags (like the "omit authors already in your catalog" option for the LibrarySuggester).

*By the way, DromJohn, I like your use of TagMirror (like TagMash, rather than tag cloud).

92SilentInAWay
Aug 23, 2007, 7:58pm Top

89>

tangent alert

We've got tickets to see Spring Awakening next weekend (we're taking a two-day vacation in New York as we move my daughter from SoCal to Boston). Don't know much about the musical yet--sounds interesting, though (we'll also be seeing A Chorus Line, which we know inside out). Is there anything we should know about Spring Awakening before we see it?

93LolaWalser
Aug 23, 2007, 8:55pm Top

It's a great play.

Not sure how Wedekind would've felt about having his stabs and darts... sung. I hope it's not too pretty.

94timspalding
Aug 23, 2007, 9:04pm Top

Abby saw it. She said it was great. I only know the music, which is good. Not fantastic, but good, and somewhat interesting.

95edwinbcn
Aug 23, 2007, 9:37pm Top

This message has been deleted by its author.

96Kira
Aug 23, 2007, 9:44pm Top

Wait, the question remains, is the data distorted to a meaningful extent, or just being put out there? The hypothetical man hiding his gay lifestyle is in fact hiding what exists; he is not a straight man who is worried about being distorted as gay. And remember, if it were a question of a straight man being perceived as gay, he would already have catalogued the book tagged as gay, which, if it concerned him that much, should be his primary worry because that is what is causing the data. These tag mirrors are definitely revealing, but I wouldn't say they are distorting anything too much. It is the human mind viewing the tags that may distort things. After all, who says having gay books makes one gay? The data isn't lying or misrepresenting what it is.

97edwinbcn
Aug 23, 2007, 10:05pm Top

This message has been deleted by its author.

98MMcM
Aug 23, 2007, 10:29pm Top

I do not have any right to tell other people that their desire to control how their online persona is presented through their library is misguided. But I do worry that to the extent that LT tries to accommodate these desires, rather than promoting the very simple principle given in #53, it opens itself up to lawsuits when it inevitably fails to do so for all the reasons others have given here.

99timspalding
Aug 23, 2007, 10:39pm Top

Edwin: Okay, what's your solution. You are in favor of opt-out, right? Do you also want opt-in? And how about a clearer explanation of what's going on?

>I am sure people will consider Tag Mirror as a summary of people's libraries and interests, and few people will realize how the picture is drawn up and to what extent it is distorted.

I think that works in favor of a better explanation, right?

100rjohara
Edited: Aug 23, 2007, 10:59pm Top

The more I think about it, the odder (or subtler) this becomes. It's not in any sense a neutral or generic representation of the collection; it's some strange non-obvious function of how and what other people happen to tag, intersected with what's in your collection. This is mine (nothing salacious):

http://www.librarything.com/profile_tagmirror.php?view=rjohara

It is heavily weighted by generic tags that other users use but that I never would ("biology"), whereas tags that are more accurate ("systematics") that apply to hundreds of things in my collection barely appear because that's not a tag that many people use. I have far more systematics than archaeology; but that not what the tag cloud "says."

My tiresome hobbyhorse is always to call for more use of LC Subject Headings. I'd really like to see a Subject Heading Cloud -- that would give a better picture of what my collection is like (which I know isn't what the tag mirror is showing anyway, even though that's what people will think it shows). Interesting.

101timspalding
Edited: Aug 23, 2007, 11:38pm Top

I agree it's odder and subtler than it seems at first—showing your collection as others understand it. It takes a sort of mental flip to wrap your head around what that means, and how it can disrupt your expectations.

Which raises the question: isn't a LCSH cloud just another sort of tag mirror?

Now, you may be relatively more comfortable with LCSH. And you may think that, in general, they're pretty good. (I do.) But I think there's something general here: There's something both interesting and eery when someone else tells you what your books are about.

LCSH clouds are a possibility. I just haven't seen any that are half-way decent. Have you? (I'm not talking about FAST here, but straight LCSH.)

102edwinbcn
Aug 23, 2007, 11:32pm Top

This message has been deleted by its author.

103rjohara
Edited: Aug 23, 2007, 11:55pm Top

showing your collection as others understand it... There's something both interesting and eerily when someone else tells you what your books are about.

But this is where the subtlety lies, because it *isn't* my collection as others see it; it's that subset of my collection which other people happen to have tagged (which is a sharply biased sample), with the many parts of my collection that other people haven't tagged discarded, and then the rump labeled with the tags that other people use.

Kind of like a complex derivative in the stock market (and we know what happens when people start playing with those).

LCSH clouds are a possibility. I just haven't seen any that are half-way decent.

But decent as what? Is the tag mirror "decent"? An LCSH cloud wouldn't perform the very significant step of discarding a large chunk of the collection (as the tag mirror does); it would give a genuinely representative picture of the whole collection (with whatever irregularities in LCSH assignments there may be).

Of course what I really want is to be able to assign additional LCSHs directly to books in my collection, perhaps by clicking on the "related subjects" list on each works page. I think if that were possible you'd find an enormous explosion of labor by the members, comparable to what happened with combining titles into works when the works system was created. Once thousands of people started adding LCSHs to their books, a really meaningful LCSH cloud would be possible.

104alisonchris
Aug 24, 2007, 12:16am Top

Tim-

I know you've posted in the blog that libraries are becoming interested in LT in ever greater numbers. I would suggest that you make them aware of any opt-out features for the tag mirror. The small-minded people who attempt to ban books are notorious for not actually reading the books they want to ban. If such people were to come across a library's tag mirror, they would have an easily printable list of all the books that they might want to become indignant about!

105timspalding
Edited: Aug 24, 2007, 12:40am Top

But this is where the subtlety lies, because it *isn't* my collection as others see it; it's that subset of my collection which other people happen to have tagged (which is a sharply biased sample), with the many parts of my collection that other people haven't tagged discarded, and then the rump labeled with the tags that other people use.

It's true that, if nobody has tagged a book, it won't get represented. But all works and all tags are counted, and your tags are also in the mix. if you had actually used the tag systemmatics, you'd see more uptake there. (If you used it a lot, particularly as a percent of total uses, it could be quite large.) But you didn't and nobody else did much either. Tag Mirror isn't throwing away data. It doesn't have it to begin with. It's not a popular term. It's also a very "spread out" one, applied in something like equal numbers to biology and theology.

Kind of like a complex derivative in the stock market (and we know what happens when people start playing with those).

I get rich, right?

But decent as what? Is the tag mirror "decent"? An LCSH cloud wouldn't perform the very important step of discarding a large chunk of the collection (as the tag mirror does); it would give a genuinely representative picture of the whole collection (with whatever irregularities in LCSH assignments there may be).

Well, at present it would. Far more books have tags than have LCSHs. We can do a lot more there, but the fact of the matter is most books aren't passing through that process.

But decent as what?

I mean on a more basic level. You can't very well take entire LCSHs and throw them into a cloud. They're likely to be 50, 100 or 150 characters long! So you have to chop them up. Doing it word-by-word just produces word soup. All sorts of non-subject terms (eg., "among") are HUGE!

FictionFinder does this with FAST ( see http://outgoing.typepad.com/outgoing/2006/12/post.html ). It's interesting (although see my comments there on "courtship"). But, unless I'm mistaken, it's also another OCLC property, and off-limits to unpaid use, despite the involvement of the Library of Congress.

Of course what I really want is to be able to assign additional LCSHs directly to books in my collection, perhaps by clicking on the "related subjects" list on each works page. I think if that were possible you'd find an enormous explosion of labor by the members, comparable to what happened with combining titles into works when the works system was created. Once thousands of people started adding LCSHs to their books, a really meaningful LCSH cloud would be possible.

I think that's possible, but LCSH is hard. I have a UI for entering it, actually. But some steps can't be automated. The rules that tell you that kitty litter cannot be geographically subdivided* are in prose, not systems.

*Briefly possible in LCSH

106timspalding
Aug 24, 2007, 12:43am Top

I just tweaked the algorithm slightly, and I made one big more toward accountability. The tag cloud numbers are now "real." If a tag has a "(4)" after it, four of your books have earned that tag.

That said, the tag size and the number will not always be in synch. That's because we always consider the intensity of a tag on a work. So, for example, if one person tags Wuthering Heights as "erotica," it shouldn't have much effect. To take an example closer to home, I have four books tagged "celtic" and six tagged "central asia." But the former are more commonly tagged that way, so the tag is (slightly) larger.

107edwinbcn
Aug 24, 2007, 12:44am Top

This message has been deleted by its author.

108Heather19
Aug 24, 2007, 12:50am Top

48 "Wow, this feature is THE prime example of what can be done with the right kind of data that just happens to lie around"
I agree completely! This is a wonderful feature and I am so excited about it! (*guilty look* I spent about 20 minutes looking through it just a few hours after it first came out)

I guess I understand how some people might not like it, showing tags connected to books that they might not want shown and such (41 explains it in terms I can actually understand), but an opt-out would take care of that I think...

I'm typing this as I read the thread, and everyone has already said everything I want to say! lol

104 makes a very good point on a very real concern.

Overall I still love this feature, and it's making me see my collection in different ways, and making me think about adding certain tags to my catalogue.

Heather

109edwinbcn
Aug 24, 2007, 12:50am Top

This message has been deleted by its author.

110timspalding
Edited: Aug 24, 2007, 1:31am Top

1: The LCSH is a "scientific" tool to describe a book collection objectively. It won't apply tags such as Jihadism or Jihad to the Koran. LT users do.

Well, here I mostly get off the boat. I agree LCSH is valuable, but you cannot make up a static system of terms, come up with arbitrary rules about application (eg., 3-7 subjects, max), and expect catalogers who haven't read the book to come up with the "objective," eternal answer.

It is something close to an objective fact that Neuromancer and Snow Crash are Cyperpunk, but the term hasn't been blessed by the LC. In the same vein, Bridget Jones's Diary is chick lit, whether you like it or not. Not scientific terms? Wrong. It's just timing. LCSH has blessed that term, but they didn't do it until last year, and LCSHs are never revised. In a similar, if more serious vein, it's something like an objective fact that the Diary of Anne Frank is about the Holocaust. But the early editions don't have that LCSH and never will. The term hadn't entered the system yet.

I understand there is an attempt at objectivity. I believe in objectivity, at least in some things. But I don't believe there's an objective answer about what a books is about, and, even if I did, I'd consider LCSH to be a pretty poor subsitute for that.

Regarding jihad, do you think the Koran is not in any sense about jihad? For example, if you wanted to understand jihad—and in all the senses, not just the military which gets so much attention—and knew nothing about it, would your reading list purposefully omit the Koran as irrelevant to any understanding of the topic? Certainly the term is Koranic, and is at least the historical and philological starting-point of any discussion.

That said, I suspect you smell opinion in that tag, and an opinion you disagree with. Fair enough.

2: The LCSH will not tag a book "gay male interest" if the author happens to be gay, but none of the book's content has any bearing in that direction. However, LT users do.

Very true. And let's take the result. Armistead Maupin's Tales of the City are, to LCSH, "Humorous Stories" and "City and Town Life." Fiddlesticks! If you ask an entomologist, you might get that answer. Ask someone who studies contemporary American literature and they're more likely to talk about queer identity than "city and town life."

Context and identity are also what something is "about," not just a heads-down recitation of things touched on.

3: The way LT users apply tags is very random and lacks precision. While it could be argued that Plato is of some interest to the development of the social construct of homosexuality, it can't be said that the tag "gay" applies to The Republic. By collecting all the tags that users have applied (even if only 1 in 3700 users does), the resultative picture is biased.

Well, it weights them very heavily by how many times they're used. I agree that binary systems are bad. It's not true that Plato is a very good example of a "gay" book, whatever that is. Similarly, it's an absolute absurdity to imagine that there are—pace LCSH—only 1,200 "Love stories" in the world. Binary systems produce oddities.

4: The LCSH are meant to be a descriptive tool; although it could be argued that the tag mirror is a descriptive tool, there is a very strong suggestion that in fact it evaluates a users' tastes.

If you had an LCSH cloud, and it showed a HUGE LCSH for "Archaeology" would that merely describe?

5: The tag mirror displays and superimposes American mainstream ideology and values such as Christianity, Family, Love, Military, War & New York. All tags which I wouldn't use, but which feature prominently on my tag mirror image.

Very true. (Or well, the idea is true, even if I'm not going to look at the details.) You've put your finger on some of the weaknesses of tagging above, and this is one I'm particularly interested in. Tags are about who's tagging and this can lead to mob rule. I showed the "Ireland" tag to a bunch of Irish librarians and got a laugh. The top Ireland book is Angela's Ashes. Of course, that's the most popular "Ireland" book among US readers, but that's only because Irish people don't use LT as much, and nobody goes around tagging their books with the name of their country.

111hexmap
Aug 24, 2007, 1:15am Top

Regarding 20/2000: "security through obscurity" isn't security. Students would happily research each book in a library if they thought they could get some dirt on a teacher. I know I would have if there was an internet when I was in school.

112rjohara
Edited: Aug 24, 2007, 1:38am Top

> Tim's 105

A great many interesting ideas, and threads many levels deep would be needed to happily address them all.

If there were to be an LCSH cloud, I'd envision only the top-level headings as the initial clouds, and then clicking on each one would show a cloud of the subdivisions. (More in a moment on a simplified version.)

I think that's possible, but LCSH is hard. I have a UI for entering it, actually. But some steps can't be automated. The rules that tell you that kitty litter cannot be geographically subdivided* are in prose, not systems.

(But prior to globalization, I bet geographical variation in kitty litter types in different cultures might have been very revealing.) Seriously, I may misunderstand or may have been unclear: I wouldn't let people type in their own LCSHs; I'd just let them pick from the ones that already are in use. So the Works page for a given work should display "related LCSHs", and users should be allowed to apply these as pre-determined tags to items in their collections (but in the LCSH field, not the tags field; they'd appear in green everywhere perhaps).

I know, I'm big on the usefulness of controlled vocabularies, and yes, I know there's medication for that.

With respect to quantity, there's more LCSH data in LT's records than it is using, because (for whatever technical reason) it isn't always getting pulled out of the MARC records. For example, this work has LCSH data, but LT isn't displaying it:

http://www.librarything.com/work-info.php?book=1035866

BUT, I'd like to come back to an old idea I proposed, and that in a moment of weakness you actually said you'd build. ;-)

THE CALL NUMBER CLOUD. It was mentioned in the first comment to this blog post, and I think there was an extended discussion in the Google group long ago. I even made a proof-of-concept demonstration of the idea on my personal website. It would be easy (easy for me to say) to do a preliminary version that just pulls off the first letter, simply to see how it works, and if it looks interesting.

I think the idea of a call number cloud has a lot of technical merit, and I made some rough notes for a paper about it that might be suitable for an LIS journal. If any Library Scientists out there would like to consider coauthoring such a paper, let me know.

113timspalding
Aug 24, 2007, 1:23am Top

This is fun. (Off to add the privacy feature.)

114timspalding
Aug 24, 2007, 2:26am Top

I've got the privacy working. Go to your profile and edit it to get the "Disable tag mirror" check box. I'll put something about it on the tag mirror page tomorrow morning.

115edwinbcn
Aug 24, 2007, 2:57am Top

This message has been deleted by its author.

116jlane
Aug 24, 2007, 3:11am Top

On closer look, I'm not finding much in the TagMirror that's very new. Granted, I may be missing something, my LT library is less than 300 and is very specialized. When I explore other libraries, though, look at other catalogs, there are similarities. Tags are redundant. Are there stats on the overall range of vocabulary in tags? It looks to me as though the total number of terms is lower than I might have expected. I'm also wondering about the influence of publication blurbs upon choice of tagging terms. Are we often cueing in on the keywords from the back cover, or established LCSH (I know I do)? They are also redundant in the sense that they are reapplied in other contexts with a different meaning. I suspect that this adds noise to possible comparisons. And, perhaps it's here, but is there something that indicates how much a contributor tags? From browsing, some people are adding no tags, others many. Are there metrics on that, an average? Does frequency (or infrequency) of tagging weight that person's influence?

Tim, in message 105, you mentioned tag systemmatics What is that?

Like rjohara, I'd like to see more LCSH pulled into LT. Those are available in many of the MARC records that I've checked, but don't appear in the user's catalog. LCSH certainly isn't perfect and the rules are complex. It does, though, avoid some difficulties. LC Subject Headings describe relationships in equivalent terms that more closely maintain consistency across usage. The vocabulary is controlled--the meaning is more consistent in usage.

A display that correlates LCSH, call number and accompanying tags might provide a basis for more meaningful discussion of tagging, and even patterns if they emerge.

117reading_fox
Aug 24, 2007, 4:23am Top

Most of my library is fiction, hence I have no interest in LCSH clouds. The joy of the tag mirror is not that it is accurate, it is that people are different to me, and view the world differently.

You already know what the book is about. It's yours. Hopefully you've read it. LCSH will tell you what you already know - in its limited fashion. Tagmirror tells you that other people think it is about other things!

118rjohara
Aug 24, 2007, 5:56am Top

LCSH will tell you what you already know

No, they will point you to a world of other titles that you may *not* know but that are about a subject in which you have an established interest.

119Noisy
Aug 24, 2007, 7:22am Top

Strange things can come out of the tag mirror. 'Springfield' has a prominence in my mirror. Why? Because someone who shares some of my books keeps them at their parents house in Springfield. Doesn't add a great deal to the sum of human knowledge.

120jouni
Aug 24, 2007, 8:34am Top

#114: please add some reassuring note saying that system is working ok. Now there seems to be completely blank page, when trying to look at a private tag mirror... Seems because I'm waiting for some response and not sure, if I got it yet.

Btw what is LCSH? Ok, some American thing :)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Library_of_Congress_Subject_Headings

Btw2 what is geographical distribution of LT users? Can you generate some automatic Google Maps view based on "location" in user profile?

121readafew
Aug 24, 2007, 9:40am Top

3: Yes, putting it out there is also a major concern. Compare it to signing up with an Internet Service Provider. You sign up for connectivity and hosting your homepage, showing what you want other people to see (and leaving out what you don't want people to see (or how to see it). You pay, you are in full controll and you are happy. Now one day, the ISP decides that it is interesting to create a profile of you based on the webpages you visit.

This is not the same, if you kept a history of your web page visits in an accessible db open to the public and then the db owners did an analysis and published it, THAT would be a similar situation.

122LucasTrask
Aug 24, 2007, 10:07am Top

Tim,

On my edit profile page there is a check box in the lower right just above the Save button, with nothing to indicate what is for (i.e., it does not say Disable tag mirror). Checking it does disable the tag mirror, but I went back to the edit profile page to and uncheck it and it was already unchecked. Once I check the box it should stay checked. As it is now, every time I edit my profile I will have to remember to recheck the box. Not good.

Also, I use the tag Folio Society 93 times and it (and its aliases) is used 8,355 times by 212 users, but it is not in my tag mirror. However, the tag Lensman, with I use 8 times and is used 245 times by 58 users is in my tag mirror. So it appears that not every tag is being used, or some are being discarded.

123eromsted
Edited: Aug 24, 2007, 10:09am Top

There's still some work to be done on the weighting. I've noticed several odd aberrations in my tag mirror.

For example, "autism," with eight matches, and "rabbits," with eleven matches, both display larger than "american literature," with 813 matches.

The autism listing seems to be almost entirely based on The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time. Likewise, the rabbits listing comes from Watership Down.

Although the autism tag and the rabbits tag are very dense for their respective books, that shouldn't translate to importance in my library when so few books are involved.

124MikeBriggs
Aug 24, 2007, 10:32am Top

95> I am somewhat surprised that the only thing that would stick up to be seen is "adult" and that tag appears to be meant to mean "adult books" as opposed to "children's books". I have a lot of books by people like Steven Saylor which do not, most of the time, include "gay" themes, but as the author himself . ... I assumed I'd have a large Gay tag staring at me (not that I myself tag those books that way). Oh, and one gay fantasy book (didn't know until the two men started . . .um). I might have used some variation of gay for that book.

125perodicticus
Aug 24, 2007, 10:48am Top

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126timspalding
Aug 24, 2007, 11:22am Top

>For example, "autism," with eight matches, and "rabbits," with eleven matches, both display larger than "american literature," with 813 matches.

Very true. Very true. I changed the algorithm. It was treating intensity too seriously. It's much more balanced now.

127infiniteletters
Aug 24, 2007, 12:17pm Top

As I am lazy... Might as well have a direct link to what we're discussing. :)

General Tagmirror Link.

128myshelves
Aug 24, 2007, 12:18pm Top

How about changing the large-type title on this thing? It isn't really What LibraryThing thinks timspalding is interested in. That sounds as if LT (the entity?) has looked over the catalog and determined what it really indicates about his interests. The mirror is more like "Seeing Your Books As Others (or a self-selected subset) See Them."

The Koran may be the best place to begin to learn about the meanings of "jihad." But is the Book of Mormon the "historical and philological starting-point of any discussion" about "cult"? Does the tag reflect what owners are interested in? The tag "wingnuts" is another that is interesting, but which doesn't necessarily reflect the interests of the owner of a book so tagged. :-)

129timspalding
Aug 24, 2007, 12:30pm Top

Yeah, I don't like the subtitle either. Anyone want to suggest an alternative:

Tag Mirror: Your books as tagged by others

How's what?

>But is the Book of Mormon the "historical and philological starting-point of any discussion" about "cult"?

That's a good one. I think the tag *does* reflect what the owners are interested in, though.

I agree pure opinion tags go this way. Fortunately, LT has relatively few of them—particularly as against Amazon. And no, I'm not getting rid of my "twaddle" tag.

130hexmap
Aug 24, 2007, 1:26pm Top

> Tag Mirror: Your books as tagged by others

Is it others only? From the discussion it seemed to be everyone (my tags and others).

131kantelier
Edited: Aug 24, 2007, 1:54pm Top

I like the proposal of #129/#130 indeed it is not the opinion of LT if an opinion at all, but just the tags of all members together

132myshelves
Edited: Aug 24, 2007, 2:30pm Top

Book of Mormon (and other religious writings) tagged "cult":

> I think the tag *does* reflect what the owners are interested in, though.

It may reflect the interests/opinions of the people who applied the tag. I doubt that it reflects the interests of those owners of the book who are members of the religious group! :-)

133timspalding
Aug 24, 2007, 3:13pm Top

>I doubt that it reflects the interests of those owners of the book who are members of the religious group! :-)

No doubt. Look, I'm not going to dispute there's stuff in it that's more and less useful. Sometimes there's stuff there that's basically crap, and occasionally offensive crap.

But that's true when you do a Google search too. For a while, a white supremacist site was showing up in Google in the top 5 for "mermaids." This doesn't mean Google is a bad tool, it just means that whether a tool is occasionally wrong is not the only measure.

134readafew
Aug 24, 2007, 3:22pm Top

Tim > have you looked into the escape problem? Tags with Apostrophe's do not bring up their related books.

135countrylife
Edited: Dec 4, 2008, 2:55pm Top

This message has been deleted by its author.

136qu1d
Aug 24, 2007, 4:45pm Top

This is simply fascinating! The first one on my list of “adult” is – The Hobbit. War and Peace 4 is about agriculture. Animal farm, Little Prince, The Calvin and Hobbes tenth anniversary book, War and peace, Hieronymus Bosch (1450-1516) by Walter Bosing, Origin of Species, Heart of Darkness and Slapstick or Lonesome no more are autobiographies. The Annotated Alice, Name of the Rose, Dracula and Frankenstein are biographies, as well as 1984 and The Screwtape letters. Breakfast of champions is a biology book. Decamerone is about christianity. The Prince by Macchiavelli and Cryptonomicon are comedies. I must be deeply indoctrinated, as I haven't noticed that the classical Swedish crime story series by Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö is about communism. I’m happy to know people have noticed that The Idiot and Bhagavad-gita are fantasy. However, I wasn’t aware that Animal farm is folklore. I was never any good in geography, but now I know that Lolita and The Magician’s Nephew and The Hobbit are happening in Ireland. It’s nice to know that The Lord of the rings and Secret garden are memoirs. Of course, The Stranger by Camus and Silmarillion are about music. The Da Vinci Code seems to be situated in New York, as well as Brothers Karamazov. Oh, and I’m happy to know that Les Misérables is a satire. And finally, Canterbury stories by Chaucer, The DaVinci Code, Brave New World, 1984, Slaughterhouse five and The Island of Dr. Moreau by H. G Wells present nicely the “young adult” genre.

I guess that people may be laughing at my choice of tags, too. They are meaningful to me but might make no sense to other people. So let's relax and enjoy.

Seriously, this might be good way to get an overview of a library with no or very obscure tags. I wouldn’t rely on it, though. Occasionally, you might find something interesting or useful, but this feature seems to be more for playing and fun (which I love, too).

137melannen
Aug 24, 2007, 6:39pm Top

>> 119 That was the first thing I noticed in my catalog, too: 'hall' is an odd tag to show up in my top 100, and it's due to the fact that two people store a lot of their SF collection in the hallway. Not sure how that could be fixed, though - you'd have to have some way of filtering out all of the tags that are used on your books repeatedly but only by a few people, which wouldn't be worth the processing power. (Or some other way to indicate location, hint hint collections hint hint.)

Other than that my tag cloud was pretty much what I'd expected. (well, except for "Green Dragon" and I am *not* going to cave in and join that group, darnit, LT, stop trying to convince me.) I suppose that means I'm either very boring or very self-aware. :D It does seem to emphasize subjects in which I have *common* books over subjects in which I have *many* books, which is the reverse of what would actually reveal my interests, although that could be a lot worse.

But I do really like the idea of this feature. Social categorizing was part of what made me fall for this site in the first place (as much as I whine about fixing LoC search) and I always cheer at new ways to play with it. Especially ones as cool as this!

Not sure what I think of the pop-up interface thingy with the grayscale, either. It seems a lot more design-gimmicky than the rest of the site, which I like. But nobody else is complaining, so I guess at this point I'm just being grumpy.

I'd also love the idea of being taken to a library page of my books given the same tag by others: that way I could easily power-edit to fill in gaps in my tagging, without having the temptation to just slavishly strip other peoples' tagging that auto-suggestions could cause.

Basically, I really like the new feature yay!

And the privacy option isn't a bad idea: while I doubt that any casual trolls would bother to figure out what 'tag mirror' even means, there is a lot to be said for allowing the user to shape their own image of their library. That's part of why tags are so much fun: for a less fraught example, if I want to I can shamelessly tag all of my 19th century romances as "chicklit" (because I'm perpetually interested in womens' pop culture) without it showing up on my profile page as an interest in "regency romance" (because I'm not terribly interested in ripped bodices and heaving bosoms.) Tag mirror can be fun for pointing out where you're a bit self-delusional, and for making connections, but self-delusion and self-definition can also be fun.

138_Zoe_
Edited: Aug 24, 2007, 7:34pm Top

Tim, could you explain more about the algorithm and what changes you've been making? It feels like the latest change took out a lot of what was quirky and interesting and left only the most generic tags. Suddenly some of my biggest tags are adventure, mystery, and humor--none of which I'm particularly interested in, but they're the sort of things that can be applied to almost any fiction. It's not very much fun to look at anymore.

edit: also, it just feels inaccurate. My young adult tag is very small despite the fact that I have 740 books that have been given that tag, while humor with 224 seems to have taken over. When I first looked at the tag mirror I thought Yes, that's my library, despite some problems like the oversized chick lit. But it doesn't really feel like me anymore.

139VisibleGhost
Aug 24, 2007, 9:26pm Top

#133> Did the publisher like what you showed them? Or did they consider it valueless? If you can't comment on this I understand.

140jjwilson61
Aug 24, 2007, 10:55pm Top

134> b&w doesn't work either...I presume it's the ampersand.

141timspalding
Aug 25, 2007, 1:07am Top

>Tim, could you explain more about the algorithm and what changes you've been making?

I just changed it one more time. Believe me, this is tricky stuff. The new one gets both the autism vs. american literature problem above and the "adventure" problem you discussed. Anyway, it goes some of the way there.

One problem is, I think, that sometimes tags are about intensity and sometimes they are not. Whether the Da Vinci Code is "adventure" is a judgment call, but the percent will be small and the tag too. When only a few people say Make Way for Ducklings won the Caldecott medal, that's different. There's almost no lying in tags, so it would be useful to know which tags are understood to be opinions and which are binary facts.

I hate cut-offs. It's what you do when you can't get the math right. But in this case I added one. Books tagged something less than 1% of the time are excluded from the calculations. So, the Da Vinci Code is NOT adventure. You'll see this marked now on the pop-up.

I've been doing all sorts of gyrations, then looking at the three or four libraries I know well to see what "looks good." Currently the algorithm is:

count(DISTINCT books) *
POW((AVG(tags-on-the-works)/AVG(copies-of-the-works+10))* 100, .6)

The first line is the number of books the user has that have the tag, excluding those that fall beneath the 1% threshhold.

The second is a massaged undertanding of intensity. You want to take the tags and divide them by the copies. The "+10" is to correct for the margin of error when there are only a few copies, so that 2 tags on 2 copies isn't treated as too sigificant. The POW ... .6 is to put a very steep damper on the whole intensity thing, so that highly-intensity tags, like series, don't take over the cloud.

I have, quite frankly, spent the whole evening on this problem. There are no simple answers. Anyway, perhaps you get an insight into how hard some of these algorithms are to make.

142timspalding
Aug 25, 2007, 1:08am Top

>139 VisibleGhost:

Yeah, they loved it. When you're doing a cloud for a publisher, you've got less of a worry about surfacing interesing but obscure tags.

143chamekke
Aug 25, 2007, 1:53am Top

I explored the tag mirror for the first time tonight, and I really love it!

Frankly I wish that more of my books were tagged by other people using terms that were wacky (to me). The few oddballs I could find were tremendously entertaining. I suspect that for most people, that's the true pleasure of this feature.

144Heather19
Aug 25, 2007, 2:18am Top

Tim, I have to ask, what does "twaddle" mean? *giggles*

I love this! My tag mirror is so random and strange, and I love it! I shook my head in wonderful-amusement when I saw the fairly big tag "smiley". Okaaaaaay. lol

Heather

145_Zoe_
Aug 25, 2007, 10:58am Top

Thanks, that was definitely interesting and does give me an idea of how hard it is. The last change does make it a lot better; the uninformative tags like adventure and English are reduced and the more interesting tags are larger.

146An_Fear_Glas
Aug 25, 2007, 11:01am Top

Tim, this is one of my favourite features. Thanks to you and your team for putting it in place.

147timepiece
Aug 25, 2007, 12:42pm Top

I don't like the pop-up thing either, because I can't get out of it! I use a tablet on portrait orientation, my screen is only 768 pixels wide, and the "close this" link is off the screen to the left - and I'm not getting a sideways scrollbar, either! I had to rotate my screen just to be able to close it. Why does it have to be that wide, anyway? Almost none of the titles come anywhere near being wide enough to fill the box, and heck, it's text! it can wrap!

Please make it play nicely with non-standard window sizes.

148hailelib
Aug 25, 2007, 6:29pm Top

Is anyone else finding the lists for specific tags unscrollable? I can only see the complete set if it is less than about 25 books.

149jjwilson61
Aug 25, 2007, 6:38pm Top

Why does my list for "cookbook" include

# The Frugal Gourmet by Jeff Smith (1 tags on 224 copies) — below the 1% threshhold

yet when I go to the book it says that it has been tagged "cookbook" 69 times?

150timspalding
Aug 25, 2007, 6:57pm Top

>148 hailelib: What browser and OS?

>149 jjwilson61: I'm guessing it's a combination issue.

151jjwilson61
Aug 25, 2007, 7:05pm Top

>150 timspalding: This seems to be an issue with nearly all my cookbooks, so its not an isolated incident.

152jlane
Aug 25, 2007, 7:29pm Top

>
yesterday pm--Windows Vista, Firefox browser--no text listing titles in popup

today--Windows XP, IE6, 17 in. flat screen--text beyond borders of screen, can't see close button

153_Zoe_
Aug 26, 2007, 1:54am Top

Could you add back a way to see the weighting as determined by the formula? I know you were trying to make it clearer, but as it is now, clicking on "show weighting" obscures more than it reveals. Maybe there could be a "show weighting" button and also a "show number of books" button?

I'm also hoping it will eventually be possible to go from the list of books with a given tag to that set of books in the catalogue.

154SilentInAWay
Aug 26, 2007, 4:13am Top

>152 jlane: text beyond borders of screen, can't see close button

Tim, do you assume a minimum viewing resolution?

155hailelib
Aug 26, 2007, 7:11am Top

Tim -

Mac OS X and Firefox 2.0.0.6

156AnnaOok
Aug 26, 2007, 7:35am Top

> 144: "Twaddle" is like twiddle, only more intense

> Also add my vote to people who don't like the pop-up interface. Any reason why it can't be like the rest of the site?

157jjwilson61
Aug 26, 2007, 9:22am Top

I've tried to give it a chance, but I don't like the pop-up either. It forces me to use the mouse to close it properly and I'm always accidentally using the back arrow instead.

158infiniteletters
Edited: Aug 26, 2007, 11:57am Top

Down with popups! ;)

Oh, and why not stick the close link in the top middle? That would fix the resolution problem...

159parelle
Aug 26, 2007, 9:08pm Top

Could a link to the Tag Mirror be added to the Tags page?

160prosfilaes
Aug 27, 2007, 8:05am Top

125> This came up on the combiners group; romance in several languages means novel, so as LibraryThing goes more multilingual, the tag romance is starting to get that meaning mixed in.

It's not just a cross lingual thing, either. When I saw the tag gothic in my tag mirror, I had to check the list of books to figure out what it was talking about, because all my books on the language of the Goths are uncatalogued electronic copies.

161SilentInAWay
Aug 27, 2007, 5:16pm Top

>160 prosfilaes: romance in several languages means novel

as does roman

162infiniteletters
Aug 28, 2007, 10:58am Top

*bump* The individual tag section of the TagMirror still crashes Safari due to the Ajax Prototype code.

163EncompassedRunner
Aug 28, 2007, 12:03pm Top

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164prosfilaes
Aug 28, 2007, 12:16pm Top

163> Someone interested in the concept of Palestine would find many books on this subject in your library, many with the word in its name. All the Tag Mirror is saying is that you find material about the concept of Palestine interesting, which you obviously do. It's not your tag, and I think that's made clear enough.

165readafew
Edited: Aug 28, 2007, 12:19pm Top

163 > Then disable your Mirror and don't use it.

I think there are a lot of people offended by how others look at things.

166EncompassedRunner
Aug 28, 2007, 1:19pm Top

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167infiniteletters
Aug 28, 2007, 1:25pm Top

166: Although I don't want to disable it myself, I think that option to hide/disable completely should be there.

And a better caption would be good too, as discussed earlier

168readafew
Aug 28, 2007, 1:43pm Top

166> Disabling the Mirror is making it unavailable for others to use not you.

169rjohara
Edited: Aug 28, 2007, 2:24pm Top

Although it would violate web customs, perhaps for the sake of clarity the whole tag mirror could be done in a different color; maybe green links instead of blue. That would immediately communicate that you're looking at something "alien" to the normal parts of a person's profile. (Just thinking out loud.)

170timspalding
Aug 28, 2007, 3:51pm Top

>163 EncompassedRunner:.

Your Library of Congress Subject Headings are also using the term. I say this not to justify it—in this context at least I have no opinion—but to point out that classification always involves choices like this. If LibraryThing is going to show library classifications, from LCSH to LCC and Dewey, it's going to be showing things some people disagree with. I think tag mirrors exposes the issue clearly, but it's always an issue.

In the case of tag mirrors, I've given you an out. You can choose not to display it. I am not inclined to add such a choice for LCSH, but it's inherent here. As I'm sure you realize, your tags are no exception—the fellow above who didn't like "jihad" in their tags would, I think, object to how you use it too.

In sum, LibraryThing allows you to hang onto your chocolate, if you want, but it's fundamentally about putting the chocolate in the peanut butter.

Wording: I'm open to changing the wording. I don't want it to read like a warning label on a set of lawn darts, but it can certainly communicate the point.

171MikeBriggs
Aug 28, 2007, 4:37pm Top

I can't remember the exact wording of that warning - but I just now laughed at the vague recollection :)

172jimroberts
Aug 28, 2007, 4:57pm Top

#170 and others: timspalding
Reserving my option to disagree with Tim if the occasion arises: in this thread I think his posts are bang on.
However, in view of the in some cases rather (IMNSHO) silly things that have been said about tag mirror here and in other places, I have placed a disclaimer regarding tag mirror on my profile. Others who fear a naive interpretation of their tag mirror could do the same.
I retain my initial impression, that tag mirror is a fun and useful feature, but with the proviso, that it should be interpreted with care.

173shmjay
Aug 28, 2007, 10:42pm Top

>169 rjohara: Yes, green Courier (i.e. changing font), or maybe white letters on blue background, instead of the normal blue letters on white background, or whatever the type of font is called when you see what the outline of the letter is.

I think white letters on blue background would most effectively communicate that this is Bizarro World tagging.

174EncompassedRunner
Aug 28, 2007, 10:48pm Top

This message has been deleted by its author.

175DaynaRT
Edited: Aug 29, 2007, 9:14am Top

Every time I edit my profile I have to re-check the disable tag mirror option. It should remember my choice. Also, the same thing happens when I edit my styles and have to re-check the show swap column.

edited to correct redundant redundancy

176drbubbles
Aug 29, 2007, 10:32am Top

>172 jimroberts: "...the in some cases rather (IMNSHO) silly things that have been said about tag mirror..."

You are fortunate to be able to think so. Not everyone has that luxury.

177jimroberts
Aug 29, 2007, 11:33am Top

#176: drbubbles
Er ... Sorry, I don't understand. Surely any of us is allowed to think that something that was said was silly? Would it have been nicer to say "things I disagree with" - though that's usually not the same. Perhaps IMHO rather than IMNSHO?

178Donogh
Aug 29, 2007, 11:53am Top

*gee* you start an innocent thread...

One issue I'd raise (maybe it's my browser version/settings)
The option to turn off this feature when editing my profile is pretty camouflaged: there is just a tick-box at the bottom right hand side next to the save button. But without any description of what it does.

Also, it might be more intuitive to allow users to do this from their TagMirror itself.

Obviously I'll emphasize fleela's point in #175 as well; it should remember settings and not revert to a default any time your edit it on your profile

Thanks!

179timspalding
Aug 29, 2007, 12:50pm Top

>it should remember settings and not revert to a default any time your edit it on your profile

Sorry. Idiot coding typo. Fixed now.

Still waiting for suggestions on the wording. Given how much fur flies over this, I want feedback before I make a change that half of everyone hates.

180infiniteletters
Aug 29, 2007, 12:56pm Top

One of the problems with describing the current tagmirror is that it includes both your tags and other tags.

So any decription such as "these are what other people have tagged foo's books" isn't accurate.

181timspalding
Aug 29, 2007, 1:00pm Top

>So any decription such as "these are what other people have tagged foo's books" isn't accurate.

Well, your own tags will be a minor player. "How the LibraryThing community as a whole ..."?

I made one tweak: The order is now tag cloud, author cloud, tag mirror. This deephasizes it slightly, although it also deephasizes the logical connection to the tag cloud. (We need an "author mirror." What authors do other people think you have? ;). Anyway, it's a small change, but it's the little things that count, right? Right?

182readafew
Aug 29, 2007, 1:16pm Top

I still don't think that books that I am the sole owner of should be used to generate the cloud.

WildStorm is a tag I have on 15 publications that I am the only owner of, and the wildstorm tag shows up in my Mirror and No one else has used the tag on any of my other books.

So to recap, I have a fairly predominate tag that is only used by me on books only I have. I would like the cloud to show tags at least one other user used on my books.

183sabreuse
Aug 29, 2007, 1:17pm Top

It seems to me that the objection is more to the header than the descripion -- for people who seem to feel misrepresented by the tag cloud, I'd bet it's the big bold "so-and-so is interested in..." label that grates, rather than the accuracy of other users vs. the community.

(Of course, I think it's all kinds of shiny fun, so I may be misrepresenting the misrepresented.)

184Kira
Aug 29, 2007, 1:31pm Top

I think the tag mirror should continue to use your tags also, not just others, because otherwise obscure books wouldn't be counted at all. For instance if you owned 100 ancient books nobody else had and 5 Harry Potters, it would be more accurate to see some representation of the ancient books even if it had to use your own tags, than to just see a big Harry Potter tag in the mirror.

185infiniteletters
Aug 29, 2007, 1:47pm Top

I also think that books where I am the sole user of that tag on that set of books should be included by default. or the other way around... anything to be able to see more of what other people used. :)

186jlane
Edited: Aug 29, 2007, 2:48pm Top

>179 timspalding:

Maybe saying "thinks ... is interested in" is more than we need for this. For me, tags are terms, words that people have used to label works. They may be subjective, but I don't consider how to best express my opinion of a work when I choose them. They aren't reviews. And, since other users of LT weren't considering my works when they tagged a title, it just doesn't seem accurate to say that.

One possibility: Remove the phrase after Tag Mirror.
Instead of the current "Rather..", use something like
Rather than showing only a member's tags, this shows those that all of LibraryThing uses to tag this work. (or another version)

187LolaWalser
Aug 29, 2007, 4:46pm Top

"How LT tags X's books"

188kantelier
Edited: Aug 29, 2007, 5:31pm Top

>186 jlane: Maybe saying "thinks ... is interested in" is more than we need It is even not how others tagged my books

> 179
so my try

Tag mirror: all tags on the books of
... Rather than showing just the tags of the catalog owner, this also shows how other members tagged books shared with . ...

189EncompassedRunner
Aug 29, 2007, 7:16pm Top

This message has been deleted by its author.

190timspalding
Aug 29, 2007, 10:33pm Top

>187 LolaWalser:

I'm not sure I like the impersonal "LT." People might think the *system* does it, when it—and all tagging that's worthy of the name*—is done by people.

*I exclude all the half-baked "word cloud" ideas that library designers keep throwing at people, as if turning the LCSH heading "cookery" into a tag is going to do anything for anyone.

191_Zoe_
Aug 29, 2007, 11:22pm Top

What about "How all users tag X's books", then?

192eromsted
Aug 30, 2007, 12:47am Top

I think the language is basically fine. "What LibraryThing thinks {member name} is interested in" is, I think, quite accurate and direct. "...what other members think of..." from the next line is perhaps a bit vague. "...how other members tag..." would be most direct. Or if you think the word tag is being repeated too often, perhaps, "...how other members categorize..."

Some people in this thread seem to be worried that being interested in a topic will be taken as signifying sharing in some particular belief system related to that topic. Such a conclusion is clearly false. Just because some people may make this false conclusion does not undermine the utility or accuracy of the TagMirror. For instance -

I have a very large entry in my TagMirror for "christianity." I am, in fact, an athiest. "atheism" only gets a very small listing in the 1000 tag Mirror. However, this is all perfectly accurate. I 'am' more interested in reading about Christianity (and Islam, and Judaism, and religion in general) than about atheism.

My TagMirror also includes: "gay" although I'm straight, "communism" although I'm not a communist, and "vegetarian" although I'll eat just about anything. And the fact that it lists "apartheid," "lynching," " torture," "slavery," "nazi," "nazis," and "Nazism," can hardly be taken for my endorsement of these things. But after all, the heading doesn't say, "What LibraryThing thinks eromsted believes."

Will some people jump to the wrong conclusions? Probably. The moment you put your library online you run the risk that someone will think that owning a book means agreeing with everything it says. The TagMirror doesn't change this. But if you are so ideologically narrow-minded that you can't stand to even be associated with certain words (words!) then by all means, turn off the TagMirror in your profile. It's your loss.

193timspalding
Aug 30, 2007, 1:39am Top

Spoken like a true gay vegetarian.

194kantelier
Aug 30, 2007, 2:49am Top

> 191

My point is nobody tags someone else's books or sheds light on someone else's collection. Everybody tags his/her own books. Noting more. Not at all what anybody thinks about someone else or other catalogs. Just what they think about their own books they happen to share with someone else. Stressing that would take away much of potential misinterpretation.

195prosfilaes
Aug 30, 2007, 3:39pm Top

> 194 Most tags by most people are about the book. Some of those tags are about minor things that stand out to the particular person, but the rest are about large general things. Palestine is the way that most people would describe many of EncompassedRunner's books, which is why it appeared there.

196SilentInAWay
Sep 1, 2007, 2:25am Top

A bit late to be helpful, perhaps, but how about:

"How other members have tagged their copies of xxxx's books"

It's not 100% accurate (since it includes xxxx's own tags) nor nearly as provocative, but it does avoid the implication that the tags somehow describe xxxx.

197Talbin
Sep 1, 2007, 10:56am Top

It seems that the words "interested in" are the problematic ones. To me these two little words imply too much about my relationship to the tag mirror's tags. Saying this is what I'm interested in implies that I agree with the tags and I am at least somewhat personally invested in these tags, when I'm not at all - these are tags someone else has used.

So how about . . . .

Tag Mirror: How LT members tag X's books.

OR

Tag Mirror: How the LT community tags X's books.

198hexmap
Sep 1, 2007, 12:21pm Top

What about marking the tags the library owner has used in a different way from the tags he or she has not used? Italics/standard or green/blue. I don't remember all my tags and it would be interesting to see the tags I use and don't use.

Sorry if this was proposed earlier, this has been a long discussion.

199infiniteletters
Sep 1, 2007, 12:54pm Top

198: both on the main tag mirror and on the individual tagmirror pages... I know I've used a lot of those tags on a lot of my books, and it would be nice to have a vistual indicator instead of bothering to click through.

200shmjay
Sep 1, 2007, 2:57pm Top

I like 197's second suggestion. It puts the "blame" on the community; after all, the community could be wrong.

201timspalding
Sep 1, 2007, 9:10pm Top

Here's my rewrite:

Tag Mirror: How LibraryThing members tag timspalding's books

Explanation: This is a new twist to tagging. A normal tag cloud shows a member's own tags. Tag mirror shows how other members tag the same books. Although a tag mirror cannot be taken as fully accurate or representative, it often casts interesting new light on the collection.

202_Zoe_
Sep 1, 2007, 9:13pm Top

Sounds good, except I don't think the "other members" part is quite accurate if it includes the user's own tags.

203timspalding
Sep 1, 2007, 9:28pm Top

Changed to "the whole LibraryThing community tags..."

204infiniteletters
Sep 1, 2007, 11:19pm Top

"casts interesting new light on the collection."

casts an interesting new light on the collection.

205barreb
Sep 2, 2007, 12:18pm Top

Sorry if I missed this in a previous discussion, but has anyone asked whether it would be possible to display the tag mirror in one's blog widget?

Right now one can display one's tag cloud, so I'm wondering whether it would be difficult to do the same with the tag mirror.

Thanks!

206jimroberts
Edited: Sep 2, 2007, 3:38pm Top

Strange things come up on tag mirror. The tag 'evolution' looks fairly significant on mine, it has been applied to quite a bit of popular science, especially of course popular biology, but less to the more technical biology that I have. What is really amazing, is that apparently only 1 of more than 2000 copies of Darwin's 'Origin of Species' has been tagged 'evolution'.

207Kira
Sep 2, 2007, 6:39pm Top

206> When looking at The Origin of Species page though, it says 369 people have tagged it evolution, how strange. On a side note, when I searched for The Origin of Species it says the author is Origin of Species (which is combined with Charles Darwin, and links to Darwin in the end, but shouldn't it pick Darwin's name to display because of its overwhelming popularity?).

208Talbin
Sep 2, 2007, 8:48pm Top

Very nice, Tim - I like the rewrite.

209timspalding
Sep 2, 2007, 10:12pm Top

>204 infiniteletters:
You're right.

>206 jimroberts:
I think you had an edition that got combined recently. Tag mirror works off a "slice in time" of the data, not the data in flux.

>207 Kira:
It's "matching" on that variant. Odd problem. I'll tell Casey.

210LolaWalser
Sep 3, 2007, 11:01am Top

How LibraryThing members tag timspalding's books

I'll have my cookie in the zesty-lemony genre, thank you!

211_Zoe_
Sep 3, 2007, 11:21am Top

Can anything be done to speed up the list of books that you get by clicking on the tag? I didn't have any problems with it when the Tag Mirror was first introduced, but it's since become ridiculous: I've been waiting for my list of biographies to load for more than ten minutes now. Needless to say, this makes the feature a LOT less fun; it's hardly worth bothering now.

The Tag Mirror itself does load more quickly than it used to, but if that's related, I'd much rather have slow loading of the Tag Mirror (which happens only once) and then quick loading of the lists within the Tag Mirror.

212timspalding
Sep 3, 2007, 10:47pm Top

I think you caught sitewide slow-down problems that plagued us toay. As an already slow feature, you can notice a slowdown there easily. We'll keep it in mind, for sure.

213jimroberts
Sep 4, 2007, 4:28am Top

#209: timspalding
"I think you had an edition that got combined recently. Tag mirror works off a "slice in time" of the data, not the data in flux."
referring to
"... apparently only 1 of more than 2000 copies of Darwin's 'Origin of Species' has been tagged 'evolution'."

It's now two days later and the book list for evolution in my tag mirror now shows "1 tags on 2066". The number of copies has gone up a bit since Sunday.

214_Zoe_
Sep 4, 2007, 8:44am Top

I guess yesterday was exceptionally bad, but it's still taking about a minute even now. It used to be much speedier.

215timspalding
Sep 4, 2007, 10:55am Top

It's very much on the table of concern right now, _Zoe_. Sorry for the hassle.

216_Zoe_
Sep 4, 2007, 11:34am Top

No worries about the hassle, I'm still grateful for the new feature!

217lorax
Nov 16, 2007, 4:17pm Top

Are there any plans to bring this back, or is it too much of a drain?

218infiniteletters
Nov 16, 2007, 5:33pm Top

*echoes 217*

219manque First Message
Nov 20, 2007, 12:53am Top

* echoes 217 / 218 *

I'd love a chance to use this feature.

220_Zoe_
Nov 20, 2007, 8:45am Top

I'd really like it back too. Also, I think the bold "New" should be removed from the profile (and for shared favourites, too).

I'm sort of concerned that the site seems to be losing features as quickly as it gains them. Affinity, tag mirror, even changing your user name....

221MurrayWoolnough
Dec 1, 2007, 4:53pm Top

echoes 217

222Fey
Dec 4, 2007, 10:17am Top

echoes last 5 posts...

223MurrayWoolnough
Dec 10, 2007, 7:40am Top

SantaThing would REALLY benefit from Tag Mirror...

224nperrin
Dec 10, 2007, 8:04am Top

Ditto 223--I was just thinking that as I signed up!

225Fey
Dec 12, 2007, 5:19pm Top

*A wary bump...*

226brunellus
Dec 18, 2007, 2:44pm Top

For me, the Tag Mirror is one of LibraryThing's best features, so I'd like to echo message 217 too.

"Are there any plans to bring this back, or is it too much of a drain?"

227_Zoe_
Dec 18, 2007, 6:15pm Top

A month later, I still want it back....

228edwinbcn
Dec 20, 2007, 6:07pm Top

LOL

229reconditereader
Dec 28, 2007, 5:36pm Top

I'd like it back too, please. (After Tim et al. finish their well-deserved holiday break?) It was awesome...

230plussum First Message
Jan 17, 2008, 9:07am Top

Yep, let's see it. I'm newer, so never saw it. Not much into tagging yet (old-school user), but seeing others' tags of my books would help me get the hang of it.

Any plans?

231selkins
Jan 17, 2008, 5:58pm Top

If Tim is still waiting for feedback on the Tag Mirror description rewrite (#201, 203), well, I liked it. I'd like to see the tag mirror back, too.

232pomonomo2003
Jan 17, 2008, 7:10pm Top

I too found this feature very useful and would like to see it back.

233n_morrell
Feb 23, 2008, 7:10pm Top

*echoes last sixteen posts*

"Tag mirror is temporarily disabled (Oct. 19 4pm Eastern)"

Doesn't this make LT look bad?

I'm not demanding you reinstate the feature. (I appreciate that there may be reasons you can't reinstate the feature. I liked it, but I can live without it.)

But couldn't you at least not pretend to have features you don't? I think four months is long enough to change that text. It's certainly long enough for the word "temporarily" to start ringing hollow.

Sincerely,
a devoted but grumpy LT user

PS - off-topic, but isn't the change-username function still "temporarily disabled" too?

234Heather19
Feb 23, 2008, 8:59pm Top

233- I agree. I love LT, but there are many things (like Tag Mirror) that still show up even though they aren't working and haven't been for months. I would DEFINITELY like Tag Mirror back if/when it's possible, but in the meantime it should at least be taken off profiles or something... to constantly see it there when it's not even accessible just doesn't seem right.

235_Zoe_
Feb 23, 2008, 10:04pm Top

Actually, I don't want to see it taken off the profiles. I feel like doing that would be like saying that it's never coming back. As long as it's there, there's still some hope.

236AnnaClaire
Feb 23, 2008, 10:04pm Top

And when I copy-and-paste people's usernames here in talk*, the words "Show Affinity" still show up in the paste. Affinity was around for a month or two (if that) right after I joined LT ten months ago. They haven't been back since.

* so I can reply to them if I don't think a direct quote is necessary.

237reconditereader
Feb 25, 2008, 3:28pm Top

I'm with Zoe #235! Hope springs eternal! Tag mirror ahoy? Please?

238AnnaClaire
Feb 25, 2008, 3:32pm Top

I'm neutral on tag mirror coming back (I didn't use it much, and would much rather have collections anyway). But the least they could do is update the text so that it doesn't say it was taken down in October.

239_Zoe_
Feb 25, 2008, 3:58pm Top

For what it's worth, I'd actually rather have tag mirror than collections. It was such a fantastic way to get a quick overview of someone else's catalogue.

240lorax
Feb 25, 2008, 4:19pm Top

Anna, I think leaving the message saying it was taken down in October is fine (especially since the alternatives as I see them are to give no indication that it was deliberately taken down, leading to a flood of posts on Bug Collectors, or to disappear it down the memory hole entirely ("Tag mirror? What tag mirror?"). Unless of course they don't intend to bring it back, in which case I agree they should remove the links, not just the text.

If they do intend to bring it back, I do think perhaps they could just change the text to read "Temporarily disabled Oct. 2007" rather than having the extra precision suggesting that it would return in a matter of hours; at least to me, the precision in the downtime message implies an approximate duration, i.e. "Temporarily disabled Oct. 16, 2007" would suggest an expected downtime measured in days, while "Temporarily disabled 2007" would suggest one measured in years.

241perodicticus
Feb 26, 2008, 8:30am Top

I have to say that with Tag Mirror gone and recommendations not working properly, this place has lost a lot of its fun for me. :-(

I understand there may be reasons why these things can't be fixed straightaway, but I would really like to have more communication about when and how it might be done.

242_Zoe_
Feb 26, 2008, 10:26am Top

this place has lost a lot of its fun for me

That, combined with the "it's good to alienate some of the more serious members" attitude....

243timspalding
Feb 26, 2008, 10:51am Top

Zoe: I'm very sorry that I disagreed with you on another thread. But this came out of a conversation with 276 posts, 32 of them by me. We discuss things together at great length and with extraordinary, absolutely unprecedented openness. It was a true conversation. This is not common on websites. I can't think of any website that does something close.

I am also extremely frank. I told you what I actually think. On every website I know the developers—scratch that "community managers" because users are to be "managed" not listed to—would never disagree publicly with a user. They would instead leave some bland and meaningless message, designed to placate you and make you think you got your way.

It talking at length and seriously with users raises the expectation that you will always get your way, that's unfortunate. In fact, you will probably get *some* of your way, as that conversation did raise the fact that some sort of UI change is necessary for the add books page, that allows members to add more information. Just what that information is—whether, for example, the date you started a book is going to get used enough—is up for debate.

Look, I'm trying to build a site that *everyone* will enjoy as much as possible.

244timspalding
Feb 26, 2008, 10:53am Top

Regarding the tag mirror, I'm hoping we can bring it back when the new $10,000 disk array arrives and gets installed. That looks like some time next week, because the installation guy is on vacation this week.

However, no promises. We don't know how much extra umph it will add. If it doubles our umph, we'll bring tag-mirror back. If it gives s 25%, no.

245DaynaRT
Feb 26, 2008, 10:59am Top

>244 timspalding:
Will we still be able to turn the tag mirror off?

246_Zoe_
Feb 26, 2008, 11:13am Top

You're right, it's fantastic that you're so open with your members. It does raise expectations, but it also makes them more willing to help (I felt sort of guilty for being so troublesome, so I added 15 venues to demonstrate that I can make a positive contribution too, and I plan to add more).

My anger really comes down to your wording; I think "alienate" is much too strong. It's one thing to disappoint some members while trying to make the site have more popular appeal, but I don't think you want to alienate them (cause them to become unfriendly and hostile). It was the claim that alienation is okay, and the subsequent defense of that claim (which did raise valid points in general) that, well, alienated me.

247fyrefly98
Feb 26, 2008, 11:14am Top

>244 timspalding: If it doubles our umph

Is that some sort of technical computer-speak measurement? :)

I'd actually vote for the return of affinity over the tag mirror - not necessarily all over the place in Talk, but I became enamored of the idea of sorting reviews by affinity. Ah well. Perhaps that would require tripling the umph.

248_Zoe_
Feb 26, 2008, 11:17am Top

I'd actually vote for the return of affinity over the tag mirror

I know, what about a polling feature? *grin*

More seriously, though, I also loved the idea of sorting reviews by affinity. And I think someone (Chris?) said once that it might be possible to have affinity just for reviews, since that wouldn't require nearly as much calculation.

But if I had to choose, I'd still go with tag mirror.

249timspalding
Feb 26, 2008, 11:57am Top

So, stay tuned. I'm reworking the add books page rather significantly.

I'll tell you that, in general, I am *alergic* to changing that page. I'm superstitious about it. LibraryThing members GO TO TOWN on it. It's why we hit 24,000,000 books yesterday. There are 35+ services like LibraryThing, and only 2 or 3 have ever gotten many books. So we've done SOMETHING right with it. I'm afraid to muck that up.

Still, it hasn't changed in a long time. The addition of status was unsatisfactory on all sides. It needs a redo. My point in redoing it is to allow members to easily add certain metadata—status, date read, review maybe—without having each book take up too much space. That's because seeing more than a few books at a time allows you to edit them more easily and it gives you a feeling of zipping along. But it's a tricky thing.

Anyway, I'll show something when I have something.

250timspalding
Feb 26, 2008, 11:58am Top

Incidentally, I'm working on this for a few hours, not on LT local. Leading is choosing?

251AnnaClaire
Feb 26, 2008, 12:09pm Top

More seriously, though, I also loved the idea of sorting reviews by affinity. And I think someone (Chris?) said once that it might be possible to have affinity just for reviews, since that wouldn't require nearly as much calculation. (#248)

Perhaps doing this would be a good start toards having the tag mirror again. Do this, do a little work towards Local (whatever the heck that turns out to be), do a little more with tag mirror, do a little more towards Local. You get the picture. It would keep us a little happier, and keep the sponsors -- there were sponsors or something for Local, weren't there? -- from getting too antsy.

252timspalding
Feb 26, 2008, 4:51pm Top

No, no sponsors. Partners. We ditched 'em on Sunday.

253jjwilson61
Feb 26, 2008, 5:00pm Top

Doesn't that lower the priority of LT Local then? I know it's nifty, but people have been waiting for Collections for so long.

254timspalding
Feb 26, 2008, 5:11pm Top

No, it's too close to done.

255HeathMochaFrost
Feb 26, 2008, 8:08pm Top

Wait - you ditched them? Did you just say you ditched them? You mean whoever these partners were that you promised this LT Local feature to - eons ago, wasn't it - you ditched them? Wow.

I think I'm probably in the minority, but I'm actually really looking forward to the launch of LT Local. I've been hearing so much about it the past few weeks - except what it IS - I just wanna see it already!! ;-)

256Heather19
Feb 26, 2008, 8:56pm Top

*has VERY strong, kid-like urge to tease HeathMochaFrost with own knowledge of LT Local* lol

*sends hugs and coffee/soda/whatever to Tim* I swear, the first million I make, half is going to LT. I swear! I love it! (and DON'T laugh, I still have a dream of being rich someday!)

257timspalding
Edited: Feb 26, 2008, 9:15pm Top

Sorry. I went into it at some length in the "Board for Extreme Thing Advances" (anyone who wants in, just let me know). But I don't want to badmouth anyone in the open. Basically, their data was ratty (eg., seven Harvard Coops) and we couldn't fix it. The data wasn't as copious as we though either. We are sure that LT members will create more data, and much better data. So we bowed out.

LT local will be cool. I regret it's not out yet. Grumble.

258HeathMochaFrost
Feb 26, 2008, 10:17pm Top

Oh yeah, the cool kids' group. ;-) I don't think I've been an LT addict long enough to be on the "Board," and I'm too tired of this day to worry about being teased a little. (When I read Heather's comment, I was thinking, "Don't tease me, just TELL me!")

Sorry to sound glum - I just gotta get to bed soon - and Tim, I appreciate you not wanting to badmouth anyone, that's a good policy. I'll see Local whenever it becomes a reality, but at the very least, I hope ending the partnership has taken a little of the heat and stress off of you and the other staff peoples. :-)

May tomorrow be not as cold as today was!!!

259AnnaClaire
Feb 26, 2008, 10:21pm Top

If I promise to give it a fair shake, will I be allowed to think that Local isn't cool?

Failing that, why won't anyone tell us what Local is? (Besides being "local" that is, which is either obvious or an obvious anachronism.)

260slickdpdx
Edited: Feb 26, 2008, 10:32pm Top

tag mirror was good, but group zeitgeist was great! and its back!

261timspalding
Feb 26, 2008, 11:24pm Top

No, you are not allowed to think Local is not cool. We have rules!

(It's the suede-denim secret police. They have come for your uncool niece!)

262SilentInAWay
Feb 26, 2008, 11:26pm Top

California über alles!

263timspalding
Feb 26, 2008, 11:36pm Top

:)

264Noisy
Feb 28, 2008, 3:04pm Top

This message has been deleted by its author.

265Noisy
Feb 28, 2008, 3:05pm Top

Oh, and affinity is much more important to me than tag mirror, but only if the reciprocal value is available as well.

266AnnaClaire
Feb 28, 2008, 4:51pm Top

What, anti-affinity?

.

Affinity and anti-affinity. We're starting to sound like ions.

267Noisy
Edited: Feb 28, 2008, 7:00pm Top

|||||
 - ^
 o o
   |
  ~

I said reciprocal, not inverse! If I see that I have 99% affinity with someone, then it is not beyond the realms of possibility that that person only has 30% affinity with me. Trying to strike up a conversation with someone on that basis seems a bit silly, if you can't see the 30% side of the equation.

268Mr.Durick
Feb 28, 2008, 7:14pm Top

So I followed Noisy's hint. No venues within whatever. Now I guess I'm done with it.

Robert

269Noisy
Feb 28, 2008, 7:22pm Top

OK, I wish I hadn't done that, now. Given that Tim has junked the relationship with the original supplier of data, we are going to have to plow our own furrow. I'm deleting my hint.

270Mr.Durick
Feb 28, 2008, 8:14pm Top

I didn't mean actually to spoil anything. I don't think you or I have done harm, Noisy. We'll all see how it plays out in due time.

And I apologize if I did do harm.

Robert

271perodicticus
Feb 29, 2008, 4:53am Top

Is anyone else totally confused now?

272AnnaClaire
Mar 3, 2008, 1:20pm Top

Yes.

To bring this thread back on track, the phrase "Title | LibraryThing" appears in the title bar for my tag mirror (which see). And I'm still told that "Tag mirror is temporarily disabled (Oct. 19 4pm Eastern)".

273felius
Mar 7, 2008, 12:03am Top

I will fight (to the pain) to see Tag Mirror returned - some day, somehow.

274SilentInAWay
Mar 7, 2008, 1:38am Top

!!!

275readafew
Mar 7, 2008, 9:15am Top

273 > I think your bluffing!

276lorax
Mar 7, 2008, 12:59pm Top

273>

That's very encouraging. Thank you.

277Donogh
Mar 28, 2008, 6:27am Top

Felius must have done something, it would appear that the tag mirror has returned!
New 'sub-tab' on the profile page

278fabtk
Mar 28, 2008, 7:11am Top

Amazing - it's back!

279reading_fox
Mar 28, 2008, 7:32am Top

W00T!

280_Zoe_
Mar 28, 2008, 9:28am Top

Yay!

281jjwilson61
Mar 28, 2008, 9:40am Top

If you click on a tag in the mirror you get a blank page, or at least I do. I'm not sure what it was supposed to do though. I'd prefer showing all my books that others had labelled with that tag.

282DevourerOfBooks
Mar 28, 2008, 10:12am Top

>281 jjwilson61:, I had the same problem. Actually, it wasn't a totally blank page, it had a black-ish frame around it and I could see some barely visible tags in the black. I wanted to see which of my books had those labels too.

283AnnaClaire
Mar 28, 2008, 10:13am Top

I'm getting a blank page, too (at work, so this is the computer with IE). It looks like it's not exactly a new page, just something that hides the old one: you can see a little of it around the edge where it isn't quite opaque. The little loading animation chased its tail for a moment and then disappeared, but nothing else happened.

284royalhistorian
Mar 28, 2008, 10:25am Top

The same in Firefox, I can't click on a tag and get more info. But tag-mirror is back, yay!! Thank you!

285Donogh
Mar 28, 2008, 12:15pm Top

(on IE7)
Here's the details of the error which is occuring for me (in case it helps debugging)
Line: 18
Char: 80
Error: Expected identifier
Code: 0
URL: http://www.librarything.com/profile_tagmirror.php?view=Donogh

286AnnaClaire
Mar 28, 2008, 1:40pm Top

You mean you actually got an error message?

287AnnaOok
Edited: Mar 28, 2008, 2:20pm Top

I get the tag mirror no problem. Doesn't even take long to display.

(ETA: Uh, in case it helps. MSIE7 on WinXP.)

288DevourerOfBooks
Mar 28, 2008, 2:38pm Top

We're getting the mirror, but are not able to click on any of the tags in the mirror to see which of our books it was that other people used that tag to describe.

289reconditereader
Mar 28, 2008, 2:41pm Top

I also get a blank, dark grey "overpage" when I click on a tag, in both firefox and in IE6. That page used to show the list of books and now it just sits there, blank, and dies. No way to close it.

However, I'm so glad tag mirror is back! Hooray! There is much rejoicing inside my head.

290_Zoe_
Mar 28, 2008, 4:48pm Top

I'm having that problem too, I just didn't want to start complaining too soon ;)

291agis
Mar 28, 2008, 6:12pm Top

Hooray for tag mirror :)
I'm guessing the tag pages are supposed to show what books in your library other people tagged with that tag - it's trying to use a lightbox now? Presumably, they're working on it.

Also: I noticed it didn't show the tags "Fiction" or "Non-Fiction". Which is good.

292AnnaClaire
Mar 28, 2008, 8:18pm Top

I'm still getting the just the lightbox, with nothing on it.

293lorax
Apr 1, 2008, 4:20pm Top

I'm seeing the same behavior with FF 2.0.0.13 on XP; the tag mirror displays beautifully (thank you, thank you, thank you), but clicking on a tag returns an empty lightbox. I can live with this as a compromise to bringing back the full functionality.

Tag mirror! Hooray!

294conceptDawg
Apr 1, 2008, 4:27pm Top

Funny story, this.

I was talking to Tim last night and mentioned that people liked the Tag Mirror being back on. He then replied that he didn't do it. I didn't do it either. At least neither one of us did it on purpose. :)

That's why the lightbox isn't working: we didn't know Tag Mirror had been re-enabled. Oops.

I'm pretty sure that we're not going to re-enable the functionality that the lightbox is supposed to give, but I told Tim that I like having at least the Tag Mirror cloud available. So we may keep that part enabled while we work to figure out how we can re-enable the rest of Tag Mirror's goodness.

295nperrin
Apr 1, 2008, 4:54pm Top

Haha, I was wondering why neither of you came by to re-announce/enjoy all the gratitude around here. That is great!

296felius
Apr 1, 2008, 7:08pm Top

I didn't do it either, I assumed Tim had done it quietly. Now I'm paranoid and investigating.

297felius
Apr 1, 2008, 7:44pm Top

Looks like Tim did it, even if not on purpose. Details in email, paranoia temporarily diminished.

298conceptDawg
Apr 1, 2008, 10:08pm Top

Yeah, I wasn't too worried. I think that I assumed that I had done it and Tim thought that he had probably done it. Just one of those casualties of trying to check in a lot of files and clicking one too many times.

I, of course, never make that kind of mistake.

299Heather19
Apr 1, 2008, 10:20pm Top

LOL! Why do I find it so hysterically funny that none of you realized you'd done it / no one did it purposely? *giggles*

I love that it's there again, even if the lightbox isn't working. It's awesome anyways!

300persky
Apr 4, 2008, 12:59am Top

Here is another "hurray for tag mirror being back!"

>I'm pretty sure that we're not going to re-enable the functionality that the lightbox is
>supposed to give, but I told Tim that I like having at least the Tag Mirror cloud >available. So we may keep that part enabled while we work to figure out how we
>can re-enable the rest of Tag Mirror's goodness.

I _would_ like to see which books in my library are contributing to a particular tag. If there is a privacy concern, it seems reasonable to at least have this work for one's own library.

Another thing I've been wanting since the introduction of tag mirror (which _might_ raise some privacy concerns) is to get a tag cloud for someone else's library with respect to my tags (i.e., like tag mirror, but using just my tag set instead of the whole zeitgeist). I think this would be a nice summary of "what does this library look like in terms of what _I_ care about?"

301felius
Apr 4, 2008, 1:39am Top

It's not a privacy issue - it's to do with the load this sort of processing places on our servers.

It's currently about 1:30 AM LT time and traffic is winding down to its lowest ebb of the day. However, our webservers are sending out more traffic than they were during the *peak* of the day three months ago. The only hardware upgrade we've had during this time is some new disks for our database servers.

I count myself amongst those most keen to see the tag mirror returned to it's full glory, along with a couple of other features on hiatus. At the moment though I'm just trying to keep things running at an *acceptable* speed, and every shred of performance we can get out of these servers is quickly consumed.

Which, you know, is a wonderful problem to have. I think. ;)

302Codexus
May 3, 2008, 3:34pm Top

I've made a GreaseMonkey script to get rid of the broken lightbox and instead make the links go to their respective tag pages. There is still no way to know easily know on which of our books the tags are, but at least it's now possible to explore those tags.

I hope that will be useful.

If there is a specific place to post GreaseMonkey scripts, please let me know and I'll add it there too.

303amberwitch
Edited: Jun 18, 2008, 6:00am Top

Trying to use the Tag Mirror for someone elses library and I get a "Error: Private user." message.

ETA: I go to the library Tag Mirror, and choose a tag. This is the url on the tag: http://www.librarything.com/tagmirror/ajax_tagmirror_tagtobooks.php?view=top50MM...
This brings me to "Error: Private user."

304Robert_Weaver
Aug 6, 2008, 11:43pm Top

I get that message trying to use the Tag Mirror for my own library.

*heads to bugs*

305persky
Sep 23, 2008, 12:44am Top

300
>I'm pretty sure that we're not going to re-enable the functionality that the lightbox is
>supposed to give

Looks like the lighbox is working! Clicking on a tag in "tag mirror" for any library gives a list of works matching that tag for that library. Sweet!!! This is exactly the way that I want LibraryThing to index my library.

Thanks again for adding this feature =)

306infiniteletters
Sep 23, 2008, 8:40am Top

Yup conceptdawg worked on it a couple days ago and posted in a different thread. :)

307edwinbcn
Mar 6, 2011, 2:11am Top

Hmmm. Not bad. It seems I can drop my original reservations, and activate it.

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