Annez’s recent post on Web Worker Daily about del.ico.us prompts me to ask a question I have been pondering for a while. How are we going to enable via: via: via:? Anne says:
“Use via: to credit your sources. In many parts of the blogosphere, noting where you got a link is almost as important as the link itself — because it shows who did the work in surfacing useful stuff. These days, we need to not only know what to look at right now but who to look to in the future to find what else we should be paying attention to.
While the for: tag is well known among delicious users (and specifically supported by delicious), some delicious users use the via: tag to track who provided a link. That allows people browsing your links to know who else they might want to add to their network on del.icio.us. Ric Hayman of Aqualung proposes that this could form the basis for a reputation economy online.”
I like Ric’s idea because :via is such a useful tool for collaboration. Knowing who informed someone else of something is very useful, because it begins to establish a kind of authority. Good linkers are very useful nodes in information networks. I have noticed that people want to say via:, but then do i credit the originator of the link, or the repeater? These link networks could in theory be parsed using tag gardening techniques (think Google PageRank). This is Friend of a Friend kind of thinking, though not formal FOAF, RDF style. But how are we going to track long running recommendation-transactions? Could we use via:via:tags, somehow?