thoughts on the tagging exercise
Looks like Em is writing up the notes I took on how we tagged each other!
I'm happy that everyone let me use them for my experiment. I talked for a few minutes about tagging, and then passed out post-it notes and sharpie markers. I asked everyone to write down at least three tags, and more if they liked. The tags were for each other - and it's okay to tag one person three times or three people one time, or whatever. No limits. So: an initial writing down tags phase. (Everyone self conscious! What to write! Who to tag!)
Then, all at once, we walked around and stuck the tags to each other. A giggling flurry of sticky paper!
We went around and read them off ourselves. I took notes. Now, we were all very nice to each other and so there was a happy effect of validation and seeing-how-we-see-each-other. But the effect I was after was to see what tags were common, what meta-information emerged. We tended to tag with adjectives or nouns. There were some verbs and short phrases. We tagged our ideas of each other as people and also we tagged the blogs (since some of us know each other mostly through blogs, this made sense.) It was interesting to see who got lots of tags and who got few. I didn't ask people to ID their tags: but this would have been good info as well, to write your name on all the tags you give to other people. Who produced a lot of tags? Who produced only three? Whose tags do you admire or think are clever? That's also info that emerges. I also wanted people to experience the moment of self-consciousness at the moment they are deciding to tag and how to do it. Everyone will see what you think is important.
Then, round two. Now we all know who is tagged with what. We might want to add stuff to a person that we feel is missing, or copy some of the good tags on other people, or tag up ourselves some more. I'm not sure the information changed all that much, but everyone's awareness of what they were doing and that it was visible changed.
I have to think about this exercise some more and how to fiddle with it!