How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Tagging: Overcoming the Public Fear of Tagging Culture.
Burke, M. Shingleton, D. Speed, C. Hudson-Smith, A. Karpovich, A. O’Callaghan, S. Simpson, M. Barthel, R. Blundell, B. De Jode, M. Leder, K Lee, C. Macdonald, J.
Many people associate tagging with negative situations, for example, to track “criminals” or to track journeys and locations. RFID and other forms of near field tagging are being adopted for logistical purposes by commercial industries and governments alike and the UK public remain fearful of the implications of a tagging culture. This paper reflects upon the extent of “tagging culture” fears and identifies them as a significant problem that is preventing widespread public acceptance of the technology and hampering its social, economic and technical benefits.
As a form of recovery for this dire situation, the authors present information concerning an EPSRC project that uses a fresh tactic to encourage the public to actively use tagging technologies themselves and to reap the benefits. TOTeM (Tales of Things and Electronic Memory) is a three-year funded pan-UK project that focuses on the archiving of people’s memories associated with specific objects. Through the technical development of simple interfaces aimed at the home user, people are encouraged to tell a story about an object, to record the associated memory and to ‘tag’ their object in a unique way that will always associate their memory with their artefact.