Backtagging Update February 26, 2008 6:44 PM   Subscribe

Just a quick note on what's going on with the backtagging project and some "go go go!" momentum for a final push to the finish.

So, right now ALL the AskMe posts have been tagged, over 9400. Of the 33,000+ MeFi posts we started with, there are a little under 6800 left. Fifteen percent, people! We've got somewhere between 35 and 50 backtaggers working, but there's been a definite slowdown since holidaytime. So, anyone who is interested in adding tags to old posts, drop me an email [jessamyn at the gmail, NOT a MeFiMail for this, if you don't mind] and anyone who has already been participating, feel free to drop on by and add a few tags this week or next.

Thanks to everyone for helping out and special hopefully non-embarassing thanks to CKmtl who has not only tagged more posts than anyone else but who has also been catching old typoed tags so we've been able to fix some of those as we go.
posted by jessamyn to MetaFilter-Related at 6:44 PM (106 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

Oh, yeah, I meant to get back to that.

Of all I coulda gotten from my Catholic progenitors, their work ethic seems to be it.
posted by klangklangston at 6:51 PM on February 26, 2008


Heh, not embarrassing.

But yeah, my dear fellow backtaggers, about the typos... the added tags aren't set in stone (from your end) until you've left the page or clicked the 'Give Me More' button - you can edit them by clicking on the blue entry line. A quick scan for typos before leaving the page would be great, since 'msuci' and 'fsxjsn' (or something similar that someone's cat tried to enter as 'fascism') doesn't help much to organize things.
posted by CKmtl at 7:01 PM on February 26, 2008


There. That's like three pages of 'em I just did. Now it's off to utilize my ADD for some other good!
posted by klangklangston at 7:22 PM on February 26, 2008


Backtagging? Is that what the kids are calling it these days?
posted by ooga_booga at 7:38 PM on February 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


Crap, totally forgot to get back to that.

Well off to add the Idon'tknowhowmany BUSH tags I have done
posted by Razzle Bathbone at 7:49 PM on February 26, 2008


Huh. I totally thought we were totally done. Totally. Oh my.
posted by The Deej at 8:20 PM on February 26, 2008


Could the link to the tagging page be provided? I cannot find it.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 8:31 PM on February 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


TPS, IM me or I'll email it to you. I'd link it here but unless you're a backtagger it's just a blocked page which is sort of annoying to folks, I think.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:39 PM on February 26, 2008


the added tags aren't set in stone (from your end) until you've left the page or clicked the 'Give Me More' button - you can edit them by clicking on the blue entry line.

Not entirely true if you're using Safari... there's some weirdness with re-editing, such that if you click on a tag you have provided (to see if it's currently in use, what extant tags cluster around it that might be valid for the post at hand, etc), you are unable to edit already submitted tags until you submit another post's tags. Crikey, does that make sense? I'm not complaining; it's the charming quirkiness of an ad hoc solution. (The js looks to have been repurposed from pb's OTFG project for image-tagging)

Just as a point of interest, how many of us are throwing some back? When I'm faced with one that I just don't feel particularly capable of tagging well, for whatever reason, I've been skipping it. Maybe 1 in 20 or so. I'm wondering how likely it is that as we're approaching the bottom of the randomized barrel, the posts will in fact be bottom of the barrel posts that no one's felt like tagging.
posted by mumkin at 9:22 PM on February 26, 2008


I've been slack with this, just knocked out a few. And yeah, I've thrown a few back. Usually overly tech related things I don't know much about. I'm glad this is getting done. If I can help bring a small bit of order to the chaotic maelstrom of the internet, I can sleep a little better.
posted by marxchivist at 9:38 PM on February 26, 2008


Finishing the two or three thousand AskMes was easy because I could strip tags from the content of the question. Often, similar questions could easily use the same set of tags.

The Metafilter threads are harder to tag, because I found that, 4 out of 5 times (or, often, with worse odds), the links or main link would be dead. In the interests of accurate tagging I focused on the AskMes, instead.

What may help is for someone within the Metafilter programming circle to write up a quick script that tests for 404 or other errors from visiting links in whatever tagless threads remain, adding a "dead" tag to them and letting the community focus on doing the rest properly.

Without live links, tagging a dead article seems pointless, if not inaccurate.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:52 PM on February 26, 2008


adding a "dead" tag

Aren't we using the "brokenlink" tag for posts where the main link is dead? Automating it would have been nice, sure, but we're almost done at this point.
posted by mediareport at 10:21 PM on February 26, 2008


whoops, Ive been using deadlink for dead links

Also, whenever it happened, thanks for making the backtags not show in my user tags.
posted by Rumple at 10:43 PM on February 26, 2008


Sometimes tagging a post with a broken link is pointless, but many more times the discussion makes it worthwhile, especially in the pre-AskMe days when plenty of "hey, anyone know about this thing" posts passed front page muster.

Backtagging is fun, especially when you get gifted with little glimpses of mefi history amongst all the broken link newsfilter.
posted by donnagirl at 11:48 PM on February 26, 2008


Yeah. If there's any merit/meat at all to the discussion on a post with a broken main link, I try to research the topic enough that I can tag it as though the link still worked. Eventually linkrot will affect most posts, but the threads themselves are eternal. Actually, I tend to read-up on most of the links that work, too. It makes me terribly slow, but hopefully I'm tagging as well as the OP would have done, who was presumably familiar with the subject matter. It's a very satisfying undertaking, taking a purposeful, deep, random stroll through the archives.

When all of this is over, I hope it will be possible to generate a cloud of the tags I've applied. I feel like I've been playing a very long, very large word-association game, with a few thousand metafilter posts as my Rorschach tests. There may be something self-revealing in the controlled vocabulary I've generated in response to all this MeFiness, and I'd like to see it. I mean, Election2004, GeorgeWBush, 911, brokenlink, terrorism, NewYorkTimes and IraqWar aside, of course.
posted by mumkin at 1:08 AM on February 27, 2008


I did a few last week, and seconding the thanks for not having it show up in our user tags.
posted by cashman at 4:39 AM on February 27, 2008


Guten Tag!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:55 AM on February 27, 2008


I doed a page!!! Glad I came back to check about brokenlink. I didn't use that tag, but with over 6,000 instances, it looks like I should be.
posted by The Deej at 5:04 AM on February 27, 2008


Not for the first time in my life, I look on from the shiftless crowd of unworthy passengers as the more civic-minded citizenry discuss their sterling efforts for the common good. There's a mild twinge of guilt, but the pubs'll be open in half an hour.
posted by Abiezer at 5:46 AM on February 27, 2008


We've also got an admin-facing find/replace tool so if you see weird busted tags or typoed tags [especially if they're rampant across a few posts] you can MeMail them to me with a link and I can go in and fix them. Thanks for the extra effort, we've done about 400 more since last night.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:53 AM on February 27, 2008


I totally forgot about this, but I've rededicated myself.
posted by OmieWise at 7:04 AM on February 27, 2008


I've rededicated myself.

Every time I read this, I think it says "redacted"
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:32 AM on February 27, 2008


The Metafilter threads are harder to tag, because I found that, 4 out of 5 times (or, often, with worse odds), the links or main link would be dead.

Yeah, but in most cases it's still possible to get the gist of what was posted from either the text of the post or the comments. My tagging philosophy has been that it's not strictly necessary to tag with the exact minutiae of the post; broader categories will do.

Like a brokenlink post about about the RIAA and Napster doesn't need to be tagged with the name of the judge and lawyers involved. RIAA, Napster, music, piracy, p2p, filesharing, copyright, etc... should do nicely if someone wants to browse through archives of Napster-related posts.

When the text of the post is "Hey, check this out!", the url doesn't hint at any topic, and there's either no comments or really vague ones... then, yeah, not much to do other than slap a lonely brokenlink on it.
posted by CKmtl at 7:53 AM on February 27, 2008


I totally forgot about this, but I've rededicated myself.

I've redacted myself.
posted by OmieWise at 8:55 AM on February 27, 2008


I just use "bronkenlink" myself. It makes more sense.
posted by blue_beetle at 11:38 AM on February 27, 2008


I'll have another go. Got a bit frustrated by US politics posts, trying to work out who was republican or democrat.
posted by paduasoy at 11:43 AM on February 27, 2008


Whew! Been tagging all day. It's satisfying to see the number untagged go down though.
posted by agregoli at 12:38 PM on February 27, 2008


Anyone come up with any tags for this thing?

Gotta go now. kthxby
posted by marxchivist at 3:35 PM on February 27, 2008


I did a batch last night while on the reference desk (and will be doing some more in a bit) so it is sort of work related. Its funny how many 'hey check this out' posts #1 used to make. Now they all go to various dead pages.
posted by Razzle Bathbone at 4:39 PM on February 27, 2008


Without this project I would never know what the Modern Humorist's 404 page looked like. Only 5400 left. Go team go!
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 4:58 PM on February 27, 2008


Marxchivist - I have two tags for you AWE SOME
posted by tellurian at 6:20 PM on February 27, 2008


...

Without this project I would have never known that Fabio, Prince, and Criss Angel traveled back in time and had an illegitimate man-on-man-on-man lovechild.
posted by CKmtl at 6:32 PM on February 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


And hey, jessamyn, wandering around the hair links in the SunGodsUniverse post I got a 404 too.
posted by tellurian at 6:33 PM on February 27, 2008


I feel I should backtag more. But not so much that I'm actually going to right now.
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:36 PM on February 27, 2008


Fucking yahoo news, Would it have been so hard to have some kind of persistent URL archive thingie? Idiots.
posted by Rumple at 9:30 PM on February 27, 2008


Wow, down to 5098 now! (And lessee... I contributed like... 0.7% of that improvement! And now I have to get back to packing.)
posted by salvia at 9:40 PM on February 27, 2008


Looks like we're moments from crossing the <5000 mark!
posted by nkknkk at 10:43 PM on February 27, 2008


... and I just got to add the following tags to a post: pimps interviews sanfrancisco california. Who says backtagging doesn't have its moments?
posted by nkknkk at 10:52 PM on February 27, 2008


AARGH bloody WebSense.
posted by paduasoy at 4:07 AM on February 28, 2008


4,782 untagged posts left. It's amazing to me how many big news outlets have links that are just dead with no "try our archives" or anything else. But I guess I'm equally amazed at seven year old links that still work. Finding old untagged posts from when mathowie provided like 75-100% of the content are like little gems in here. This one predicts the as-yet-unbuilt MetaTalk.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:29 AM on February 28, 2008


It also predicts a web-design/programming AskMe, sort of.

Metafilter: although posting naked while standing on one's head is not necessarily required by this site, it's greatly encouraged.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:39 AM on February 28, 2008


Man o man, would I like to see the redesign mockups Matt posted. Powder blue! Yellow!
posted by gleuschk at 9:02 AM on February 28, 2008


Yay! We're under 4500 untagged now.
posted by johnofjack at 2:46 PM on February 28, 2008


Hey we're at 3999. Go go go!
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:39 PM on March 3, 2008


Just under 3500. We got almost half of what was left in just over a week! Maybe we could do half of what's there now by next week, and then half of those in the following week, and then, oh god, we've somehow activated one of Zeno's paradoxes, right, and we'll always do half and never get done.
posted by donnagirl at 9:17 PM on March 6, 2008


Under 3,000 now.
posted by johnofjack at 10:34 PM on March 11, 2008


heh
posted by Rumple at 11:23 PM on March 11, 2008


Then and Now.
posted by CKmtl at 2:07 PM on March 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


Down to 2800. I bet we could finish by April Fools Day, whaddya say?
posted by nkknkk at 9:45 AM on March 13, 2008


You guys are amazing.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 10:15 AM on March 13, 2008


I really love these old OMGNEWTECH! ones.
posted by CKmtl at 3:42 PM on March 14, 2008


7513 posts tagged with brokenlink.

Ephemera, thy name is internet.
posted by johnofjack at 8:42 AM on March 15, 2008


There used to be a lot of links to random ebay auctions. Here, we seem to be astonished that someone would try and sell USED SHOES there. So, so naive.
posted by donnagirl at 12:39 PM on March 16, 2008


Holy crap, <2000. We're rockin' and rollin' now!
posted by nkknkk at 5:11 PM on March 16, 2008


Do we have a tag for "crashes my browser"? The main link in this post completely locked up my browser. I didn't get to tag it, because of the crash, but just curious in case I get it again. The few comments it got tend to say "it crashed my browser" too, so it's not just me.
posted by donnagirl at 6:54 PM on March 16, 2008


Yeah, I've run into a handful that have crashed on me. As we start scrapping the bottom of the untagged barrel, I guess they'll start popping up more often because of the pre-tagging crashes.

I don't know if there's much use in tagging them as crashy. And we probably shouldn't mix up 'crash' and 'crashes' (as in, vehicle-goes-crunch) with browser crashes.
posted by CKmtl at 7:23 PM on March 16, 2008


Yeah, I agree - and just plain "crash" wouldn't really warn anyone away in any case. I was thinking more of something similar to "brokenlink" - we're tagging those because of some potential future project, and an 'omgitcrashedmyfirefox' tag could be used in the same way, if we had a standard tag to use. But no huge deal either way.
posted by donnagirl at 7:54 PM on March 16, 2008


Hmm, I don't know if cortex's magic can resurrect buggered websites like the crashy ones. If he can, sure, crashylink or something would be useful.
posted by CKmtl at 8:05 PM on March 16, 2008


I'm not sure if there's a clearcut path to dealing with crashy sites; if folks want to throw "crashy" or "crashylink" onto 'em as fair warning, that seems fine (I agree that "crash" isn't good). Worst case it acts as a fuzzy warning, even if we can't really fix them.

And I'm not sure what we could do magic-wise about 'em, short of maybe redirecting to a cache somewhere if the cache managed somehow not to be crashy.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:22 PM on March 16, 2008


You mean there's no anti-crashy metafilter admin magic? But I thought you guys...but metafilter is...

Wow. At least I still have the easter bunny.
posted by donnagirl at 8:48 PM on March 16, 2008


Oh, man, it's down to like 1800 - this could be done tomorrow with enough hardcores.
posted by lauranesson at 11:04 PM on March 16, 2008


Between the two, I think 'crashylink' is better. It stands out more as a warning, and it's less ambiguous in meaning.

It'd be a bit of a bother, but maybe it would be a good idea to start jotting down the title or first few words of a crashy post. That way, when it pops back up in your random ten posts it won't catch you off guard.
posted by CKmtl at 8:17 AM on March 17, 2008


Closing in on 1000! Three digits numbers, here we come.
posted by CKmtl at 5:38 PM on March 18, 2008


999!
posted by donnagirl at 9:11 PM on March 18, 2008


I've seen enough of these that curiosity is getting the better of me...

What's up with the greenspun extra URL stuff in a lot of baylink's early posts?
posted by CKmtl at 11:19 AM on March 19, 2008


CKmti, can you give an example of a post that uses that convention?
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 11:22 AM on March 19, 2008


The post itself and the first comment in it.
posted by CKmtl at 11:42 AM on March 19, 2008


baylink is around, MeFiMail him. I have no idea.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 11:57 AM on March 19, 2008


Yeah, I've noticed that unfortunate redirect too. It's a bummer, because it warrants (and gets from me) a brokenlink tag, but if the user is astute enough to edit the url, the original site may still be serving up the intended content.
posted by mumkin at 1:16 PM on March 19, 2008


<750, people. WOW.
posted by nkknkk at 1:42 PM on March 19, 2008


Is Matt still tired of playing html babysitter? Or is that what he hired a staff for?
posted by donnagirl at 4:39 PM on March 19, 2008


360! Today's the day to get your tag on.
posted by mumkin at 1:13 PM on March 20, 2008


245... they're going fast, folks, get 'em while you can!
posted by mumkin at 3:50 PM on March 20, 2008


The mother-of-all-longboats, going in reverse. And the shore's in sight.
posted by CKmtl at 4:16 PM on March 20, 2008


194!!! We can finally kill this mofo today. So is the last link going to be a BUSHSUX post or a brokenlink by mathowie?
posted by Razzle Bathbone at 4:33 PM on March 20, 2008


OMG.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 5:17 PM on March 20, 2008


Land, HOOOO!
posted by CKmtl at 5:29 PM on March 20, 2008


78 and tagging furiously
posted by Razzle Bathbone at 5:45 PM on March 20, 2008


Is it possible I tagged the last one? I hit "give me more" and there were no more....
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:21 PM on March 20, 2008


Well, I just went for more and there weren't no more.
posted by OmieWise at 6:21 PM on March 20, 2008


Congratulations!
posted by OmieWise at 6:22 PM on March 20, 2008


Done! And my last one was a brokenlink to an article about Ariel Sharon trying to legalize the use of torture posted by Postroad.
posted by Razzle Bathbone at 6:23 PM on March 20, 2008


Hey that was my last one too!
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:23 PM on March 20, 2008


Huh, where are the balloons and champagne?
posted by Razzle Bathbone at 6:23 PM on March 20, 2008


Quick post it as a bug
posted by Razzle Bathbone at 6:24 PM on March 20, 2008


*pokes Give Me More*

The counter at the top says there's still one left. Weird.
posted by CKmtl at 6:24 PM on March 20, 2008


Same here. The Unknown Post. (quietly playing Taps for it)
posted by Razzle Bathbone at 6:26 PM on March 20, 2008



Hope this is acceptable.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:28 PM on March 20, 2008


Yay!! Shredding documents here at work so I can make my own tickertape parade.
posted by Razzle Bathbone at 6:30 PM on March 20, 2008



posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:31 PM on March 20, 2008


Whoa! That's such a sight (site) for sore eyes.
posted by OmieWise at 6:35 PM on March 20, 2008


HAPPY NEW YEAR
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:36 PM on March 20, 2008


Can't...stop...staring....at....panda....ass
posted by Razzle Bathbone at 6:37 PM on March 20, 2008



posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:37 PM on March 20, 2008 [1 favorite]


But seriously... thanks so much for all the awesome tagging help over the last ten months. We tagged 43,000 posts (well, 42998) and now we have a totally tagged dataset that we can... do something with. I'll see fi we can make the tagging data somehow available -- somehow without making all the content on the website downloadable, we've been sort of holding off on that -- so we can crunch some numbers. We'll make some sort of OMG WE'RE DONE post real soonish.

For the record, the very last tag was added by Bazzle Rathbone at 6:22 EST. Tags were: brokenlink israel.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:42 PM on March 20, 2008 [1 favorite]


Hooray!

So, when new posts are made and the OP fails to include tags, will they become available via the tagging tool? I had a few AskMes drift-in after we were ostensibly all done with them; I didn't pay attention to the posting date, but assumed in retrospect that they were new, untagged posts.

Also, any plans for the normalization stage? Is tag clean-up going to be a mod-only task, or a volunteer effort as well? There are certainly a lot of posts tagged new, york, and city (for example) which could stand a spot of cleanup.
posted by mumkin at 6:50 PM on March 20, 2008


Well right now people can't post wihtout adding tags. In the rare instance where something is deleted and undeleted the tags don't come with -- we remove tags from all deleted posts -- so we see this rarely but it does happen. I think normalization will be the next step but we may need to be a little more targeted and directed about it. Maybe a page on the wiki that points out some of the problems, I see a lot of firstname lastname tags instead of firstnamelastname or a lot of tags where phrases are split up so you see 'of' a lot which is terrible, might help us get started with that.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:52 PM on March 20, 2008


YAY!!!! I was distracted by March Madness, and when I looked back, it was done! So very very very happy!
posted by donnagirl at 7:14 PM on March 20, 2008


WOO! I was at March Madness games myself, but I KNEW we could finish today. Congrats, everyone!
posted by nkknkk at 9:41 PM on March 20, 2008


... um, am I lame to say I ALREADY miss this project? What's next, Jessamyn??
posted by nkknkk at 9:52 PM on March 20, 2008


tag you're it
posted by Rumple at 10:09 PM on March 20, 2008


Next I unleash you all on a variety of mind-numbing but amusing-to-me archives sieving projects.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:36 PM on March 20, 2008


No way am I counting all of the dots.
posted by mumkin at 11:11 PM on March 20, 2008 [1 favorite]


Kudos to all the taggers. I tried a few times but I just didn't have the stomach for it.
posted by timeistight at 11:41 PM on March 20, 2008


You guys rule. Also, sparkly panda ass.
posted by LobsterMitten at 12:33 AM on March 21, 2008


And see this MeTa for more praise and ululations.
posted by LobsterMitten at 12:33 AM on March 21, 2008


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