Friday, April 23, 2010

Feature of the week: Relations

The last major release included some overhaul on the relations-page.
Everything is now better-arranged and more beautiful. Especially the representation of the sets of subtags as tagclouds improves clarity. The tagsize of a subtag indicates the frequency with which it is used in relation with its supertag. A counter on each tag tells that frequency exactly. Respectively, counter and tagsize of a supertag tell you how many of our users consider this tag a concept.

For those of you wondering what relations are and how to use them:
In BibSonomy, a relation consists of two tags, SUBTAG -> SUPERTAG. On the relations-page you'll find e. g. the following relation: 'algebra' -> 'mathematics'. It means that 'mathematics' is the supertag (also called a concept) of 'algebra', and the relation could be read as 'algebra is a subdiscipline of mathematics'.

You can define and manage your own relations on the edit_tags-page. Or you can enter a relation in the tag field while posting or editing a bookmark/publication. Just use SUBTAG->SUPERTAG (without any white space) as a tag.

As a matter of fact, relations are quite a useful tool in retrieving resources.
Let's stay with our example. Say you are interested in posts to the field of 'mathematics'. Then searching for 'mathematics' as a tag will find you all the posts explicitly tagged with 'mathematics'. Searching for 'mathematics' as a concept, however, will find in addition all the posts tagged with a subtag thereof (in our case e. g. algebra).

Furthermore, you will be able to distinguish whether you are interested in relations of only one specific user or in everybody's relations via
Of course, navigation via hyperlinks is also possible! Try e. g. clicking on a conceptname on the relations-page and then note the sidebar.

Relations allow you to widen your search and tag in your own hierarchical way.
So give it a try!

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