Thursday, December 1

A Folksonomic Question

I was thinking more about my grumbling that someone tagged R.E.M. as “canadian” on when a thought struck me:

Should I tag Dropkick Murphys as “irish”?

After all, they play Irish music (albeit in a punk style), so it seems like an accurate tag. But they’re not from Ireland. They’re from Boston.

Perhaps R.E.M. is just playing Canadian style music, and therefore it’s okay that they’re from Georgia? That seems wrong, but only because “canadian” isn’t really the name of a genre.

So is there a workable, consistent standard to go by here? Maybe tagging bands by the name of their country. So the Clancy Brothers get both “Ireland” and “irish,” while Dropkick gets “irish” (and maybe “Boston”), and I can get righteously pissed if someone tags R.E.M. with “Canada.”

Or is it just the nature of the game to deal with other people’s flawed tagging?