del.icio.us and TopTaggers (or collaborative rank) - a rambling thought
del.icio.us is a social bookmarking tool where users can save their internet bookmarks online while sharing them and their classification with others. I love my del.icio.us account. Recently I have been enticed to try out some of the other tools that do this possibly better but another site linked to del.icio.us is keeping me from making the switch, TopTaggers (formerly Collaborative Rank).
Essentially TopTaggers uses the del.icio.us API to track what you are doing on del.icio.us. One of the most interesting (read: addictive) aspects of this is watching your del.icio.us ranking.
This is where the complaining starts. My main beef is with the overall philosophy behind the rankings. del.icio.us tends to be full of tech nerdery more than anything else. Tips on css, ajax, how to install load balanced MySQL servers, and quirky videos from Japan and other addictions of the blogosphere garner the most bookmarks on del.icio.us. So currently the people who rank the highest in the scheme are people who bookmark about this stuff and tag (categorize) in the same way as those folks.
I guess del.icio.us just feels like a super "in-crowd" tech place already. I think this ranking mechanism does actual reinforce that (only indirectly since the rankings don't affect anything on del.icio.us). I mean why shouldn't someone be able to rise in the rankings based solely upon the quality of their bookmarks, not based on the popularity of those bookmarks. This will keep these new technologies focused to heavily on themselves rather than becoming tools for the masses to re-define how they live.