Another post about tagging. Pretty soon, I’ll rename my blog “emergence tarketing”. But what can you do? This stuff has big implications on the way we will share, publish and organize information and conversations – so I cannot stop thinking about it (I know…I need a life). The other reason I felt compelled to write about it again is that there have been quite a few good entries around tagging lately.
Over at Feedster, Scott Rafer brings us his latest views on tagging after a week of doing it (and comments on issues raised on Brian Del Vecchio’s blog – here). He believes that anonymous tagging is going to be important and that the arguments for someone to own up to a tag in order to avoid tag spamming is overrated. His posts also touch on some of the copyright issues related to tagging (here).
Ericka Menchen (here) and Ryan King (here) debate the differences between reader-based tagging and author-based tagging. Ryan argues that reader-based tagging have a distinct advantage over author-based ones.
As I wrote before (here), people will use tagging for different purposes – some to alert others of new content (author-based tags, much like people technorati tags), some to share new found information with others or merely organizing their own information for later retrieval (reader-based tags). They both have a purpose in life and as such I am not sure whether it makes sense to add more value to one than the other. It would be nice to have a system that would cluster these tags as related (i.e. the author-based tags and the user-based tags on the same content). I am starting to be convinced that Folksonomies in general will only have real value with some form of clustering.
The issue of anonymity goes beyond accountability and tag-spamming (the act of associating inaccurate or bad tags with an entry anonymously) – it goes all the way to affecting the “credibility” of a tag. If you tag anonymously and tagging is now widely accepted (so we have “tag chaos” and we all become selective about which tags we subscribe to) – can you build credibility for that tag while being anonymous? I am not a big fan of anonymity in general, but I don’t think this will work. It would be interesting to see how many people at del.icio.us subscribe to “people” tags (i.e., /plasticbag (Tom Coates), /linkorama (Ross Mayfield), etc.) rather than keyword tags (i.e., /marketing, /tools).
There will be more “tagging” related posts on this blog…not because of the hype surrounding it but because I truly believe that this is important to the way we market ourselves, build products, share stuff and get customer feedback. Just today, I had two lengthy conversations with ex friends and colleagues on tagging in the enterprise and in the new product development process.