Tagging is the practice of collaborative categorization using freely chosen keywords (Wikipedia). Tags are descriptors that individuals assign to Web “objects”. Think of a tag as a simple category name. People can categorize their posts, photos, and links with any tag that makes sense to them. These tags get collected in one space, with their assigned objects (posts, bookmarks, photo’s), and can be searched, shared and resourced.
Bloggers use tags to categorise their posts using tools like Fintan’s Technorati Tag Generator, which automatically generates the necessary HTML code for tags that are listed on Technorati‘s tag page (Technorati is a blog search engine). You’ll need to follow the instructions on Technorati to get an account, claim your blog and insert code into your template in order to facilitate the transfer of information between you and the search engine. It is a lot easier than it sounds… 🙂 Other Web users searching via Technorati’s tag facility for all blog posts on leadership, for example, will automatically pick up on your post or posts categorised with ‘leadership’.
Flickr is an web-based photo-sharing application that allows you to upload your personal pics, or any pic you find online, for free, and assign tags to them for easy reference and sharing.
del.icio.us is a brilliant concept – a site that allows you to bookmark interesting websites you come across and assign appropriate tags to them for social collaboration and sharing. Still very technical, but potentially extremely powerful, del.icio.us is worth a look at. See my del.icio.us homepage here.
These are some examples of powerful Web 2.0 (the new Internet) applications that are changing the way people use and interact with the Net (and each other in turn). Through social bookmarking tools like del.icio.us, I can see exactly which sites my mentors and industry thought leaders are surfing, without ever having to bug them for that info. Tagging increases search engine rankings. Tagging drives traffic to you. Tagging improves resourcing.
Ok, it is a very technical, and therefore foreign concept. But if you want to know more email me and we’ll set up a phone meeting or a cup of coffee to talk it through. In the meantime, give it a try, and be the first in your industry / market to harness the power of these new tools.
For more info on these and other great Web innovations, and a commentary on the evolution of the Web, visit TomorrowConnecting.biz