Tagging: Everyone’s Doing It! Are You?

The Pew Internet & American Life Project just released a new report about tagging. The survey has found that “28% of Internet users have tagged or categorized content online such as photos, news stories or blog posts. On a typical day online, 7% of internet users say they tag or categorize online content. ”

What is a tag?

According to Wikipedia, “a tag is a (relevant) keyword or term associated with or assigned to a piece of information (like picture, article, or video clip), thus describing the item and enabling keyword-based classification of information it is applied to.”

Who are the taggers?

According to the survey, “Taggers look like classic early adopters of technology. They are more likely to be under age 40, and have higher levels of education and income. Taggers are considerably more likely to have broadband connections at home, rather than dial-up connections. Men and women are equally likely to be taggers, while online minorities are a bit more likely than whites to be taggers.”

In addition, there is also an interesting interview with David Weinberger (co-author of the Cluetrain Manifesto). Asked “What started the current interest in tagging? He answers: “First, tagging lets us organize the vastness of the Web. Second, tagging is social.” He’s also working on a new book: Everything Is Miscellaneous: The Power of the New Digital Disorder

(found via David Weinberger’s blog)

What it means: Those numbers are definitely higher than I thought they would be. Ever since I started blogging (a short three months ago!), I’ve discovered the power of tags. Not only do tags help organize your content, they help others find your content through search engines or other sites like Technorati or Del.icio.us. Coming from the business directory (“Yellow Pages”) world, I believe the future marriage of taxonomy and tags (folksonomy) will create a much stronger online categorization system. As more and more people start tagging content, any web site owner with structured data needs to allow their users to tag the information. BTW, David’s book seems fascinating. I wonder if one of my readers has received an advanced copy and could comment on it?


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