Tag – You’re It

I said in my inaugural work-related post of 2005 that the next big thing is the "architecture of participation."  That is creating an architecture that allows all of us to participate in building the technology infrastructure that we use to live our lives. It includes open source, but is so much more than that.

Take tags for example. We’d all like the web, and all digital media for that matter, to be described in some way that’s more than a URL and an index of the words/text associated with that media. But that’s all we have now. There is no rich categorization scheme for digital media because it would be too expensive to create it and frankly almost impossible to maintain it.

Unless we were able to use the "architecture of participation" to do this for us.

And so, with that in mind, I have been spending some time with technorati’s tags, del.icio.us, and flickr to better understand how community based tagging will impact the world of digital media.

All three services are related and in fact, Technorati has partnered with del.icio.us, flickr, and furl to supply them with many of their tags. They also allow bloggers to include tags in their posts.

I find the tagging approach of del.icio.us the most interesting because its a true community based tagging system. I haven’t tried Furl yet, so it may well be that Furl does the same thing.

Letting bloggers tag their posts is fine, but letting everyone tag everything seems to me to be the most interesting and scalable approach.

Here is a great post on del.icio.us, how to use it, and why its so great. The comments are almost as good as the post itself.

Jeff Jarvis also has a good post on tagging and why its important.

But my favorite post on tags comes from Brian Dear who wants someone to build Taggle. I think its a great vision for where all of this can go if user generated tagging takes off the way I think it might.

As I am still in the early stages of using and understanding this stuff, any comments and thoughts would be greatly appreciated.