Tags Less For Me and You, More For Us

In working with FeedSeeder, and interesting transformation has happened.

I actually see value in tagging text.

For video, audio, and pictues – text tagging is a no- brainer. There’s really no better way to get the media categorized than by asking the community to do it. Text for me was a much tougher sell. I kept asking – aren’t the tags already in the text? Can’t text parsers pull them out and ‘tag’ appropriately?

I still think in 95% of the cases the answer is yes. In those cases, tagging isn’t really useful – in-fact, it’s annoyingly redundant.

What I’ve discovered is a great desire to tag not for me (I’ll just post it on my blog) or for everyone in the word (that’s what Google is for) but rather tag for a small, defined, active group, in a folksonomy that only makes sense to them. This translation, re-organization, and re-contextualization of all information (whether image, audio, or text) leveraging words (and meanings) unique to a specific group – this is where I see the real value in tagging.

As an added benefit, it reduces the synonym problem (‘movies’ vs. ‘film’ vs. ‘cinema’).