Gene Smith on Tagging

Over at atomiq, Gene has some interesting thoughts about why tagging isn’t stuck. I agree with him, and commented as such on his blog. Social bookmarking might be stuck, but tagging is just taking off, if you ask me. We’re really just starting to understand the potential of tagging. As long as sites like LibraryThing can keep coming up with cool features like the tag mirror, it’s got a bright future.

At the same time, let’s also keep in mind that tagging is really just more metadata. Where it comes from and why it’s there is different than owner-applied metadata or even technically generated metadata, but it’s still just metadata. In some cases, like on flickr, technorati, or LibraryThing, it wildly abundant metadata. And free. That’s what’s really different. If we can figure out how to really leverage those aspects, tagging may indeed become a disruptive technology.

Gene’s got a lot to say about the topic–so much so that he’s writing a book on the subject. Can’t wait for that one. I was fortunate to have Gene read and comment on an early draft of Chapter 12 of Designing Web Navigation, which is about tagging. Thanks, Gene.

About Jim Kalbach

Head of Customer Experience at MURAL

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