Web App Summit: Tagging in Your Web World

by January 27, 2007

At the UIE Web App Summit in Monterey, Thomas Vander Wal discussed the concepts, implications, and best practices behind Tagging in Your Web World:

  • Tag: simple data or metadata applied to an object that can be used for sorting or personal markers.
  • Folksonomy: the result of personal free tagging of objects for one’s own retrieval often done in a social environment. Not so much categorizing but rather providing a means to connect their vocabulary to their understanding. Every person is an expert in their own vocabulary.
  • Business value of tagging: improved understanding of customers, current terminology; target messages to language & taste; improved refindability; increased context; cost effective means of building a taxonomy.
  • 0.85% of people on the Web use tags.
  • People tag: for their own value/use; to add context; to enable refindability; to state their interests; for social sharing.
  • Social sharing can happen at multiple levels: personal, selective (specific group), collective, and mob (everyone).
  • Taxonomies are consistent and naming controlled. Folksonomies are emergent and based on people’s vocabulary.
  • Tagging can happen wherever there is a digital object or marker.