Tagging That Works

Thomas Vander Wal Presented to: Web 2.0 Expo San Francisco, California :: 16 April 2007

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What Is A Tag?
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What’s A Tag?
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Wutzatag?
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Tagging: Definition

Simple data/metadata externally applied to an object Used for sorting A hook for aggregating Provides identifier and/or description Personal markers

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History of Tagging
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The “F” Word
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Folksonomy
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Folksonomy: Definition

Folksonomy is the result of personal free tagging of pages and objects for one's own retrieval The tagging is usually done in a social environment (shared and open to others) The act of tagging is done by the person consuming the information

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Folksonomy:Value
The value in this external tagging is derived from people using their own vocabulary and adding explicit meaning, which may meaning come from inferred understanding of the information/object. People are not so much categorizing, as providing a means to connect items (placing hooks) to provide their meaning in their own understanding.
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“The beauty of tagging is that it taps into an existing cognitive process without adding much cognitive cost”
Rashmi Sinha
http://www.rashmisinha.com/archives/05_09/tagging-cognitive.html

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Every person is an expert in their own vocabulary (tags)

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Every Tag is Sacred

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Folksonomy Triad
Object Interest Identity

Definition

Vocabulary

Metadata
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Dual Folksonomy Triad
Object Interest Identity

Culture Definition

Vocabulary

Community

Terminology
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Metadata

Finding More Objects
Object 1 Identity Object 2

Metadata
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Folksonomy vs. Taxonomy
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Taxonomy vs. Folksonomy
Business Customer

Taxonomy

Product

Folksonomy

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Taxonomy & Folksonomy

Taxonomy

Folksonomy

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The Value of Tagging for Business
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Business Tensions
Naming control Sample groups In-house $$$ w/ value Consistent People’s vocabulary Every perspective Outside service $ w/ unknown value Emergent
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Business Gains: Internet
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Improved understanding of customers Current terminology (all of it) Market segmentations Target message to language, need & taste Ability to easily follow the customer
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Business Gains: Intranet
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Improve refindability Understand context Ease sharing of resources by perspective Cost effective means of building taxonomy Allow term use in and across silos
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Understanding Scaling
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Cold-Start Problem & Beyond
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Scaling and Functionality
D C
People Tagging

A - Personal Use B - Serendipity C - Social Tagging Powerful D - Mature System

B A
Times Object is Tagged

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Phases of Interaction
Saving and tagging ❖ Refinding ❖ Clicking, pivoting, exploring ❖ Searching ❖ One’s own tags ❖ Other’s tags ❖ Group ❖ Everybody ❖ Group Social Interaction

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Personal to Social
Personal Serendipity Save & Tag Refind Pivot & Explore Search Group Interaction Social Powerful Mature

X X

X X X

X X X X -

X X X X X

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So, Who Tags?
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As much as 28% of Americans have tagged
Pew Internet Life Project: Report on Tagging http://www.pewinternet.org/PPF/r/201/report_display.asp

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Daily 7% of people on the Web in the U.S. tag
Pew Internet Life Project: Report on Tagging http://www.pewinternet.org/PPF/r/201/report_display.asp

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Why do People Tag?
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Reasons People Tag
Their OWN use/value first ❖ Add Perspective/Context ❖ Missing metadata ❖ Emergent Vocabulary ❖ Personal descriptors ❖ Refindability ❖ Aggregation of information ❖ Task-based aggregation ❖ State Interest ❖ Sociality

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Spheres of Sociality
Mob Collective Selective Personal

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Social Context
Personal ❖ ❖ ❖ ❖ ❖

Social ❖ ❖ ❖ ❖ ❖

Capture Hook/Copy Annotate Refind Privacy

Share Point Collaborate Filter Trusted Groups

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Shape of Tags
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Where Do People Tag?
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Tag Venues
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Social Bookmarking del.icio.us, RawSugar, Ma.gnolia Media Shopping Geo-Location Museums Intranet Dating OS (files)

Flickr, Dabble, LastFM,Viddler Amazon Platial, Socialite Steve.museum, Powerhouse IBM Dogear, Scuttle, ConnectBeam Consumating Mac OSX Tiger & Microsoft Vista
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Tag Venues

Wherever there is a digital object or marker
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People Using Tag Services
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Tag Services Offer
Tagging ❖ Descriptions ❖ Feeds ❖ Interface ❖ Additional offerings ❖ Groups ❖ Favorites ❖ Rating ❖ Search ❖ Save page

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Interaction

Tags ❖ Delimited combinations ❖ Comma ❖ Text box per tag term ❖ Space ❖ Quotes for compound words ❖ Suggested tags ❖ From own tags ❖ From other’s tags ❖ Automated from object content
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Interaction

Privacy
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Open to all Open to community Personal only Selective sharing
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By object tagged All posts to a Group Community tags Send to
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Scanning
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Sociality
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Collective
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Selective
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Personal
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Filtering
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Clustering
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Tag Combinations
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Algorithms
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TagCloud
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TagClouds Best on Granular Items
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Shopping
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Amazon
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Art of the Pivot
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Latest Activity Reviews Listmania! Amazon Friends Tags used Products tagged

Easy Tagging
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Tag Yes/No

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What Is Going On?
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Improvements
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Value of Tagging for Non-taggers
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Volatility of Tagged Object
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Tethering Needed

When object is updated
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Corrected/Edited New Content Similar items Archive access
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Removed
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Granular Social Network
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Interoperability
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Tag Commons
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URL: http://infocloudsolutions.com E-mail: thomas@infocloudsolutions.com E-mail: thomas@vanderwal.net AIM: vanderwal
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