Tag, you’re it!

January 8, 2006

In for a penny, in for a pound. If you are going to write in this darn thing, you have to write in it consistently.

It surprises me that newspapers are laying off staff and blaming blogs. I can’t argue with an 8% decline in revenue. It has to be hard for any business facing that. Plus people really are selling advertising on their blog space and making money, although, only hobby income in most instances, unless you are Jason Calacanis.

I’m very much into futurism. I’m very much into change. I’m even optimistic about both. However, while a nerd like me loves to spend every waking hour locked in the basement plugged into 4 or 5 computers, most normal people do not. Most normal people prefer to go outside now and then (and don’t view it as chore). I did go outside to go grocery shopping today, but it was most decidedly a chore. The weather in Northeast Ohio tends to help in that regard. It’s one of those areas where the beer on your porch stays cold until May.

I want to talk about tags today. I had a discussion on TCF about tags that bears discussing further here. The leader of the discussion, bobbi, waxed that tag searching is all the rage now and I have to say I was skeptical. To me tags seem to be like paperclips. I mean, I use paperclips every day. My desk is full of thousands of them and not only do they hold paper together, but you can bend them into neat shapes and use them to reset electronic devices. They are also a staple of McGuyvers everywhere. Even paperclips had their day. In 1899, they were the talk of the town!

But bobbi says: “Tag based engine based on actual physical distance have power, though – or based on SOCIAL distance (if this person who tagged this asset is in my network – then I’ll probably more want to see their pictures). Or filtered based on if you’re single, blonde, etc. There could be tons of things to filter/weigh the results by. Google’s single algorithm is very restrictive.”

I can’t really argue with this. For esoteric stuff, tag searching gives you a very fine surgical tool. I found some stuff on CES on del.icio.us that I couldn’t find on Google. Tags play into that whole idea that of a group of people tending to get a right answer more often than one individual in the group. Until we all have direct mental access computers and are all hooked together borg-like, tags will stick around. And I will repress the desire to exclaim “TAG, you’re IT!” every time I have successful results using a tag search.

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