nathan weinberg reports that google turned on tagging yesterday. sounds pretty cool with autocomplete suggesting tags you’ve used previously. i’d love to see a more intelligent tag suggester that would propose popular related tags. though this gets to a point rarely discussed…what motivates people to tag? and are all tags the same?
seems that a publisher is tagging to a) help readers organize their posts and b) increase the liklihood that their post is found by the right target audience. for me this is largely guesswork. if i were more active on delicious i’d have a better sense of what tags relate to which groups. for example, i’ve seen that there is now a ‘peopleweb’ tag that even relates back to my post on this. but does that mean that if i tag a post as ‘peopleweb’ it will be found by those people tracking this topic. seems there are a number of startups working on this concept. one of those being yodel which i hear will be debuting in some way this week.
anyway, my suggestion to google, yahoo and delicious on the user tagging side is to suggest related popular tags and suggesting to 6A, matt mullenweg (who we may soon see tags from) and blogger is to give your bloggers a better way to actually self-publish. that means more than just pingomatic. it means connecting them to all popular tag directories and therefore popular tags.
initially, this may cause a ton more tag spam but that’s ok. i think this would quickly evolve to much more specific tags to enable groups to stay small. so once ‘web20’ gets too popular and it starts diluting, it evolves to ‘web20conference’ or web20flickr. this is what happens with group formation anyway. on tribe we saw this with the big burning man tribe that was then followed by burning woman and burn austin and so on…groups initially form around their most common denominator but quickly splinter. nobody wants to have a conversation about ‘venture capital’ but many want to talk about ‘web 2.0 investments’ or ‘mobile games’ (which from today’s wsj story sounds too crowded now too:).