Are tags any more than street art?
Tagging seems to be on everyone’s lips. Applying tags to web pages seems as ubiquitous as those street art tags you will find on any empty downtown wall. Technorati has been doing it for some time as a way of bringing some order to the Blogosphere. Now the movement seems to be spreading like wildfire. MyBlogLog, a popular social hangout for serious bloggers, has now adopted this. Even dev.mobi, a heavy-duty website for mobile web developers, is jumping on the bandwagon.
Tagging is said to be part of the social media movement. Perhaps it is no more serious than the street art tags. Like any other social phenomena that appeals to the buzz factor it will disappear in due course.
However it is interesting to see why this activity has any traction at all. Surely if you want to find something, Google is the way. They have invested huge sums of money and resources in producing the most relevant item for any keyword query. Their robots absorb the total content of any webpage in order to determine its relevance. If I use that key word as a tag on any given website where tagging applies, what will I be shown. Hopefully it is a random entry for that tag and not just the preferred webpage of the owner of the website.
With this perspective, clearly one only uses tags if you’re looking for random associations. As everything gets tagged, then tags become less and less useful. Like the street art tags, they will be seen as mindless graffiti that serve no useful purpose. One can only hope that Technorati will not be overwhelmed in this rising flood of tags.
Related: All About Tags by Robyn Tippins