Saturday, April 18, 2009

Usings tags in blogs

Tags - Revolutionary or Just Folly?

Just another trend or something else?

Trends happen overnight! Some catch on fast
and explode very quickly into our every day use.

Most of these trends you can ignore as silly folly
or at the most fine amusement. Anyone remember
pet rocks, Farrah Fawcett hairdos, or last year's
killer fashions?

Others, you have to pay more attention to: cell phones,
digital cameras, mini-sites, optin lists, or email.

Right now, there's another trend you should keep
your eye on: 'tags'.

What are tags? And why should you care about them?

Tags are a way of sorting and linking all that information
in blogs and RSS Feeds. It groups together all the
information on one particular subject.

It's a democratic 'search engine' for blogs.

Think of a 'tag' as a 'keyword' to be used in blogging
and RSS Feeds (Feed tags are still in the works).

Tags have hit the radar lately because Technorati, which
indexes 4.5 million blogs, started sorting blog posts by
using tags.

They have created a folksonomy, drawing tags from
different sources, mainly which sorts or
groups pictures and from -- where you
create a tag when you bookmark a page.

Or if your blogging software has categories -- this will
be recognized by Technorati as a tag.

If you want to create a 'tag' it's very simple; just place
this code in your blog:

<*a href="" rel="tag">Computers<*/a>
(remove asterisks in actual code)

and you will have created a tag for computers.

A tag makes it easier and faster to find information on
your favorite subject. It gives you a cross section of real
views and opinions floating in the ether.

There are some inherent problems in this system; will the
posts grow so quickly and so large -- it's like 'finding a
needle in a haystack' or will you have to dig thru a lot of
muck to find the scattered diamonds. Or maybe a ranking
system will be put in place but this goes against the
'democratic code' of blogging.

Regardless, the traffic and marketing potential of 'tags'
could be very beneficial to those who use it to their advantage.

A marketer with a product to introduce or promote could
aggressively target tags as part of their advertising
budget. As blogging increases in popularity -- it's something
to watch!

As a website owner -- tags could be a great source of
targeted traffic. And the keyword here is 'targeted'.

It's the kind of visitor you want coming to your site or blog.
It can only lead to a better quality visitor. Similar to
a visitor coming from the major search engines. One that
is really searching for your information.

The next big question, how will marketers exploit these
tags to make a few bucks? Everyone knows that's coming!

Will we have a 'tag search engine' that can rival the quality
of a Google or Yahoo? Or do we need one?

As with any new trend -- you never know how it will play out.

Some interesting questions have yet to be answered:

Tags are basically keywords for blogs -- but as everyone
knows the quality of links to these tags are not all equal.
Will someone step in and rank these or will they remain

Just how will tags work for building content or links to your
site? How will the search engines use these tags? How will
marketers and advertisers exploit the potential of all this
content and the content's viewers?

Will we have tag-spamming? (Just what we need another form
of spamming!) Someone flooding these tags with thousands of links
to get traffic or sell a product.

Not to hype it too much but there's a real 'we're entering unknown territory' feeling with blogging and RSS lately. Heady days for those keeping a close watch on the events unfolding. There are countless applications probably already in the works for tags!

It could be the start of something big or it could just fizzle.

In any case -- keep your eyes peeled to that cursor! There's
probably a tag on the end of it!

This trend may just offer more than fine amusement.

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