Tag happy

My amazing son just made BuzzMachine a tag machine. Via a nifty WordPress plug-in he adapted, instead of my old, inflexible categories, I now have fluid tags that appear at the top of every post. These include the old categories — now converted to tags — as well as any new words as they occur to me.

Now if I want to get fancy….

: I wonder whether I should do anything to make these tags work for Technorati et al (see the post below).

: It would be neat to see whether anyone linked to a post here in Del.icio.us or some of its competitors so I could import those tags here (under the assumption that your tags are better — more descriptive, more accurate, more useful — than mine).

By the way, I was inspired to do this by what Nick Denton did to his blogs. For commercial sites, there are added benefits to this structure of navigation:

: I’ll be you increase page views per visit because readers can find more on a topic that interests them.

: When readers do go to that tag page, it’s tremendously targeted and better for advertisers.

: The tags themselves should be useful for automated ad targeting via Kanoodle, Google Adsense, et al.

: The tags should be useful in informing search (if you search for a word that happens to be a tag, you would want posts using that tag to have priority).

Tags are not the cure to acne. The current infatuation with them is a bit faddish. But don’t let that distract you from their value.

: UPDATE: Dave Sifry says the tags are being picked up by Technorati as is. Bravo! And in relation to the open tagging discussion below, note that the tags don’t address Technorati; they are open.

: UPDATE UPDATE: Kevin Marks corrects me in the comments and says they are not open. I frankly don’t understand. I need a whiteboard….

  • Jeff…FYI…Your Nick Denton link seems hosed (at least for me).

  • Duneview

    Minor spelling error: Jalopnik, not Jalolpnik

  • Jeff,

    Congratulations, and this is very cool stuff! You’ll note that your tags are being indexed by Technorati ( I just saw this on http://technorati.com/tags/Weblogs ) so you’re all set!

    As always, keep up the great writing, and please let us know how we can continue to make Technorati better for you.


  • Last night on “NewsNight with Aaron Brown” there was a piece about an American soldier, Army Pfc. Stephen Tschiderer, who had been shot by terrorists in Iraq. The terrorists had filmed the shooting, but unfortunately for the terrorists the soldier had only been hit on his protective chest-plate and knocked down. The soldier immediately leapt up and joined the others in tracking down and capturing the terrorists. Pfc. Stephen Tschiderer even gave medical attention to the terrorists who had tried to kill him minutes before.

    I guess it should be noted that we bloggers had covered the story a week ago. Iraqi Bloggers Central covered the story and included a link to the video a week ago on Saturday, July 16, 2005.

  • Slightly off topic but might be worth considering, from “Posner at the NYTimes.

    The charge by mainstream journalists that blogging lacks checks and balances is obtuse. The blogosphere has more checks and balances than the conventional media; only they are different. The model is Friedrich Hayek’s classic analysis of how the economic market pools enormous quantities of information efficiently despite its decentralized character, its lack of a master coordinator or regulator, and the very limited knowledge possessed by each of its participants.

    In effect, the blogosphere is a collective enterprise – not 12 million separate enterprises, but one enterprise with 12 million reporters, feature writers and editorialists, yet with almost no costs. It’s as if The Associated Press or Reuters had millions of reporters, many of them experts, all working with no salary for free newspapers that carried no advertising.

    I miss the preview button, where’s the boy genius?

  • Cool! Nice to see ya in the real tag world. Hopefully, others will catch on. We’ve been trying to introduce social software, tagging ideas to businesses for almost a year. Sadly, we got a long way to go for those co’s to improve their information culture and cross over the digital divide.

    jim wilde

  • Oh, I forgot the tag-line:

    I’m pleased that NewsNight covered the story but the difference in timeliness between the MSM and the bloggers is noteworthy, don’t you think?


  • No Jeff, they are closed. They link to you, and you alone, not the posts of others that show up on the Technorati pages for these tags.

    That was the abuse of language I was pointing out to Stowe.

    Of course you can to decide to do this, but please don’t trumpet it as more open than linking outside the BuzzMachine walled garden.

  • Kevin:
    Thanks. I’m being dense but not on purpose.
    Please do explain…. Is it that tags need respositories, common pools, so one can find other material with the same tags?
    Can’t it be that anything found with an agreed-upon set of tagging deliminters can swim in that pool?
    I just don’t get it.

  • Search engines might follow those tags, but just to be safe you might want to make them look like real URLs: site.com/tag/weblogs

    It’d be interesting to have something that would automatically extract possible tags. For instance, two single quotes around a phrase in an entry would make a tag, and the quotes would be removed when the entry is published. URLs could be extracted, so you could have a Newsday category.

    It’d be nice to search on these, so you could find all the entries tagged both Paula Abdul and Nail Care.

    What if you had just one entry on Paula Abdul, together with a P.A. tag. Then, you’d have two pages that, in the eyes of our search engine overlords, were basically the same. One of those would probably get dumped into the supplemental results. Would it be the one you want or not?

    You could put nofollow tags on your tag URLs, but people who put your links elsewhere might not do that.

  • Addendum: you could also block them using robots.txt. You could put everything under site.com/tag and block that.

    Now, would you want to?

  • "It’d be nice to search on these, so you could find all the entries tagged both Paula Abdul and Nail Care."

    Since people are sort of doing a tag wishlist here, does anyone know of site with tags that already has that feature. It seems that you can only see all things tagged with X. I've never really seen see all things tagged with X and Z.

    (Note: I haven't really looked too hard…)

  • Gee, I know a site. It's a little photo sharing site called Flickr : ) I just found out how to search ALL tags or ANY tags. Ignore my comment/question above.

  • Ummm …. I hope I'm not being rude for asking, but where can I get this plug in? Can I get it?

  • I’d argue these are not tags at all, but merely keywords such have been used by authors since before the internet and provide all the value or lack of value as keywords ever did. I’d aruge what makes tags tags is the openness of the author (owner of the wall) to allow readers (graffeti artists) to add their own tags to a given piece of content (the wall). Like with graffeti, you open yourself up to crap as well as art. But the real power of tags comes forward there, because how the end users see the content gets reflected in the way it is described in the tags, improving SEO, etc etc. Even you limit the size of permitted taggers, as Flickr does by restricting to “freinds” it still is smarter than you doing it, with your preconceived conception of what a story is about. I’m kinda depressed with folks using tags as keywords and throwing away value.

    (also, by using them as primary navigation as you are, you tend to reduce the number of tags for scanning purposes, which also restricts their true value. I think they re most value in combination with traditional naviagion. If you wanted to use them for both, you coud have prefered terms and related terms, if that is not to LIS geeky)

    excuse spelling errors,: dyslexic.

  • Does this still apply today?

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  • good morning.

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