Whither Tagging?

Susan Mernit asks some interesting questions about tagging’s scalability in this post:


1. How well will tagging work as an organizing and information retrieval method when there are millions of tags?–That’s where having additional filters, such as identity, trust or cohort group becomes relevant–becomes needed.

2. How can developers move tagging into a wider market? I describe tagging to non-geek friends and they are interested, but these folks aren’t blogging, don’t use tag-friendly photo services and are a world away, still–how can the tools bring them closer?

I don’t think that tagging will turn out to be the emperor’s new clothes (which isn’t at all what Susan is suggesting, either). But there’s a sense here that the honeymoon is over and it’s time for tagging to get serious about earning its keep for readers and searchers and to make stuff not just more broadcastable in flickr and Technorati, but also to make the good stuff more findable.

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