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Tagging takes off

Twenty-eight per cent of US internet users have tagged, and seven per cent do it daily, says a new study.

Tagging is the latest internet phenomenon to be studied by the Pew Internet and American Life Project, so this first look at its popularity gives no sense of trend. What we do know, however, is that tagging-based sites, such as flickr.com and del.icio.us, are growing in popularity.

The Pew report features in interview with David Weinberger of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard, who sees a bright future for tagging:

Because it’s useful when there’s lots of information and the information is truly meaningful to individuals, it’ll be adopted more and more widely. But we’re also going to invent new ways to harvest tagging. Flickr, for example, is already able to cluster photographs by subject with impressive accuracy just by analyzing their tags, so that photos of Gerald Ford are separated from photos of Ford Motor cars. We’ll also undoubtedly figure out how to intersect tags with social networks, so that the tags created by people we know and respect have more “weight” when we search for tagged items. In fact, by analyzing how various social groups use tags, we can do better at understanding how seemingly different worldviews map to one another.

Hmm, think I’ll tag this post: