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More tagging content more often

Posted by Michael Bloch in ecommerce (Friday February 2, 2007 )

Many services now draw on those user generated categorizations to generate tag clouds, with the most popular content labels highlighted, either through emboldening or font size. Popularity may be gauged by the number of people who have labeled an item with a specific tag, the number of people who view (or purchased) that item or a combination of both.

Here’s a tag cloud screenshot example taken from Technorati:

Technorati Tag Cloud

Each of the tag cloud words is a link to all the posts Technorati has indexed on that particular topic.

As you can imagine, people file items under all sorts of labels and Technorati is currently tracking around 13.1 million different tags.

When these tag clouds first started appearing on the web, they were met with screwed up noses from many web developers; after all, they are pretty ugly… but they worked; people do use them. It’s a sort of subtle peer pressure thing – X is popular, so I should read/view X or categorize as X. In an ecommerce environment, tag clouds can be somewhat of a pre-sales grooming technique working on the subconscious: “X is popular, so I should buy it”.

Beyond the benefits to the user, tags can certainly give online store owners, marketers and webmasters an idea of how people categorize and they way they may search for a product; or what are currently popular items – all useful information in stocking, marketing and search engine optimization.

Some ecommerce applications now contain features that allow shoppers to tag items they view or purchase for future reference; and as you can imagine, that information is an absolute gold mine for online businesses.

Read more of the Pew report on content tagging (PDF)

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Internet users are becoming increasingly comfortable with the concept of “tagging” online content – whether it’s content they’ve created or published, or content they’ve found elsewhere.

According to a recent survey of over 2,300 adult Internet users, 28% of the respondents were not only familiar with the term, but had tagged content themselves.

Furthermore, 7% of those surveyed had tagged content within the last 24 hours according to the Pew Internet and American Life Project study.

What is tagging?

Tagging is a user driven form of categorizing content, initially made popular by bookmarking services such as del.icio.us and blog indexing services like Technorati.

Instead of people being forced to categorize items just into pre-defined categories, whether they are site bookmarks, blog posts, photos or other items; they are able to add labels of their own choosing, known as tags.

An item may be tagged with many labels to help the user categorize and quickly locate information later on. If the tagged content is a public entry, in some cases other users of the same service may also add their own tags to that item.

Many services now draw on those user generated categorizations to generate tag clouds, with the most popular content labels highlighted, either through emboldening or font size. Popularity may be gauged by the number of people who have labeled an item with a specific tag, the number of people who view (or purchased) that item or a combination of both.

Here’s a tag cloud screenshot example taken from Technorati:

Technorati Tag Cloud

Each of the tag cloud words is a link to all the posts Technorati has indexed on that particular topic.

As you can imagine, people file items under all sorts of labels and Technorati is currently tracking around 13.1 million different tags.

When these tag clouds first started appearing on the web, they were met with screwed up noses from many web developers; after all, they are pretty ugly… but they worked; people do use them. It’s a sort of subtle peer pressure thing – X is popular, so I should read/view X or categorize as X. In an ecommerce environment, tag clouds can be somewhat of a pre-sales grooming technique working on the subconscious: “X is popular, so I should buy it”.

Beyond the benefits to the user, tags can certainly give online store owners, marketers and webmasters an idea of how people categorize and they way they may search for a product; or what are currently popular items – all useful information in stocking, marketing and search engine optimization.

Some ecommerce applications now contain features that allow shoppers to tag items they view or purchase for future reference; and as you can imagine, that information is an absolute gold mine for online businesses.

Read more of the Pew report on content tagging (PDF)



 

 
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