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The personal site of Jamie Knight, an autistic web developer, speaker and mountain biker who is never seen far from his plush sidekick Lion. View the Archive

Topics: Autism Development

Tags, Tags, Tags

In this short article I am going to take a walk though the world of tags. This article is first and foremost for my friends, In the nicest possible way I am fed up of being asked what the tags on jkg3 and flickr do. This article should explain.

Tags as keywords.

At the basic level, a tag, is a lot like a keyword. It’s a word or phrase which helps to sum up the content to which it has been attached. This is most the obvious explanation of a tag and what most people will think of. People are use to using keywords in google for searching and this metaphor transfers quite well. By adding a tag to something (be it a photo, blog post or video) you are indicating that the tag is connected in some way to that item. You are also creating a connection between that item and others like it.

Tags as connections.

The connection between items which share a tag is something most people don’t even know they are creating. When you apply a tag you are linking that media or content to others which share that tag. These connections can simultaneously be local and global. These connections can lead to a new way of navigating the web.

Tags for navigation?

Microformats… Microformats… Microformats. That doesn’t mean a whole lot to most. To be honest I don’t think it should. So, I hear you asking how does this “Microformats? this relate to tags. Well, “Microformats? provide a means of creating a standard tag standard.

This standard, coupled with the links I described earlier create a whole new way of browsing the web. For example, starting from this page using extensions like operator or tails you can use the tags I attach to articles to find out more. A good example is “streetwars07? if you use operator (a firefox extension) and then look under tagspace you will find a link to flickr which will show you all the photos from the drag racing day. This was not a link I created myself. All I did was place the “tag? out there an encorage others on the day to do the same.

So, with all that said, I hope you all have a better understanding of what I means by tags, and why I think they are so important.

Published: 27 August 2007 | Categories: , Permalink

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