Friday, December 09, 2005

Tagging as a comodity?

I've had an interesting conversation last night with an engineering lead in one of the mega-portal companies. While it wasn't really the topic of the conversation, he said something that got me thinking. He said:

"Tagging is by now a commodity".

Is that really so?

In my eyes, tagging, while not really a novelty anymore, is far from being a commodity. The vast majority of internet users (outside the valley of course :) never heard of it... as I noted in earlier post, I still find myself explaining quite often to people who never heard of it - what tagging is about and why it makes sense. And by "people", I mean pretty internet-savvy people.

Browsers are commodity. Search is commodity (is it?). Tagging is still at the beginning of the adoption curve, still firmly in the hype area.

It's going to take a while before the dust settles down, and tagging will become a commodity - to be used only where appropriate (no, tag clouds do not always make sense) and with clear predictable user expectations and usage patterns.


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2 comments:

x33x said...

Hi, interesting post.

You're right, IMO, to say that outside the Valley people don't know of tags. In fact, if your life isn't about surfin' the Web for info -that is, if you don't live in the Web2 hype-, you don't really care for tags.

In what regards the "Tagging is a commodity" statement, well, your friend might be right : if in fact only "hyped" users "tag", you cannot say it isn't a commodity, as it's a currency in the "web2 hyped sphere".

Tagging as a real, palpable, social and human phenomena, is yet to come. Today you're just playing with Ranking, Hits, Stats and of course, Hype :) Knowledge is still not there.

So I'd say tagging will cease to be a commodity to become a "way". The way I see it, "Tagging is *still* a commodity".

YanivG said...

x33x (?), point well made. Tagging is is a commodity if you live in the "Web 2.0 sphere". Do we think it's worthwhile giving a shot at making it an appreciated commodity for a substantial part of the net users out there? Or would we rather keep this new - and IMO, valuable - toy just to our hyped selves?

Re Knowledge - also agree. Someone gotta go and get that knowledge thing working :)