As you probably noticed yesterday we launched Podcast Tags, a service that lets you categories your podcast episodes using keywords. We’re the only tagging service for podcasts, but there are many others for different types of media. Flickr is one of the best known, and their tagging capabilities are one of the major reasons Yahoo acquired them:
Flickr is a pioneer in a new method for cataloging the Internet that some believe could revolutionize Web search. As a result, Flickr could give Yahoo new competitive tools to take on Google, if it can put Flickr’s community-based technology to broader use. Flickr’s trick has been to enlist large numbers of unsupervised volunteers to individually classify files using searchable metadata. Anyone can “tag” files with personal descriptions to help everyone find them more easily.
One of the most interesting things about tagging is the information that naturally presents itself. Relationships appear between items that you wouldn’t normally consider to be related, and that’s one of the coolest effects. The other great thing is that tags are democratic. A search company or other organization is not giving you a choice of categories. Rather, you select the tags that you think are most appropriate, in effect, voting for your tags.
The buzzword for all of this seems to be “folksonomy”. According to Wikipedia, “Folksonomy is a neologism for a practice of collaborative categorization using freely chosen keywords.” It’s pretty cool stuff and I have no doubt you’ll hear more about it this year.
I also wanted to mention that we updated the Podcast Tags site last night to display links to other tagging sites. So if you link to http://podcasttag.com/paramagnus for example, we also show links on that page to Technorati, Flickr, etc. Once there are a large number of tagging sites out there, it will be extremely interesting to see the global relationships and folksonomies that form.
Read: CNET News.com