July 24, 2007

Simple advice on keyword tagging and tagsonomies

Follow-up to Build your own tagxonomy tool from Transversality - Robert O'Toole

Many web publishing systems allow publishers to keyword tag pages or entries using their own keywords. Combinations of these keywords can then be used to search and “aggregate” content tagged with those keywords. Both Warwick Blogs and Sitebuilder support this. It is usually left up to the content author to define the series of keywords that classify a page/entry. I have been asked to give some advise on strategies that can be used to do this efficiently and effectively. Here is my answer.

  1. Think about how you might want to be able to search/aggregate/organise your content, how other people might want to search it and see it organised, and how you want other people to think about your content (especially if you are trying to establish a schematic structure in their minds).
  2. Be systematic, especially with punctuation, spaces, spellings.
  3. Maintain a list of your tags. A concept map is a good mechanism for maintaining this list. You could use MindManager to create the list.
  4. Cooperate – use the same tags that other people use, develop tagsonomies with other people (formally or informally).
  5. Use a combination of very specific and more general tags (for example: e-learning, elab, quizbuilder) – think about your tags as being arranged in a tree structure (specific at the leaves general at the branches).
  6. Combine different tags that identify different aspects of the tagged content (for example, use a tag to identify what kind of content it is (essay, review), what it is about (philosophy, Kant).
  7. Tagging your work with a unique identifier associated with yourself allows you to aggregate your work from wherever it appears (e.g. robert_o-toole in Sitebuilder gets you this result )

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