As you might have already noticed, I’ve recently looked into tags. Tags, in blogging terms, are user-defined annotations of blog posts. If I write a long-winded post about Jean Lapierre for example, I might use the following tags to annotate my post: lapierre, bloc, liberal, transport. These annotations make it easier for users to find relevant information and allow web services to deliver better results. As I’ve mentioned on Blogging Tories, Flickr and Technorati are two services which use author-defined tags to annotate information. Odeo is a newly launched service that allows for the annotation of podcasts using tags.
Another type of tag is used on the Internet and that is the end-user-defined tag. del.icio.us is such a service and allows any website end-user (not just the author as with technorati and flickr tags) to annotate a website with relevant tags. You, the end-user can annotate this very post yourself if you like by clicking on the + del.icio.us link below. Most users of del.icio.us use the bookmarklet which allows one’s browser to tag the website that the user is viewing at that time.
I have tagged this post with relevant technorati tags (tags, socialbookmarking, del.icio.us) to increase this post’s exposure and to help consumers of blogs find relevant information.
Technorati and del.icio.us are two websites that I highly recommend. I use del.icio.us to store my bookmarks online (sorted by my own annotations) so that I can find favourite websites quickly and from any computer connected to the Internet. “Social bookmarking” is a key feature of del.icio.us as your tagged bookmarks are accessible to others through their common tags and through a tag-based search on the del.icio.us website (so, it would be recommended to use an anonymous username, and not to bookmark your bank account webpage for example).
Tagging, in my opinion, is a blogging feature that has grown past its infancy and has been accepted into the mainstream. Become a tagger today!