DI and Tags

Nowadays we are often offered the opportunity to tag resources. In Facebook I can tag the people in a photo, on my blog I can tag a post, and on del.icio.us I can tag pages I have bookmarked

There are a number of reason why we choose to tag:

  • For ourselves, so that we can find resources later. For example Andy may tag an article “toread” to remind himself that he intends to read the article later;
  • For others, so that others know what the resource is about. For example Bo may tag a picture “pig” so that others know that it is a picture of a pig;
  • For automation, so that other systems know that this resource is meant to be aggregated by them.

Recently we have worked on a project called Muvenation that involves working with teachers and virtual worlds. As the project was starting when I wrote blog posts about it I would use the tag “Muvenation” so I and others would know it was about that project; when I saw web pages that were relevant to the project I would tag them on del.icio.us, when I took relevant inworld screenshots I would post them on flickr and tag them. Thus this Muvenation tag became part of my Digitial Identity and the resources they were linked to also reflect on my Digitial Identity.

Worksheet on tags


A tag cloud is a list of tags, where the size of the tag indicates the popularity of the tag, you can often find tag clouds for individuals and for whole sites.

1. The public tag cloud can be found for deicious at http://delicious.com/tag  look at this cloud and select a tag that interests you, note down why you chose that tag.

2. Clicking on the tag in the tag cloud will take you to a list of resources tagged with that tag. On the right in a blue box is a number indicating how many people have tagged that resource. Choose a resource that looks interesting to you, bote down why you chose that one.

3. Clicking on the blue box will take you to a list of users who have bookmarked that resource, you will see their delicious user names and any other tags they used with this resource, select one of these and note why.

4. Click on their user name and then tags and you arrive at their tag cloud. Looking at this tag cloud what do you think they are interested in?

You might like to now look at a tag cloud of your own or someone you know well and see if that cloud really reflects interests.