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Monday, February 26th, 2007, 12:14 pm

Tags, Categories and Search for Content Digestion

Tags cloud

THE boundary between tags and channels, which are the means by which Netscape organises content, is becoming fuzzy. It seems like the former is likely to replace the latter, in due time.

Social news or meta-journalism appear to catch on as more and more large companies adopt them. Organisation of the user-contributed content, however, remains a tricky business. Categories, sections, and front pages no longer seem to work as there are better ways of delivering targetted content. The solution may be to personalise it all.

The use of tags is probably under-appreciated. When accommodated properly (e.g. not diluted through pluralisation), then assuming many submissions, a tag will appear in the tags cloud. Then, it will become available as an RSS feed or a vibrant Web page. Personally, I track tags of interest, rather than channels. Channels are a bit ‘old school’ because they mimic and inherit the limitations of traditional papers where one size fits all.

Categories are by nature static, so emerging hot topics will just expand or eliminate categories, leading to clutter or obsolesce, respectively. Even Digg constantly ignores the requests for new categories. But Digg has got word tracking (search as feeds), not tags, which is an inferior alternative. Unfortunately, at busy times of the day, Digg arbitrarily rejects requests for this type of feeds. They are resource hungry when generated. And that’s where Netscape is ahead.

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