1 February 2007

Study on use of tagging released

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A December 2006 survey by the Pew Internet & American Life Project (a US-based foundation) has found that 28% of internet users have tagged or categorized content online such as photos, news stories or blog posts. On a typical day online, 7% of internet users say they tag or categorise online content.

These people said “yes” to the following question: “Please tell me if you ever use the internet to categorise or tag online content like a photo, news story, or a blog post.”

This is the first time Pew has asked about tagging, so it is not clear exactly how fast the trend is growing. To add to the complexity of the issue, there are probably people who have created a tag who would use a different term for the activity. For example, some sites invite users to apply “labels” to content and don’t use the word “tag.” Google’s tagging feature is actually called “bookmark,” though applies the principles of tagging. Other sites enable tagging so effortlessly that people might not be conscious they are doing it.

The report also includes an interview with David Weinberger, a fellow at Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society and a prominent blogger, who describes how people are putting ideas, information and knowledge together now that the digital age has encouraged alternatives to organizing information from hierarchical systems like the Dewey Decimal method.

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Download report (pdf, 82 kb, 9 pages)
Related BBC article

(via SmartMobs)

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