"Collaborative tagging (also know as folksonomy, social classification, social indexing and other names) is the practice and method of collaboratively creating and managing tags to annotate and categorize content." (Wikipedia)

Here's a quick explanation (on YouTube, so you won't see anything in this space if you're at school):

This video from the Jackson County Public Library (USA) shows a basic concept of tagging - it's on YouTube, and cannot be embedded in this blog.

This video explains tagging in a different way:

There are many ways of classifying things. I might look at this photo I took of a river and think of the words river, frozen, and cold. You might think ice, grey, winter.

Tagging is very subjective. The words you choose to use as tags depend entirely what you see in a picture, or (if it's a web page) what you think a web page is about. That is why "social bookmarking" or "social tagging" is so interesting - someone else may see other things in the photo or web page, and by adding their tags, the possibility of finding the item with keyword search increases.

At the same time, the tagged description may be diluted, because of inaccurate or far-fetched tags.

My tag cloud on del.icio.us - an online social bookmarking site. If I were to go to the site and click on one of these tags, the list of all the web pages I have bookmarked and tagged with that word would open. On del.icio.us, the tag cloud is only visible to the account holder, though the saved webpages are visible to anyone. This is my page at del.icio.us

This is a picture of my tag cloud at flickr.com - a photo sharing site. If you were to go to the website, and click on "autumn", for example, all the pictures I have labled "autumn" would open. By looking at the cloud you can infer what pictures I like to put on the site - and tag. I have hundreds of pictures onine without tags.

Tag clouds can be a way to look at your own wrting.

Tag cloud generated from the posts at the SpaceQuest blog using http://www.tagcrowd.com/
The cloud shows 25 of a possible 984 tags.

created at TagCrowd.com

See a related post at August 28.


Web Playgrounds of the Very Young

This article (by Brooks Barnes, Published: December 31, 2007 ) from the New York Times came to my attention through the Classroom 2.0 ning. It discusses how advertisers are targeting young kids in cyber hangouts like Club Penguin and Webkinz.

Photo from The NY Times

"Trying to duplicate the success of blockbuster Web sites like Club Penguin and Webkinz, children’s entertainment companies are greatly accelerating efforts to build virtual worlds for children. Media conglomerates in particular think these sites — part online role-playing game and part social scene — can deliver quick growth, help keep movie franchises alive and instill brand loyalty in a generation of new customers."

"“Get ready for total inundation,” said Debra Aho Williamson, an analyst at the research firm eMarketer, who estimates that 20 million children will be members of a virtual world by 2011, up from 8.2 million today."

The article describes the exploding growth in cyber-worlds created with children in mind.

"Behind the virtual world gravy train are fraying traditional business models. As growth engines like television syndication and movie DVD sales sputter or plateau — and the Internet disrupts entertainment distribution in general — Disney, Warner Brothers and Viacom see online games and social networking as a way to keep profits growing."

Here is an advertisement for Disney's online game "Pirates of the Caribbean" (on YouTube, so you won't see anything in this space if you're at school):

and this is a CBS News short from "The Early Show" on 6 April 2007 about Webkinz:

When you play these games, what are you learning? How is it like school (or not like school!)?