Thursday, November 22, 2007

"Canine nutrition" or "dog food"?

Tag cloud from

Here's another useful presentation re tagging from Berlin, called "Tagging that works", also available on

Tagging, as you know, is about letting users attach their own keywords to web pages or objects on a web site (pictures, videos, bookmarks...) that are then made available to other users, normally to improve search.

Folksonomy is a word often used to describe this. When "folks" tag your content they are likely to use colloquial terms closer to what other users would look for. If you have an excellent web site about "canine nutrition" chances are slim that users will find it, as most of them will they search for "dog food". That is, unless you let your users tag it with "dog food" so others can find it as well.

We have the same issue on the ABB web site. Our excellent flow meters are called "flow measurement products", a term that I suspect no sane person would use trying to find them. Likewise, the relevant business unit insists on using terms like turbocharging as opposed to turbochargers, and robotics rather than robots...

However, letting users tag content is not straightforward in our case, not least because we have 28 languages on the web site and suspect that tags must be connected to the correct language version to be effective. It would be interesting to hear from you if anyone has found a good solution to this?

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