Section 53. Embracing Folksonomy

53. Embracing Folksonomy

Folksonomy refers to the collection and categorization of items by the people doing the collecting and categorization. In other words, it's the "folks"average people like you and mewho determine their own classifications and not some hifalutin' Master Classifier of All Things. Instead of writing a blog post about web design standards and looking in some reference guide how to best classify the information I just wrote, I can categorize it as I see fitI can tag the entry with CSS, web design, W3C standards, XHTML, and so on.

Users apply categorizations through the use of tags. In some blog publishing tools, users can specifically categorize their posts, which are then interpreted as tags by blog-specific search engines, such as Technorati (, that rely heavily on tags to organize content. Blogger users must manually add tags to their posts, as you'll see in step 7 later in this section. In the meantime, take a look at steps 16 to get a better understanding of the concept of folksonomy in action.


Although I consider Technorati the leader in the indexing and implementation of folksonomy-based content searching, other search engines such as IceRocket ( also employ some manner of tag-based searching., the social bookmarks management service, also relies on tagging to organize user content, as do image management services such as Flickr ( and Buzznet ( Tagging is popping up everywhere!


Search Tagged Content

In this example of the Technorati search interface, one of the methods of searching is by tag name. Searching by tag name is different from searching by keyword because keywords are simply words that appear in the indexed content, whereas tags are elements that have been specifically applied to the post by the author. Think of a search for tagged items as way of filtering your search to produce more precise search results.

53. Embracing Folksonomy


View Currently Popular Tags

Technorati keeps a real-time list of the most popular tags as indexed by its service. Click the Tags link on the Technorati home page to access the list. A large font indicates a more popular tag. In this example, the tags Blog and books are more popular than the tags for cinema and Computing.


Click a Tag Name to View a Tag Page

If you click a tag name in this interface, you will be taken to a page containing the most recent posts tagged with that keyword.


View All Posts Tagged with Your Search Term

In this example of a tag result page, I searched for the tag blogher. Technorati retrieved a list of 474 posts tagged with this word, and presented the list with the most recent posts first.


In the summer of 2005, the first annual BlogHer Conference brought together hundreds of women interested in the use of blogs and social software. Attendees wrote blog posts about their experiences, continued discussions started in the official conference seminars, and took photos at the eventall these posts and photos were tagged with the term blogher or some related keyword. For more information about the BlogHer Conference, visit


See the Related Tags for Your Search Term

A results page for a tag search will also present you with a list of related tags, if appropriate. For instance, the Technorati search engine determined that posts tagged with blogher were related to posts tagged with bloghercon, blogging, dailyblogher, women, partners, weblogs, and blogs because either the posts were explicitly tagged with these additional keywords or they were in some way related through linking mechanisms.


View Tagged Images from Other Tag-Enabled Services

When applicable, Technorati's tag results page will list images from the Flickr and Buzznet photo management sites that also include this same tag.


Start Tagging Your Own Posts

This example shows one of my posts tagged with the term blogger. Personally, I have a convention for my tagged posts, which is to explicitly state technorati tag followed by the tag name. That tag name is also a link to the specific Technorati tag page. You do not need to follow this convention when tagging your posts. Following the Tip, you will see examples of code to use to tag your posts.


If you plan to use tags and want to ensure that your posts are indexed in Technorati, be sure to register with Technorati and claim your blog. Go to to start this process, if you haven't already.

A tag is nothing more than an <a></a> link with an additional attribute in the mix. For example:

 <a href="" rel="tag">tagname_goes_here</a> 

Here is a more specific example:

 <a href="" rel="tag">blogger</a> 

After adding a tag to your post, such as the one just shown, ping Technorati at so that it knows to add your recently published blog to its indexing queue.

In the preceding example, you'll notice I linked to instead of the Technorati tag page for blogger. You can link to any page you want in the href attribute of the <a></a> tag. The indexing mechanism looks for the rel="tag" attribute, and then looks for the term between the <a></a> tags.

On my own blog, I use the method of linking to the Technorati tag page within my tagged elements, simply because it provides me with an easy way to jump to a category cosmos in which I am interested. For instance, when tagging a post with the blogger tag, I would use the following link:

 <a href=""  rel="tag">blogger</a> 

A tag-indexing mechanism such as Technorati doesn't care what you put within the HRef attribute of your link. All it looks for is the rel="tag" attribute and the text between the <a></a> tags.

Everyone is different, so link to whatever you like, and tag your posts where appropriate to help build self-filtered search results.

Blogging in a Snap
Blogging in a Snap (Sams Teach Yourself)
ISBN: 0672328437
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2003
Pages: 124 © 2008-2017.
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