Tagging depends on the kindness of strangers

David Card asks if tagging is “the new, new thing or meme that runs out of steam in 6 months?“. I agree that tagging is moving against the tide of the net. The informal creation of metadata through linking is one of the great unsung assets of the Web, at least among its primary beneficiaries in the publishing business. But it works because it’s in the linker’s self-interest to create meaningful links.
In a game of tag, no one wants to be the one doing the tagging. Tagging requires a little extra unnecessary effort that most folks are not only unwilling to make, but aren’t prepared to learn. The net depends on the altruism of the few and the indifference of the many.
But I’m really going to miss those cool-looking, pointless, tag clouds.
Originally published on my blog at JupiterResearch.