What it is:

A tag is a piece of metadata (e.g., a keyword or term) assigned to a piece of digital information (such as an internet bookmark, image, or computer file).  Tagging is classifying content for other uses later, including "re-finding" it and sharing it.  Tagging is closely related to  social bookmarking.

What you need:

A tagging application.  These are usually free, third-party applications such as Delicious or AddThis.  Other applications have internal tagging functions.  MiddTags is an example in this website.  The photo-sharing site Flickr is another example with internal tagging.  Most blogs also have an internal tagging function.

How you do it:

Simply choose a term (or terms) for the thing you want to describe, and apply it using the internal or third-party application.  These tags will appear in a tag cloud or other search interface for retrieving tagged information.

Tips and suggestions:

  • Use as many tags as you need to classify something.  If you can't decide among several tags, use them all.
  • Most tagging features have a suggest or auto-complete function.  Use it.  This promotes consistency which improves retrieval.
  • Tag immediately.  Otherwise, you'll never be able to find that "great thing" again.

Academic Technology

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