Welcome to the home of Noah Brier. I'm the co-founder of Variance and general internet tinkerer. Most of my writing these days is happening over at Why is this interesting?, a daily email full of interesting stuff. This site has been around since 2004. Feel free to get in touch. Good places to get started are my Framework of the Day posts or my favorite books and podcasts. Get in touch.

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The Value of Technorati Tags

I like to think that I’m willing to admit that I’m wrong (clearly not true). While I don’t necessarily think I ever came out and said it, I have had trouble understanding the value of Technorati tags. I never got how there was any value in tagging my posts for other people. While I still think it’s a flawed system (especially because of it’s spamming potential), I had an “aha moment” about it this morning.

While I was reading this IF post about “leveraging folksonomies” (paid subscription required), I realized that Technorati tags allow people to do the thing I find most innovative about tagging: Create impromptu, non-centralized communities without the need for any additional infrastructure (like creating a new group in Yahoo! Groups).

It was this seemingly innocent (and obvious) paragraph that sparked it:

An example this week was the 10blogs tag. A group of bloggers decided to suggest what 10 blogs they’d take to a desert island. Instead of emailing each other with a link to their top ten, they simply ‘tagged’ their blog posts with 10blogs. This allowed all bloggers to visit Technorati and browse through the whole blogosphere’s top 10 blogs!

Wow. DUH! How the hell did I miss that? I kind of feel like an idiot.

August 12, 2005