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Tagging in an enterprise social network (part 6)

Back to basics….

In order to progress, let us look next at the basics of tagging. Tagging of user-generated content is an inherent part of the enterprise social network. All the leading social network applications – for example Jive, Telligent, Lotus Connections, Socialtext, (and SharePoint 2010) have tagging as a core function. This allows a user to tag their individual blog postings, contributions to a discussion forum, uploaded video or documents with tags describing and defining their content.

This simple act of naming user contributed content has a number of cumulative effects. Firstly it identifies the content with multiple descriptors, allowing the content to be found and related to in a variety of mutually supporting ways. These include for example Search, Tag Clouds and Tag Trails. Each of these can be either individual aggregations or socially constructed. Take for example, a Tag Cloud:

“A tag cloud or word cloud (or weighted list in visual design) is a visual depiction of user-generated tags, or simply the word content of a site, used typically to describe the content of web sites. Tags are usually single words and are typically listed alphabetically, and the importance of a tag is shown with font size or color.[1] Thus both finding a tag by alphabet and by popularity is possible. The tags are usually hyperlinks that lead to a collection of items that are associated with a tag.”

The weighting of the text is defined by the numbers of times that an item has been tagged, the larger or more densely defined the text, the more times that that tag has been used. The Tag Cloud can be set to display information sets for either individuals; spaces within a social network (a social Group or section of a site for example); or a community of individuals. This in turn produces its own set of possibilities in terms of finding both content and users who have tagged content.

Previous Post: Delivering: Tags & folksonomy (Part 5)

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