Tagging and Social Bookmarking

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Brief Description:

A tag is a collaboratively generated, open-ended labeling system that enables Internet users to categorize content such as Web pages, online photographs, and Web links. Tagging lets you categorize information online your way.

Social bookmarking is the use of a web-based site that stores your tags and the tags of people you know, so you can benefit from their bookmarks as well as your own.

Example Applications:

  • Agree within a group to tag useful web resources with a shared tag; the group benefits from each member's searches.
  • Tag artifacts from an event (photos, wikis, blog posts) to collect all material generated at the event.
  • Follow the tags of thought leaders.

Full Description:

From Beth Kanter:

Why should you consider tagging?

"Many nonprofits professionals have to manage a lot of information on the web and share it with their co-workers or clients. In many smaller organizations, where there are not enough resources for a high-end knowledge management system, people end up using their browser favorites or forward links to one another via email. Unfortunately, these methods make sharing and managing information resources difficult.
Here’s why:
(1) The folder structure of your favorites list is not always flexible enough to allow for easy cross referencing.
(2) Bookmarks can’t be accessed from different locations or computers.
(3) Links can get lost in email.
(4) Knowledge management is a solitary endeavor, not a social one.
(Image from external image jan06_social_tagging.jpg)


Users use a web-based tagging tool to add tags to describe online items, such as images, videos, bookmarks or text. These tags are then shared and sometimes refined. For a more detailed definition of tags, see the Wikipedia entry.Many social bookmarking services are available; those most often mentioned by members of the nonprofit technology community include:

Social Bookmarking

From Beth Kanter:external image jan06_social_tagging.jpg
Social bookmarking is the practice of saving bookmarks to a public web site and describing them with tags. You simply register with a social bookmarking site, typically a free service, which lets you store bookmarks, add tags of your choice, and designate your individual bookmarks as public or private. You can search for resources by keyword, person, or popularity and see the public bookmarks, tags, and classification schemes that users have created and saved.

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Related Methods/Tools/Practices:

More Information/References/Related Resources:

Key Tags:

(Try to include the appropriate CCASS indicators. For a list of possible keywords, see Cafe Tags)