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Friday, January 20, 2006

Tagging for business

Over here I explained about tags and tagging, which is all well and good for general internet use. But how might that benefit your business?

There are actually a number of ways that tagging can help you with your business. Please read about tags and tagging first, if you haven't already done so, by following the link above. (It will open in a new browser window.)

Right, you finished? Good, we'll proceed.

The company intranet

If you're a large-ish business with a company intranet, you can facilitate tagging by the employees of your business. Tag clouds will be formed as a result of how people tag content, and you will be able to see what's important to your employees by what tags have the most 'weight'. This can help you manage the content of your intranet to better suit the needs and interests of your staff, and yourself.

This kind of categorisation, which uses conceptual tagging instead of hierarchical links, works well by making content available to users in a way that they can conceptualise. Clicking on one tag will not only show the content related to that tag, but also show other tags that have been used with the same content, as well as other related content. Following tags in this way finds related content in a more conceptual fashion, rather than a highly structured and yet limiting hierarchical fashion.

As an example, someone might tag HR material as not only 'HR', but also as 'party' and 'new_staff'. This would apparently be information that leads new staff to find HR material that's relevent to them, but also to see information relating to social activities, which, in a hierarchical list, might be in a completely different departmental listing altogether and difficult to find.

As an employer, you can see how the tag clouds show what your staff are interested in, and how they group things together. You can use this information to your advantage by changing the way content is displayed, and the area that it's displayed in.

The commercial website

You can inspire your website visitors to tag your content using del.icio.us the same way that blog users do, by having a link titled 'tag this to del.icio.us' at the bottom of each page. You can then use del.icio.us (or any other tagging / social bookmarking website of your choice) as a means of keeping up to date with what visitors are tagging in relation to your site.

You can see which pages are being tagged, and with what kind of tags. You can see the tagging of various products or services you have available, and you can see the 'weight' of those tags, showing how important various areas of your site are to those visitors.

The popularity of a tag shows you the popularity of your product, service or information. By seeing what's popular, it allows you to do more of it, so that it takes advantage of the interest. By seeing what's not being tagged, allows you to get rid of it or change it.

Summary

Being able to understand how visitors see your site, by seeing the tags that they are using in relation to the content of your site, is a major asset for you. By seeing what is important to your website visitors you can shape the content of your site to appeal more to their interests, and ultimately sell more of your products or services. The more they tag you, the more people will see the tags on the social bookmarking site and come and see what the interest is. This will increase your potential customer base, and ultimately the revenue you generate through your website.

There's a trend on the internet to move away from plain, static sites and more to user-interactive sites. By moving forward in this way you take advantage of the high interest in the new trend, and have the advantage over your competitors who haven't seen the trend. Getting a headstart on your competitors is always a wise and profitable business decision.

Contact me if you would like more information, or even assistance, on how you and your website can take advantage of 'tagging for business'.

Posted on 1/20/2006 10:53:00 AM Backlinks


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(C) Alan Howard 1998 - 2006