Tagging which way? How about my way?

Story telling fest

Looking though my to read at somepoint in the future tagged catagory in Great News I found this useful summary of the problem with tagging online at the moment. Tag formats: Can’t we all just get along? covers the main tagging applications online and shows the confusion between spaced keywords and the comma seperated method.

So where do I fall on this issue? Well although I use Flickr and Del.icio.us almost everyday, I think they could both do benefit from using commas to seperate tags. All the latest services which I've used which support tagging have used commas because they make a lot more sense. As Victor says in the comments,

commas are faster than quotes.

as i see it (in my own experience) tags can be annoying if you don’t really care about them when you have to enter them. Usually you care about them later on, when you cannot find what you’re looking for. but they’re still a(nother) time-consuming task.

i’d use fast, thus i’d use commas.

The only thing which puts me off commas is the language issue, which is that some languages use commas for other things. There was a suggestion to use semicolon but I feel that would go down like a listening to your ipod in a church service. Other solutions which I've seen around the web include autosensing spaces or commas and the Amazon box model type thing. Which I personally think sucks because it takes too long to fill them in. I wonder why no ones written a greasemonkey script to allow people to pick a method which will be translated across all tagging services. So I can type commas into Flickr and it just translates it into spaces for me. Yeah its very lazyweb stuff. But as FataL points out, this can't be that hard.

Computer now smart enough to parse them all:
south asia, africa = [south asia] [africa]
“south asia” africa = [south asia] [africa]
‘south asia’ africa = [south asia] [africa]
(south asia) africa = [south asia] [africa]
south asia – africa = [south asia] [africa]
It’s not so hard to program all this I believe.

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Author: Ianforrester

Senior firestarter at BBC R&D, emergent technology expert and serial social geek event organiser.