Using Tags on Diigo

I also posted this on my other blog, Virtually Social Learning.

I finally got around to doing something I’ve been planning to do for ages – tidying up the tags I use for bookmarking sites in Diigo. The reason I wanted to do this was because I had several tags for the one thing, for example: socialnetworking and social_networking and ‘social networking.’ I know, I could tag each site that I wanted to use this tag on three different ways, but I really am in favour of keeping things as simple as possible and so wanted to use just one version. Which one though? Does it matter?I actually like the social_networking version best because it separates the words making them easier to read but keeps the whole phrase clearly together. But, I didn’t choose to go with that version because after looking around a bit at what other people were doing, most people use the version without spaces – socialnetworking.

On the edit tags page on Diigo it tells me how many times I’ve used a particular tag as well as telling me how many times that tag has been used throughout Diigo. For example, you can see here that I have used the tag google_earth 6 times, but it has been used throughout the Diigo community 1251 times to tag different websites.

If I change that tag to googleearth as one word then let’s see what happens:

Ah! Now I see this variation has been used 4378 times throughout the community.

So, what’s the moral of the story? For me, it’s a few points:

  • There are a few different tagging variations used
  • Most people tag by not putting spaces between the words
  • It doesn’t matter which variation I use, so I’ll stick with one to keep things simple for myself
  • When searching by using tags it’s important to make sure I try a few variations of the tag to maximse search results.

Here are a few questions I’ve had about tagging for a while:

  • When we tag things should we think that we tagging for ourselves to find it later, or for others? Of course we are doing both in reality and tagging things so others can find them is the social part of ‘social bookmarking’!
  • How should this effect the tags we use, as in the number of tags per bookmark, or the detail? Does it matter? Advice I’ve read in the past says to use as many tags as possible per bookmark/item. I guess that makes sense as giving something a tag in effect puts it into a ‘folder’ of other items with that tag. People will look in different ‘folders’ for the same thing, so as many tags as a practicable makes sense.
  • Should we use variations of the same tag on each bookmark?
  • Does anyone have a system they use when tagging? For example, do you use words from the title, then words from the first paragraph, and then look at the overall article?

Tagging is something I have found confusing in the past and a while to get used to so if you’ve got some great advice, I’d love to hear it!