An Analysis of the Effectiveness of Tagging in Blogs

Christopher H. Brooks, Nancy Montanez

Tags have recently become popular as a means of annotating and organizing Web pages and blog entries. Advocates of tagging argue that the use of tags produces a 'folksonomy', a system in which the meaning of a tag is determined by its use among the community as a whole. We analyze the effectiveness of tags for classifying blog entries by gathering the top 350 tags from Technorati and measuring the similarity of all articles that share a tag. We find that tags are useful for grouping articles into broad categories, but less effective in indicating the particular content of an article. We then show that automatically extracting words deemed to be highly relevant can produce more focused categorization of articles. We also provide anecdotal evidence of some of tagging's weaknesses, and discuss future directions that could make tagging more effective as a tool for information organization and retrieval.


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