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Playing Tagsy - Folksonomies, Firefox & Search

Nick Wilson
Expert Author
Published: 2005-03-10

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Last week i talked briefly about Tagsy, a social bookmarking and feed management service that integrates with Firefox.

The product is under development right now, and will launch shortly. In the meantime, i managed to catch up with Scott Bearons, the projects founding partner and ask him to fill in some of the blanks.

"Our challenge is to provide a powerful, completely integrated way of dealing with the content flow in a way that is appealing and virtually effortless to use."

Follow the title link for the full post.

Here's what scott had to say about Tagsy:

We feel that the stars are finally aligned to allow people to effectively archive, categorize, discover and share relevant content. The rise of Ajax-style applications paired with the simplicity of integrating complex functionality in Firefox extensions provides an elegant, no-hassle way of doing all of the above. Folksonomy makes that simpler, too, by providing a way to "describe" the content.

Folksonomy, as described in Wikipedia, refers to the "practice of collaborative categorization using freely chosen keywords." With the increasing flow of content ranging from blog feeds to podcasts, people need a way to not only categorize and later search for the interesting bits, but also find new and recent content that is being published. Tagging provides that ability in a weird but surprisingly functional way. In essence, social networks are being automatically built based on everyone's personal affinity which is described by their tags.

Using personal tags, social networks can be created automatically, with the instant advantage of adding a degree of relevance. In other words, if you describe yourself with tag NYC, this increases the relevance of some of your content to other New-Yorkers.

The magic of it all is the speed at which new content travels. Google, by the nature of PageRank, takes time to absorb and rate the content, while a live user-driven system instantly propels quality information as soon as it's published.

Folksonomy also applies to notes, excerpts, stock market information, pictures and any other type of available content, including private content -- or content you would only want to share with a specific group of people. One of the most powerful advantages of having a "live" user-driven content system is the addition of new, up-to-date, cutting edge information. That is why Tagsy provides the infrastructure to tag and find content both from sites browsed with Firefox, and by tagging content from feeds. Hence, Tagsy includes an RSS feed aggregator driven, once again, by tags.

Our challenge is to provide a powerful, completely integrated way of dealing with the content flow in a way that is appealing and virtually effortless to use. That means that software has to be configurable with multiple ways of looking at information both visually and semantically -- and the good news it that it's easy to do so by filtering out tags and sets of tags. We are also creating an open system where other folksonomy-driven services can integrate using API.

In the following weeks we will invite some of the kind folks who subscribed on tagsy.com for a beta test, and we will make sure to listen to what they have to say. We feel that many people are struggling with content fragmentation, and the time has come for a solution that ties it all together.

That's quite a pitch eh? I asked Scott about the business model, he was non commital and was clearly playing his cards closely to his chest, maybe they don't have a business model...

Whatever the case, it's one to bookmark, and for some of you, one to subscribe to for updates, you can do that on the Tagsy site.

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About the Author:
Nick Wilson is the publisher and founder of Threadwatch.org.

Threadwatch is a group blog, or forum if you prefer, focusing on Marketing and Related Technologies - News and discussion for those that make their living on the WWW - Register here to participate.

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