From Bill Ives - Where Tagging Works and Where Tagging DoesnÂt Work Â Search Engine Lowdown
I guess I tend to agree with Danny Sulliivan about the tagging and search but that is not the original intention of tagging. If I want to search on a key word, I will still go to Google as the most efficient way. If I have the time to go exploring through multiple links and see the interrelations between key words, I might go to del.icio.us. However, if I want to set up a way to store and share links on a particular topic, I will use del.icio.us which I have done already in co-authoring an article.Interesting, Bill points to a search on Google for "Web 2.0" and he 75,900,000 hits with the famous OÂReilly article at the top of the list - which is a pretty dang good result and makes sense given Google's in-bound link based algorithm. If you do a similar search on del.icio.us, you first realize (as Bill found) that tags cannot have spaces, so you actually need to look for "web2.0" - you can see what you get at: http://del.icio.us/popular/web2.0
I definitely don't think the results are nearly as good as what you get in Google. But look on the right side to find "related tags" that are how you can find things that are related.
I completely agree with Bill's assessment, del.icio.us is more useful if you are trying to find related terms to search against, but the quality level of results doesn't seem to be there.
A closely related great series of articles can be found at What are the Personal Benefits of Tagging? -
One thing that the most useful of these reasons all have in common is that
they allow the user to express tags using personal vocabulary.
I personally have found that because I've switched to Yahoo MyWeb that has full-text search across my bookmarked pages, I've come to use tags mostly to represent two things:
- Actions - I tag items with "blogthis" if I plan to come back an write it up in a blog.
- Sharing - I tag items that I plan to share with a specific tag so that others in my group can find it.
So for me, it's not quite the folksonomy effect that most people talk about, but based on these articles, I'm starting to think that's what other people are finding as well.