"We goan stay hustlin' on that corner til we caught." - Jay-Z, Poppin' Tags
There are far better discussions of tags and tagging than you'll get here. I just want to break it down real quick for the blog fam who might not be up on it. Hell, I've been knowin' for a minute -- since last year's SXSW, in fact -- but have been real lax in using the technorati tags until last week. Lynne has been doing it for a while now and I'm tempted to go back in my archives a bit and do my most recent entries correctly but let's get to some basics first.
Have you been to technorati? Have you claimed all your websites? You really should. Technorati isn't perfect but it does keep a very expansive track of everything that's going on in blogs (not to mention other stuff that use tag conventions like flickr and buzznet). So, you know, head on over there, register, get the little piece of code and add it somewhere in your website (preferably the sidebar, header or footer so it is on every page) and see what people are saying about your posts. For example, here's what the blog world has been saying about negroplease.com.
But let's talk about tags. Do you use the categories feature in your blog software? If you do, you're essentially tagging your stuff. It allows you, or anyone else, to go through your archives and look for every time you catalogued something as "music" or "football" or "my very secret secrets" or maybe some mixture of all of the above. If you've used flickr or del.icio.us or buzznet or that new thing I've been working on, blognet, you've also been encouraged to use tags there. It's simply a way to categorize things so that you can search for them later, or in this case, so you can search for other people discussing the topic through technorati right now.
You've probably noticed that at the bottom of my most recent posts there has been a little something extra that looks like this
For a really good explanation of what that's all about, read Technorati's discussion of tags. The idea is pretty simple: at the end of my posts, I insert some links that identify what I'm talking about and head to searches on technorati that are tagged similarly (or categorized similarly or have been found by technorati to be about that given subject). Inserting a tag is just like inserting a normal URL. You're going to write out the name of the tag -- like this post is all about technorati so I should tag it as technorati and then you're going to add the url http://www.technorati.com/tag/technorati to that word. So now we've got
If you click on that, you'll see all the most recent discussion of the favored blog search engine. But, I also want people to know that I've talked about other services and tags in particular and blogging overall so I'll add the rest of my tags
We be poppin' tags, baby. We be poppin' tags.