Tagging best practices

Tagging (folksonomy) is a popular and powerful way of organizing stuff on the web. But as your tagbase grows, it itself needs to get organized...
  1. lowercase (use google, css, zend framework instead Google, CSS, Zend Framework, even with names)
  2. english (describe the object in english words, transcribe all non-english characters and punctuation to alphanumeric characters [a-z0-9], tags like 2006, 90s are ok)
  3. simple (don't use multi-word tags unless it's a name or a well established phrase)
  4. singular (use map, monkey, video instead maps, monkeys, videos)
  5. noun (use drawing, meditation, design instead draw, meditate, designed)
  6. system (build a personal framework, a set of tags based on your areas of interest, level of abstraction, word preference, etc. and stick to it. Ask yourself what's the most appropriate set of tags for your purpose. Remember, whatever object you are tagging, there are possibly millions of tags applicable. Pick only the tags that fit your paradigm)
  7. balance (when tagging an item, choose the most relevant tags from your set. If you are tagging article, ask what is it about, not what's mentioned in it. If you create too few or too many relations, your system becomes ineffective)
  8. action tags (one thing that works for me are action tags like 2check, 2read, 2explore, 2print...)
  9. consistency (whatever rules you pick, stick to them)
  10. reuse (try to reuse words you have already in your tag base before adding new word. Avoid having multiple synonyms with same meaning)
If you are not sure what tags to use, ask yourself "What keywords would I enter into search engine when searching for item like this?".

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