I read a post on Paul Walks blog some time back: Tagging: Are we in the Trough of Disillusionment? where Paul is enquiring as to the state of tagging.
I started tagging on this blog back in June of 2002 and, with Evectors, I co-created K-Collector which was all about tagging. I think I know a little bit about tagging and the value of tagging. From what I can see we are nowhere near the "Slope of Enlightenment".
I have been surprised, disappointed, and excited that, despite the widespread adoption of tagging across many applications, the state of the art in tagging seems firmly wedged in 2003. Surprised because there seemed, despite the expectations of many that nobody would tag things, to be a momentum building in the use of tagging. Dissappointed because I expected to be using applications that really used tagging to do some interesting things. Excited because it means the field is still open.
I think the uses of tagging definitely forms part of my personal research agenda. Although I can't claim to have done anything innovative in the field since 2004 I have not stopped thinking about it and have ideas on the drawing board that will hopefully see the light in 2008.
Q: How can we develop tagging to fundamentally change how we think about and explore ideas?
Tagging in 2007 seems to have advanced no further than a means by which one or more users of a site (or application) can group content around a loose framework of concepts. If you are lucky those concepts are may express relationships but often they do not. In K-Collector we expanded tagging to include relationships as well as a prototype faceted classification along the lines of Who, What, Where.
What new developments in the use of tagging and classification systems will change the way people manage, transform, filter, and use the kinds of information they are already working with? What sort of applications will benefit most from advances in tagging?