With tagging you could describe anything as anything and search for items in a fashion that is more in line with the way people really look for things. How to split an atom
If you can’t explain Tagging from a users point of view, no company would see the use of it. It’ll only sound like a lot of work and a nerd thing. My approach to explain is based on this car salesman. A client enters his show room and without looking around he starts asking. “I’m looking for a nice car. Do you have one that is affordable in a 2.0 liters series?” The salesman instantly knows which Citroen matches. The client continues: “Does that come with that beautiful soft grey leather and a navigator?” The client is still standing at the door. The salesman shows three photo’s of his collection. “These three match your criteria.” he replies. It turns out to be less affordable but the client accepts, picks one and wants like a test drive. Sold.
If all information online would be offered like this you wouldn’t need to search, read, or browse. You would be able to instantly find your way to your information. You also throw away large and complex websites. You need nothing but one page with a search field. It only requires some skill to systematically add tags to your content. But I think even a child could do that. It’s a matter of will.
Tags can be used with semantic ordering your information. The question for the 2.0 liter simply pushes away all smaller options and brings the bigger ones to the front. It’s a natural way to determine what to offer. Delicious example of using tags. 🙂
Tagging also makes marketing a bit easier. You don’t have to be honest in giving tags. Just be careful not to push it too far since the client is not totally stupid. Don’t tag the Citroen C5 navigator as ‘user friendly’.