Tagging: Coming to a Roller blog site near you

So, once we deploy Roller 3.1 on blogs.sun.com, Roller tagging of blog entries will be supported. As with most bloggers, I’ve been in a few tagging debates. To be honest, I’ve always been skeptical of the value — especially regarding folksonomy tags (everyone roll their own). Taxonomy tags (official/standard tags defined by an ontologist — or a tag PhD of sorts) definitely hold value, but taxonomy tags aren’t exactly widely used in the blogosphere.

Being a volunteer librarian, you’d think I’d understand the value of applying metadata to information for ease of findability — imagine a giant pile of books in no particular order vs a neat & tidy library organized by the Dewey Decimal System. Needless to say, the latter certainly makes it a whole lot easier for you to find the information available for the topic you are researching. It wasn’t until I read Amibient Findability this week that I tagged myself with the “blogs tag supporter” metadata. 🙂

Sun’s use of the Roller tagging functionality will likely be a mix of folksonomy and optional taxonomy tags. The taxonomy part is still being debated, but it’ll likley consist of a list of tags for our top twenty-ish Sun-centric terms. This will help us more efficiently mash up blog entries with traditional Sun website content on sun.com. We do this today via keywords in blog entries. Here’s a blogs data + traditional corp site data mash-up example: http://www.sun.com/servers/coolthreads/t2000/product-blog.xml

Sun bloggers will be happy to know that the new Roller tagging functionality is super easy to use. Simply enter your (space delimited) tags in the new tags field when adding a new blog entry. As you type in a tag, Roller will suggest existing tags when available. In the example below, once I typed in the 1st two characters of a tag I used on a previous entry, Roller suggested it.

You’ll also see that you can search your entries based on tags:


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We plan to deploy Roller 3.1 to blogs.sun.com next week. So, start your tagging engines!

PS…Thanks to Elias @ IBM for contributing this functionality to Roller.

UPDATE: Per Elias’ comment below, comma delimiters and multi-word tags are also supported.

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  1. #1 by eduardo pelegri-llopart on October 27, 2006 - 8:42 am

    Wonderful! As you know, TheAquarium is planning to jump on this feature as soon as you deploy it. We carry many different classes of news and tagging will help us generate different subfeeds for different purposes.
    Thanks much! – eduard/o

  2. #2 by Skrocki on October 27, 2006 - 9:05 am

    Hi Eduardo. I know this has been a loooooong standing item on TheAquarium’s wishlist. Thanks for being so patient.

  3. #3 by Behi on October 27, 2006 - 4:14 pm

    I prefer comma separated tags over space separated tags. My Opera supports comma separated tags. So I can, for example, tag an entry with:

    JavaServer Faces, JavaServer Pages, Web Design, Graphics Design

    if I wish to. Old Wiki engines also didn’t support space in tag names. Newer engines do.

    Cheers,
    Behi

  4. #4 by Elias Torres on October 27, 2006 - 7:37 pm

    Behi,
    You can use either commas or spaces to enter tags, spaces will be supported by adding “quotes to the phrase”.
    -Elias

  5. #5 by skrocki on October 29, 2006 - 4:23 pm

    Thanks for the correction Elias!

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