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PEW Report Shows 28% Of Internet Users Have Tagged

February 1, 2007 02:30 PM | Posted in: Tag Clouds

The Pew Internet & American Life Project just released a report on tagging that finds
28% of internet users have tagged or categorized content online such as photos, news stories or
blog posts. On a typical day online, 7% of internet users say they tag or categorize online content.

The authors note "This is the first time the Project has asked about tagging, so it is not clear exactly how fast the trend is growing."

Wow - I'd say it's growing extremely quickly. Though I am on record as a believer in the bright future of tag clouds, I admit I'm surprised by these results. The fact that 7% of internet users tag daily is what's most significant: it's an indication of very rapid adoption for the practice of tagging in many different contexts and many different kinds of audiences, given it's brief history.

I'd guess this adoption rate compares to the rates of adoption for other new network-dependent or emergent architectures like P2P music sharing or on-line music buying.

You're correct if you're thinking there is a difference between tagging and tag clouds. And if you've read the report and the accompanying interview with Dr. Weinberger, you've likely realized that neither Dr. Weinberger's interview nor the report specifically addresses tag cloud usage. But remember the First Principle of Tag Clouds: "Where there's tags, there's a tag cloud." By definition, any item with an associated collection of tags has a tag cloud, regardless of whether that tag cloud is directly visible and actionable in the user experience. So that 7% of internet users who tag daily are by default creating and working with tag clouds daily.

It might be time for tag clouds to look into getting some sunglasses.

local tags: pew, social_systems, tagclouds, tagging

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