Tagging your blog posts and aggregating these into a tag cloud are done in so many different ways, mainly using external services that aren’t really focused for this type of use, but still they’re all we’ve got.
I’m requesting a service dedicated to blog tagging…it would really take off as many bloggers are relying on their own devices…an external service could capitalise on this trend, offering a professional tag landing page, tag cloud, and tagging for blog posts.
I’m sure money could be made from advertisements on the tag landing page, that’s a lot of tag pages on a lot of blogs, any programmers and VC’s smell green.
Then you could eventually go the long mile and aggregate all these tags across many blogs, and become the next Technorati or del.icio.us for blog posts…actually I don’t like this idea, I want this as a personal service, no social aggregation for me this time.
Here we go…
Technorati has a tag cloud for your blog, only they don’t provide a code to embed it in your blog, the other problem is that when you click on a tag it would launch to Technorati, driving people away from your site, temporarily hopefully…here’s mine…it seems to only show the top tags anyway.
del.icio.us has a tag cloud for your blog (you can embed a tagroll), but this means you have to bookmark all blog posts in del.icio.us (although you can synch this for automation)…the same problem is that when a user clicks on a tag from the tagroll, it launches to del.icio.us.
Author tag service
So clearly there is a need for an external service that lets an author tag their blog posts and are displayed at the footer of each post, and also provides a tag cloud for the sidebar.
When you click on a tag from the cloud or when you click on a tag from the footer of a post it will launch a small window displaying all your posts within that tag.
The benefit of this is that you don’t have to bookmark every post (compared to using del.icio.us), and when you click on a tag even though it launches to a different page you may, perhaps, be able to customise it to look like your blog, and that fact that this page is about your blog only and not a social page like del.icio.us makes it feel more inhouse.
NOTE: this is like using an external service like Freefind as your blog search tool, the results appear on an external page, but this page kind of feels inhouse…here is an example search result from this random blog.
A service that could just about do this is Wanabo…at the moment vistors can tag your blog posts, these appear as a tag cloud for every blog post.
There isn’t an overall tag cloud, every blog post has its own tag cloud, so the first thing is to get this to aggregate all the tags into a general tag cloud.
The next thing is to be able to disable visitor tagging and release an author module where the author can tag their own posts, so every post will have footer tags, and a tag cloud for the sidebar.
Other potential services to offer author tags are TagCloud or Zoom Clouds, these services offer machine tags, or word bursts, they do content analysis on your blog posts, and throw up a tag cloud, if a post appears under a tag called “folksonomy” it is so because perhaps the title has the term folksonomy in it, and the term folksonomy has been used multiple times in the body of the post.
These guys could really be in the position to offer author tags as well.
You might say why don’t you just use the Ultimate tag Warrior…problem is my blog host won’t offer this plugin.
Who do you point to?
Lastly check out this post from D. Weinberger talking about where your tags point to, as some already know even if your tags don’t point to Technorati, they will still pick them up, a good idea is to even point to your user space at Technorati.
He follows up with a post that ties into the focus of this post.
The issue is that ideally we could be pointing to our own URL’s instead of Technorati, as they will pick it up anyway, and also what if Technorati disappear, then you’ll have broken links.
But not everyone including myself can point to our own pages as we use a blog host, and I don’t know how to build a tag cloud anyway.
Tag Landing Page
When you click on a tag from the footer of a post you are taken to a page displaying all your posts with that tag (either an internal page for some lucky people, or an external service as I’ve suggested is sorely needed)…the bonus is that on the sidebar of this tag landing page are links to view this tag in other services, ie. discover similar posts at del.icio.us, Technorati, etc…see the sample page.
On this page you will notice there is a set of related tags shown in a tag cloud
eg. if the tag page is “taxonomy” is could show other tags of yours that have been used when the tag taxonomy as been used (just like del.icio.us)…and maybe we can add these tags to the current tag (just like del.icio.us), or even minus this tag from the current tag.
Finally, wouldn’t it be great if the sidebar of this tag landing page, instead of linking to del.icio.us, Technorati, Flickr, Wikipedia, actually allowed you to feed graze these sites from within the tag landing page…all the discovery happens within your blog…see my post, Graze tags from your blog post.