Short bio: Computer Scientist, FOSS supporter (read more)
Tux Machines (TM)-specific
One of the more tantalizing, if not confounding, innovations in how people share information on the Web has to do with a new process called tagging.
Promulgated by a site called del.icio.us, tagging has to do with on-the-fly categorization of Web links. It's like a do-it-yourself Dewey Decimal System for the Web, except that it really isn't a system at all. At least, not yet.
Tagging works this way: You find a piece of content on the Web you like, and you assign it a descriptive keyword. Say you come across an article (or a Web log entry, or a video clip) about a cool new concept called folksonomy. You assign it the tag "folksonomy" and post it on del.icio.us (note that the site is accessible simply by typing del.icio.us — there's no www or .com).
Here's what happens: Someone sees your post and remembers reading another piece about folksonomy. Or comes across an example of folksonomy on the Web. Then that person tags and posts the link.
As others tag and post, a whole body of information builds around a topic. Where tagging works best, it acts like a meme — an idea whose time has come and which captures the imagination of a lot of people all at once.