Saturday, July 09, 2005

Tagging, TagCloud, the Yahoo! Term Extraction API and search engines

I've been researching and experimenting up a bit about categorisation or more specifically folksonomy. The buzz these days is about "tagging". One of the bigger sites is

Can we just establish that "tags", "terms", "keywords" are basically the same thing?

The other day I checked out TagCloud (from what I can tell, I think TagCloud only grabs the terms from the post titles which is not too good in my opinion). Basically, the site spiders your RSS feed and creates a pretty "Tag Cloud" for you. What's different about it is that is uses Yahoo!'s Term Extraction API to get the tags for you.

I'll show you what I mean.

For my 2nd last post, I added it to and manually gave it the tags:
itunes, odeo, podcast

Running it through Yahoo!'s Term Extraction API and I got the tags or "terms":
odeo, itunes, ipodder, conversations, blogger, common man, podcasts, podcast, blogging, guess, decent, case, download, man, main

This got me thinking? Folksonomy is the act of people manually categorising content. My manual categorisation of my previous post was a subset of what search engines have been doing for the past 10 years.

Here, I whipped this form up. Give my Yahoo! powered Term Extraction form a shot. Just enter in something into the text box and hit submit.

Julian's Blog Term Extraction tool