Yahoo! validates tagging with purchase of del.icio.us

At Joho the Blog, Dr. David Weinberger (author of the great “Small Pieces Loosely Joined”) reports: “Yahoo buys Delicious – Good all around. The fact that the most visited site on the Net has bought the premier tagging site should confirm that tagging is going mainstream. Yahoo has profoundly not screwed up Flickr, so I have confidence that del.icio.us users are not going to feel betrayed or de-featured by Yahoo. Most important, Yahoo is now in a position to become a tag broker, adding value to the act of tagging, thus driving more tagging, thus increasing the Web’s memetic value. With widespread tagging, the Web means more. Congratulations to Joshua Schachter and the rest of the Delicious folks.”

What’s the big deal with tags? Stay tuned. Tags could be the next big thing, the solution to everyone’s problem, the magic pixie dust of 2005 (as Shirky below says of java, ‘sprikle a little on your application and voila! you’re app is better’). Or it could turn out to be a good idea that never really meets its initial promise, failing to scale or failing to work. Time will tell, but so far it’s pretty promising.

Clay Shirky has a great presentation, well worth the listen, over at IT Conversations: “Ontology is overrated.”

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