During my days as the Knowledge Manager for Mars, we had endless debates about the taxonomies that should be used to catergorise the intranet.
Whilst the categories that were implemented may have been the best we could think of based on how the corporation was organised at the time (1996), it wasn’t long before new categories were needed. As you can imagine, getting people to publish things to the intranet was hard enough, so getting them to fill out large categorisation indexes was next to impossible with the exception of a few die hard Research and Development people whose culture was very much research orientated.
Automatic tagging is now possible. Sites such as Tagcloud, can automatically suggest suitable tags based on the text within a webpage. I created one of these for Frontiering Talk .. see the bottom of this page for results, which are recalculated daily.
I really like the idea that the audience should decide what Tags (or categories) a document should be placed under. It is therefore possible for multiple tags to be given to a single document .. from the consumer’s (reader’s) perspective. Many sites are using this technique to assist with accurate tagging. Examples are Flickr, Technorati, and Shadows.
Squidoo have posted some sample lenses to give a visual view of their pages. Seems to me Squidoo, has taken some of the concepts of social networking giant Myspaces and applied them to interests or tags. People trust other people increasing more than advertising, and Squidoo plays right into this trend, by making it easy for anyone to quickly and effectively create a lense on something they are passionate about. I think Consumer Qualified Searching definately has a place.
Another interesting company is Buzznex. They have setup a model that encourages peopel to share things that they are talking about, whether it be books, films, music, or fashion trends. The reports make for an interesting read.
It has reminded me of something i wrote a few years back, that went like this.
If your life was a page in the book of eternity, what would your page say?
So .. now more than ever, everyone can have their own page !
What do you get when you cross About.com, Wikipedia, blogs and social networks? If you’re author and online marketing guru Seth Godin, the answer is Squidoo — a new company he launched to host Web pages written by experts in various topics
These pages, which he calls lenses, aim to highlight one person’s view of a topic and hopefully distill the information into the perfect starting point for researching a given topic. An ideal lens will provide a searcher with the “big picture” on the subject, with annotated links to the most relevant sites on the topic — similar to the guidance a trusted librarian would offer.
It does make sense, and the time is right now that we have an abundance of Consumer Generated Media in the form of Blogs, Forums etc … that somekind of Consumer Qualified Search is now becoming possible. Afterall, everyone is an expert about something !
I think there is enormous potential for Marketeers to provide niche content that can be viewed by interested consumers. The BMW films was a good example of what can be done, but I think Vidcasting will allow low budget productions to really take off.
1. Camping and 4 wheel driving videos advising other consumers about a certain location.
2. Cooking demos to provide some richer media to a recipe book.
3. Social networking such as Family video sharing, Dating.
4. Product demonstrations
Panoramio has built a very clever website which is kind of like Flickr meets Google Maps. In fact Panoramio does use the Google Maps API, and allows users to post pictures and link them to a geographic location.
It’s pretty cool, and just shows what you can do with a bit of imagination. I would like to see a ratings system and someway to filter the results. Otherwise popular cities are going to end up with 1000’s of pictures which will be make it difficult to find what you want.
Ever wanted to setup a shop, selling t-shirts, mugs, coasters and etc with your own creative designs? Well now you can.
Cafepress offers a make to order service and lists your designs on their site. You simply provide the creative designs and the products you chose to sell are assembled into your own online store (example here)
Even wondered what newspapers would be like if the readers could take back control of the editing department? No need to look very hard, just look at how it is already being done in the online world … very well !
What’s Digg? Digg is a technology news website that employs non-hierarchical editorial control. With digg, users submit stories for review, but rather than allowing an editor to decide which stories go on the homepage, the users do.
As such, Digg is an excellent and consumer qualified source of stories !
Most of you have heard me talk about Open Source Code, and the fascination that I have with Open Source Marketing.
Now, Ning .. the start-up co-founded by Marc Andreessen (the guy who co-founded Netscape) has launched a application playground. They describe Ning this way
Ning is a free online service (or, as we like to call it, a Playground) for building and using social applications.
Social apps are web applications that enable anyone to match, transact, and communicate with other people.
I think it’s an excellent example of Web 2, (described here by Tim O’Reilly), and something that will accelerate the social network, and sharing phenomenon.
I have applied for a Developer Account and will hopefully gather some more experience with Ning when that comes through. Stay tuned.
Paul over at Zealot, pointed me to this site today and I was amazed at how a simple idea that was only launched about a month ago, has already earned it’s owner about $300K.
The site is getting lots of comments from bloggers and perhaps explains a possible new “go to market” approach for companies. That is, launch something, tell enough seeders who have blogs and get to a tipping point.