Amen, AKMA. Before there was the wonderful iPhoto Flickr Export Plugin from Fraser Speirs (I will be sending you $ shortly Fraser!), I didn't use tags on Flickr either! It was too difficult! I used email to upload my first 1000 or so photos without tags.

Now, Fraser's wonderful software combined with the iPhoto Keyword Assistant and the "Edit this batch" feature of Flickr means that I can painlessly add tags. Why? Well, Keyword Assistant automagically completes tags (Flickr, please think about adding this to your web app using the XHTTP hack). This makes it very easy to add tags and then with Fraser's plugin easily export the photos with these tags. And, if you want to change tags, just use the handy dandy "edit this batch" feature.

The moral of the story is that people will tag if it is easy and if the computer does what it is good at and remembers the previous tags that one has used and autocompletes and suggests tags.

I think that was part of the problem with ENT Tags that Matt and Paolo invented. It was great technology but too awkward to use. Rather then being a simple, quick and easy process like the Keyword Assistant/Flickr Export combo, it was slow and you had to wait for a popup with the tags. So as a result only people like me (I believe I have 100s of posts that are ENT tagged in Paolo's cloud somewhere!).

Neither del.icio.us or Technorati Tags have the equivalent of the Keyword assistant and Fraser's plugin YET. If they did, I am sure more people would use them. As it stands now, I doubt del.icio.us or Technorati tags will be truly used by the masses. Just too hard to use at the moment other than by geeks and power users.

However I am cautiously optimistic that the del.icio.us and Technorati tags will be incorporated in an easy to use fashion in future blogging systems and other tools since both have an API (like flickr) that people could build tools similar to Keyword Assistant and Flickr Export. I really would like tags to succeed but they won't without easy to use software!

From AKMA's Random Thoughts: Poll Tags.:

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So I didn't blog about tags at all. I thought they were a great idea, but I didn't have the energy to implement them here, and I didn't want to be a party pooper. Who knows? Maybe if the haphazard-HTML writer I once was can become a CSS ascetic, even lazy AKMA could become a tags-onomist.

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