Why is no one talking about Twitter Tags?

Have you ever heard of Twitter tags?tag

No, I’m not speaking of those search functionaries known as #hashtags, I’m talking about regular tags that are a staple of bookmarks and blog posts.The ability to sort and share are fundamental to how we interact with digital information. However, Twitter seems to have ignored the power of this basic concept. and it’s time to give it some attention.

Twitter’s only tag

In truth Twitter does offer one tag, “Favorite”.

In the past few months Robert Scoble has introduced us to the power of “Favorite Tweets”. He took a single favorite button and created a short-hand best of twitter for the rest of us. He helped transform a long ignored feature by simply demonstrating its power. Suddenly I got it.

The purpose of Favorite Tweets is to share the best tweets from your stream.

Notice the key word in this phrase is share. Once we discovered the methods of sharing favorite tweets like RSS, Favstar, and twitter gadgets then we understand that favorite tweet streams are influential because they are curated by someone we trust. They are a massive shortcut. More tags = more sharing = more shortcuts

I think Twitter tags including favorite tweets are an even better way to share than retweets because I’m not forcing the tweets into my stream. To see my tagged tweets you have to opt-in. The system works and additional Twitter tags would allow us to focus “best of” streams around subjects, events, and interests.

Favorite tweets are awesome and it’s time to give this lonely tag some company.

Do you use favorite tweets? Would you use Twitter Tags? If so let me know by leaving a comment or send a tweet to @tsudo.

If you are interested in my favorite tweets you can

Thanks for reading.

UPDATE: I’ve found that I’m not the only one that’s been thinking about Twitter tags.

In summary, Twitter lists organize people, Twitter Tags should allow us to organize tweets.

11 responses to “Why is no one talking about Twitter Tags?”

  1. Mark Essel says:

    Howdy Keith, thank Louis Gray for sharing this post with his google reader pals. A project/prebusiness I'm working on may intrigue you. Automated and manual correction of Twitter tags is part of our solution to helping users organize and consume the information they want. We also have a site plugin that personally advertises based on the tags (our early monetizing concept).

    Check VictusMedia.com and Victus1 for an early look at the direction we are heading.

  2. Keith says:

    Interesting. I'll definitely check it out. Thank you for taking the time to read and for leaving a comment.

    and yes Louis is the man, I really appreciate him sharing this one.

  3. Nyko Ongawa says:

    How many tags can we use so far? I have only used the fav star method just to save certain tweets I need to remember.

  4. Keith says:

    Currently favorite is the only tag but I think there is value in letting users create their own tags to share tweets related to a particular subject or interest.

    Thanks for reading.

  5. Dean Power says:

    G'day Keith, great topic. I have almost never just the favorite button on Twitter.
    However I advise clients to register at least a couple of hashtags to protect and promote their brand with twubs.com and tagal.us.

    In fact there is an opportunity for a small savvy player to punch above their weight in a niche by curating content and hosting a “cocktail party” at a hashtag they define, promote and popularize.

    A hashtag then becomes a room to hangout at (like #journochat or any conference hashtag) rather than simply meta to organise content.

    Meta is also a good place to think about workflow. i.e. When keywords become hashtags and hashtags become feeds and feed are aggregated strategically. It is possible to touch data once and serve multiple niches and or communities, on the push side. [think Firefox Delicious plug-in, rss to Friendfeed group to twitter for one example] On the pull side it is much easier and more precise to listen to a hashtag stream than to listen to all players in a niche.

    I hope that's not too esoteric, I just think the possibilities with hashtags is infinite. As we get more and more people online sharing more and richer content, filtering and workflow become critical. Meta/Hashtags are are the key.

  6. Keith says:

    Not esoteric at all. Understanding information flow is becoming one of the most advanced skills in this new media world. You do a much better job of framing the niche content push and pull relationships than I've been able to do. The technique that you express as touching data once and generating a cascading effect is a perfect description that I'll be using in the future. I'll make sure and give you Creative Commons attribution.

    The only place we differ is that I envision a system beyond hashtags. In their current form hashtags are search operands that aggregate from multiple sources without a filter. I think a Twitter tag would provide a method to generate a stream that is managed by a single source and probably focused on a single area. This would greatly increase the signal-to-noise ratio.

    Thanks for stopping by and for leaving a comment. I really appreciate it. I've been following you for quite sometime and I'm honored you paused at my corner of the web. Thank you sir.

  7. Interesting idea. I mostly use it for stuff I will want to find later. A bookmark of sorts. They're not really my “favorites,” just things I think will come in handy and I'm too lazy to throw into del.ic.ious. I'll rethink my use of favorite now. thanks.

  8. Keith says:

    Carmen that is much the way I initially used favorites. I'd mark them as favorite on my iPhone so I can see the article later via RSS. However, I've migrated to using Instapaper to save a link for viewing later. Instapaper is integrated into several mobile clients like Tweetie 2 or Simply tweet and it has freed me up to us favorites as a shared stream.

    Thank you for taking the time to read my post and for leaving me a comment. I really appreciate it.

  9. Keith says:

    As an aside I'm still looking for the best way to “tweet” a favorite tweet. Here's a link to my current issue. http://ff.im/bfFtn Any ideas appreciated.

  10. Dean Power says:

    Well we have a parallel watching/learning and mutual admiration going on, that's great.

  11. Dean Power says:

    Well we have a parallel watching/learning and mutual admiration going on, that's great.

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