Category Archives: Tagging

Tagging Video Segments

Are there any online video sites where users can tag specific segments within videos? Imagine how powerful that would be. Like chapters on DVDs.

For example, someone uploads a half hour video to Youtube or Yahoo Video or wherever. It’s about their trip to San Diego and is tagged “san diego”, “zoo”, “petco park,” etc. Now say I’m looking for video footage of Petco Park because I’ve never been there and want to see what it looks like. I find this video and instead of having to look through a half hour of footage I can jump directly to the bit from Petco Park because that segment is tagged.


Keotag is a tag search engine, but it only searches one engine at a time. You enter a query and then see the results that that were tagged for the term on Technorati, Furl, Yahoo, and more than a dozen other sites, but not all at once.

The trick with meta-tag searching is to integrate and rank the results rather than segregate them by source. Even a tabbed approach by content type would be OK. As in returning tagged results for:
web | video | blogs | images, etc.

Providing a UI like Keotag is kind of helpful, but it’s not as helpful as I’d like. To build a real meta-tag search engine requires some tricky indexing and a nifty ranking algorithm. As well as related search prompts, stemming, wildcarding, etc. You know, a meta-search engine.

Tagging and Meta-Search

Tagging systems are segmented by media. You can tag photos on Flickr, web pages on Furl,, Yahoo!’s My Web., videos on YouTube, your book collection on LibraryThing, and so forth and so on. But why should my video tags be different from my photo tags? There might be one-off situations, but generally my tags should follow me rather than me having to follow my tags around from search box to search box.

I want one search box or tag cloud to give me access to all of it. At times I may want to limit my search or browse by media (as in tabbed searching for local vs. news vs. images, etc), but often I’ll want all relevant results regardless of media type.

Tag Central does this, but it lists results by source rather than integrating them together with a ranking algorithm. But it’s fun to play around with.

Has anyone built a meta-search engine or a widget of some sort that actually integrates and ranks the results across tagging systems?


Tagsology: an information system built with tags, but with an ontologist and some technology moving quietly in the background holding the fort together.

    1. Start with a low barrier to entry: tags
    2. Mix in some structure, e.g. narrower terms, broader terms and related terms: ontologist
    3. Layer on some clever indexing, algorithms, clustering, auto-classification, content classifiers, etc: technology

The key is to keep the tags coming en masse. The ontologist should never change people’s tags, the ontologist should simply make sure the tags are communicating with each other. It’ll take a light touch. Also, everyone should be allowed to contribute to the ontology. Rather than centralized control there will be centralized oversight (again, light touch).

Same with technology: tag co-occurence and other neat little tricks will group similar concepts together, but only when the user wants that (so again, the light touch). There will be no forced structure.

This is where I see Flickr, Furl, YouTube,, Yahoo!’s My Web, Wikipedia, etc. heading. Tagging by itself allows too much information to fall through the cracks for searchers, while controlled ontologies miss the benefit of group knowledge. By mixing the two together you get individual expression that is easier to navigate. Easy creation, easy navigation: a tagsology.

One last thought: in the long term all the various tagging platforms need to communicate with each other. Imagine how much more powerful it will be when my tags stretch across all tagging systems and search engines know how to handle those tags.

Technorati tag:

YouTube – Video Tagging

YouTube is tagging for video clips and it’s a great way to waste time.

Check out Most Viewed and Top Favorites, or just browse and search by tags. Far as I can tell, their only revenue source to cover the massive bandwidth is AdSense.

It’s like Flickr, only instead of uploading photos users upload their videos. But along with the random homemade footage, I also found some cool music videos that I’d never seen before.

Give it a whirl and add a tag.

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