Whether we like it or not, or notice it or not, our lives are quickly being defined by tags and clouds. As information becomes available, and relavent, we are doing everything in our power to keep track of it, and make note of it. There's nothing worse that 1000's of links in your bookmarks, or unorganized email, or a list phone number for an important contact.
The concepts of tagging, and the related cloud aspect do indeed bring to mind the concept of "6 Degrees of Separation", and the social aspects of finding people are are interested in the same off-beat things you are. Perhaps there is a small comfort in knowing you aren't the only person who likes the idea of little coffe cup jackets ;-)
Still, as we struggle between more knowledge vo more information, tags seem to be one of the more interesting ways to keep trakc, and organize what we want to know about. I find myself organizing things in the analog world, based on tags, as well. My bookshelf, my analog mail, even my wardrobe. The struggle seems to be in unifying tags, and ensuring that what i mean when i say sweater, is consistent whether it's monday or whether it's March. And therein lies the trick to tagging in the blogosphere. Because of the unpredictable nature of humans, not everyone has the same meaning for the same word.
I did a tag query on shopping over the weekend…. (i get all twiggy when i find a unique on-line boutique)… and yet, the results that cam back, tagged as "shopping" where bizarre, and only a handful of on-line boutiques came back to me. The vast majority of the results were related to XLM and creating shopping cards… not necessarily what a gurl wants to do on a sunday morning…especially when she's thinking of real shopping ;-)
regardless of what you tag, consistency is key, i am learning, as is the nesting of tags… after my dismal attempt at shopping, i added boutique to my query and magically got rid of the coding results. still, nesting only adds another layer of complexity to a situation that is tenuous at best…. and introduces yet another opportunity for humans to be obscure. my tagging expertise is limited, but i've figured out, if even I want to find the stiff i've squirreld away, i have to be vigilent with my consistency. And with my spelling.
Once i tagged something with "tek" - and could never find it again.