Organizing Digital Media: 28% of Internet Users Tagged Content Online

A survey by the Pew Internet & American Life Project has found that 28% of internet users in have tagged or categorized content online such as photos, news stories or blog posts, . On a typical day online, 7% of internet users say they tag or categorize online content.

Just as the internet allows users to create and share their own media, it is also enabling them to organize digital material their own way, rather than relying on pre-existing formats of classifying information.

These people said “yes” to the following question: “Please tell me if you ever use the internet to categorize or tag online content like a photo, news story, or a blog post.” 

Have you ever done this 28%
Did it yesterday 7%

Have not done this

70%

Don't know/Refused

2%

The survey was designed to capture the growing use of tagging on sites such as http://del.icio.us/ http://www.flickr.com/ , http://youtube.com/ , and http://technorati.com/. Tagging is gaining prominence and has become a hallmark of Web 2.0 in part because it advances and personalizes online searching. 

Traditionally, search on the web (or within websites) is done by using keywords. Tagging is a kind of next-stage search phenomenon – a way to mark, store, and then retrieve the web content that users already found valuable and of which they want to keep track. It is, of course, more tailored to individual needs and not designed to be the all-inclusive system that Melvil Dewey tried to create with his decimal-based scheme for cataloguing library materials.

The results in this report are based on data from telephone interviews conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International between November 30 to December 30, 2006, among a sample of 2,373 adults, 18 and older. 

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