Automatic Tagging

The article Automatic Detection of Tags for Political Blogs described a system created to automatically generate tags for political blogs.  Tags are generally used to quickly find blog posts related to specified keywords, and presently are user identified.  This can create problems, as it requires the user to identify all individual keywords within a post, assign them the same tag as previous times that keyword was tagged, and take the time to apply the tags.  It is both a flawed system and sometimes not even used when bloggers are hurried or lazy.

In retrospect, I believe this was done on political blogs because it would be easiest to apply here.  Political blogs are very clear on their keywords, and generally focus on the same keywords, much of which is either constant issues or ones related to current events.  As such, their keywords are predictable and easy to identify.  An automatic tagging system in this case simply needs to look for names that are politically important and other keywords that are currently politically relevant.

As one who’s written in numerous blogs with numerous topics, I feel an automatic tagging system would be incredibly convenient.  Of course, with many (if not most) blogs, keyword identification may not be nearly as feasible as with political blogs.  As such, an automatic tagging system might not be ideal for most blogs.  On the other hand, if linguistic algorithms can be designed to identify the keywords, normalize the words, and apply tags with a high accuracy, such a system could potentially be incredibly useful.  As the system would not be perfect, users should be able to edit, add, and remove tags, and, if so chosen, automatic tagging should be able to be toggled off.  However, I know that I, among others, would much prefer automatic tagging.  As noted in this blog, I often don’t even bother with tags.  I often feel it’s an unnecessary waste of time, with the exception of widely read blogs on specific topics.  I will admit, though, that tagging enhances any blog, even personal ones, and automatic tagging would not be an unnecessary feature.

The fact that automatic detection of tags was designed for political blogs with high accuracy makes me feel that a full automatic tagging system might be possible to design and implement.  It is simply a matter of someone investing the time and energy to create such a system.

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