This is an interesting write up. I used to use tags here, but I decided against it on a continual basis. Getting the tags is a burdensome job, and the existing AI engines have gone defunct, which used to apply the tags “automatically”. Getting the API access for something like Zemanata is a pain in the wrong place, especially for non-developers. I am not sure if it is useful in the first place.
Whether you used tags to categorize your own blog posts on the fly, pull relevant stories into your newsreader, or build self-populating websites, the combination of tags and RSS had the effect of decentralizing and democratizing the organization of information, as well as the development of community and relationships. In contrast with established, coordinated taxonomies for categorizing information (like the Dewey decimal system, in widespread use by libraries), tagging systems were “folksonomies:” chaotic, self-organizing categorization schemes that grew from the bottom up. Anyone could join in the conversation around nptech, fairuse, or webstandards by writing a blog post, bookmarking a web page on del.icio.us, or adding a photo to Flickr—all you had to do was apply the relevant tag.
“Building communities” is a constant refrain. It is difficult (if not impossible) to build. Early adopters are looking for “next big thing” and if it has anything interesting to offer, most users refuse to contribute, leading to stasis. I have seen the most active communities rely on combination of “shock-awe” and poor engagement metrics. It is the social media chimera; where your most active followers are “bots”. Why invest in them? You only get “internet-points”. That’s why this write up ravels in “toxic-optimism”; without adhering to reality. However, I have always encouraged all users to adopt and adapt to RSS feeds, and if you are feeling brave, do a site search here, and I have mentioned ways and means to automate them.