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August 10, 2009


Great thought - u-tags would be really beneficial, consumers would be heard and products and services would be improved. Some kind of interface to monitor the tags (along the lines of HootSuite) would put real world, useful feedback right at your finger tips (in real time).

Couple of questions though:
1) Would anyone other than the most hardcore/vocal of consumers be willing to take the time to use the new tagging system?
2) Just out of interest what do you propose the tags look like - the same as twitter # tags?

Look forward to seeing where this goes.

For tag format, something unique like what Coke is doing with short codes, to create unique tags.http://www.warc.com/News/TopNews.asp?ID=25513&Origin=WARCNewsEmail

Right now it obviously is the early adopters, but over time as everything becomes more social new behaviors will take place. As in ten years from now, not 6 months. For mass adoption a simplified system is key.

Love the idea. Only thing I wonder about is simplicity vs. complexity. When I have to differentiate between a Sony BRAVIA 32" LED HDTV 60Hz 1080p and a Sony BRAVIA 32" LED HDTV 120Hz 1080p, the tags may by necessity need to be complex (hence, the 12-digit bar code). And if I'm at retail, and can't tell the difference between the two, or have to look up which one I have before I can post something about it, will that bring the entire process to a halt?

Whadaya think?

Weave - true and maybe getting down into the dirt that deep doesn't matter especially when product name is something nebulous like DSC 110P95e.

Like most things, probably depends on the brand, but if you suggest three terms, search accuracy will greatly improve. Or, offer a unique equivalent to the bar code, simpler than some form of scanning or QR. Maybe it's the next step with RFID when that trickles down more broadly to consumer levels, it automatically tags your social content...

I think this is a great idea. My initial thoughts would be finding out if there's possible integration with an existing physical platform like UPC codes. I know there's phones in Japan that can read UPCs and I think the iPhone is moving that way as well. If you could scan the UPC code and have it automatically populate the backend tags for mobile blogging, tweeting etc that could create searchable content through the UPCs. No need to worry about short links or specific verbiage for each product. The missing link is the ability to talk about a product without a UPC code.

PS. It's Sun-Rype Squiggles.

Building on Sam's PS - the product is Squiggles but I like the idea of people who eat them being Squigglers. I think you've hit on something there.

Here's another challenge: wouldn't you need a central authority for UCTs? With a database lookup capability, etc.?

It's the classic issue of folksonomy vs. official authoritative taxonomy...

I'm not saying I don't like the UCT concept or think it's non-viable, just wondering.

That's a good question, like anything in business viability has less to do with the inherent nature of the idea and more to do with how it's executed.

There is an argument for both sides. An authority adds a degree of, uh, authority. Enables the individualization of tags like UPC codes. On the other hand in the crowd/open source world, the behavior/adoption is probably more important than authority. I don't think STMP has an authority, just became the practice and provides benefit for all through adoption.

Sam, I'll be sure to note in future that Squigglers are people who eat Squiggles, and presumably live in Squigglesville where parents raise delightful Squigglettes.

agree with most... really interesting concept.
the only negative thought I had was from the 'big brother' conspirators in our society. will the same people who question the bar code on our driver's licence or the Nexus pass (and you know who you are) see it as an infringement in our identity - or the product identity. is too much technology a bad thing?

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