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Why google should come out with some form of !tagging and why they should do it quick



For any platform to be successful both the publisher and subscriber should be empowered.

A platform should empower a publisher simplifying the process of content creation, content sharing and greater control over distribution. Google+ handles this very well as they have a sleek interface for creating posts and Circles are intuitive enough to make the online sharing very similar to our real life sharing.

A platform should empower a subscriber by giving him enough number of choices to consume content, ability to find good content and control over what content he consumes. The first half of this statement was important in the era of newspapers and magazines. In the current era of online publishing and social networking there is so much content that is getting created the focus shifts to the second half : ability to find good content and control over what content he consumes. This is where tagging comes.

I won't call them hashtags, as Google may not use hash symbol. Personally I would prefer ! as ! has always meant excitement and amazement to me. And this symbol would make more sense as people would search for and subscribe to what they find amazing and exciting.

Introducing !tags in itself is no big deal, but what additional functionalities google will add around !tags would make a difference to the community. Here is my wishlist regarding the !tagging

1. !tags should get higher preference in the search.

2. !tags should be links, so when I click on !startups in a +Robert Scoble article, I should be taken to a search for the !startups which will list all the posts for the !startups with +Robert Scoble posts at the top, from others in my circles next, posts from extended circles next and then the public posts.

3. Subscription model.Lets call this (None + !tag1 + !tag2 model) Ability to subscribe to !tags. So when I visit +Chris Messina I would subscribe to !technical. But the potential danger here is that what if he writes a very good technical article but forgets to add the !technical tag or does a type like !technocal(its very likely that Google+ will add the autocomplete option)? This brings us to Wish 4

4.*Unsubscription model*. (All - !tag3 - !tag4 model) Ability to un-subscribe from !tags. As mentioned in 3, since there is a danger of loosing out on good posts, I would rather subscribe to +Chris Messina and un-subscribe from !family and !UncommonInterest Moreover this model will encourage careful use of tags and reduces the chances of people using !tags just to increase their findability.

5. Keep it simple Stupid To keep it simple for the non-technical crowd, the circling should be as it is now and subscribe, un-subscribe model should be built as a next layer of Circles.

6. The other potential danger is that when I subscribe to only !GoogleUpdates of +Bradley Horowitz I am not sure how many posts about !technical or !interesting I am missing out. So beside every post of +Bradley Horowitz that is appearing on stream there should be a message like (4 posts of +Bradley Horowitz were not shown to you) When I do a mouse over that message, I should get a list of !tags followed by posts for the !tag that didnt appear in stream and list of untagged posts.

If I cicle +Chris Pirillo and un-subscribe from the !lego, for every post that appears on my screen there would be a message (100 posts with the !lego didn't appear on your screen)

This message greatly helps us improve our subscription or unsubscription model continuously. So that like facebook we wont end up with the missing update problem.

The advantage Google has is it can get a fair idea of a person by the tags that he is following and hence provide him with better Google Ads ;)