My previous blog post highlighted recent efforts to improve your ability to find content on the ti.com website by incorporating a "wisdom of crowds" approach to keyword search, and told how we revamped our keyword search to incorporate something called social search.
What wasn't mentioned however, was another new bit of functionality added to the keyword search results page, customer tags. Incorporating the tags is a significant step in making content more "findable" on the site, by using the collective knowledge of site visitors like you to highlight important content, to help other people find relevant content, and to help you easily return to important tagged content.
If you're not familiar with social tagging (and if you are you can skip this part), it is an ingenious and simple way to allow you to highlight, categorize and share a wide range of web-based data. Site visitors are empowered to define and add simple hyperlink "tags" to content they feel is relevant, or important. As people add additional tags, the process becomes collaborative, having the result of content forming into easily navigated user-defined categories, with the further result of making it easier to find similar content, and understand along the way what content is important to other tag-creators. The website experience becomes not only richer and more useful, but easier as well. (For a lengthier discussion on tagging and related technologies and phenomena, here's the Wikipedia entry.
At the most basic level, TI.com tags are customer-determined keywords that describe a TI product. TI.com offers the capability to add a tag to any TI product and view tags others have added as well. (In the following shot of a TI product folder, the create-a-tag area is circled at the bottom.)
In terms of the search results, not every keyword search results in tags displayed at the top of the page, because not every search term has been tagged. (You are part of the solution to this, but we'll get to that!) But when you search for a term for which other users have created tags (let's try a search for "dsp"), you'll see something like this:
The tagging area is at the top-center, in two columns:
The top-left column shows what tags have been created for the term you searched for. On the right column, you see a list of the TI products that were tagged by other visitors. Consider the top link, "CCSTUDIO." You searched for "dsp," and right at the top of the page is a link to a product that other people have deemed important for "dsp."
Click on the “CCSTUDIO” link, which takes you to the Code Composer Studio product folder. Scroll to the bottom of the product folder, and you'll find the tagging area for that product:
This list of tags is really a user-defined category followed by the number of people (in parentheses) who created them – a collection of terms that all relate to Code Composer Studio.
AND… of course, right below that, the bright red "Create a Tag" button, which is where you come in. Clicking “Create a Tag” takes you to a page where you can create whatever tags you think are relevant for the product you are viewing. The larger and richer a site's tag collection, the more powerful and useful the tags become, so creating tags helps everyone using the website. You can create tags anonymously, or you can login to my.ti.com and save your tags, to help remember what products you visited and tagged. When you return to the site and login you can access your tags from the tagging home page, by clicking on a link simply called “myTags.”
You can also search for tags, and click to see what are the most popular tags created by others, which is displayed in the form of what is known as a "tag cloud":
You've probably seen these on other websites - the larger the font size, the more popular the tag is.
So that's tagging on TI.com, in a nutshell. Please feel free to send comments, questions, or other feedback. If you want to get started creating tags and help other TI.com users in the process (hint hint), you can start at the tagging home page, where you will find information and other examples of tagging on the site. There is also a link to this page entitled simply "Tags," at the bottom of every TI.com page.
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