Marketing Bastards Set to Whore Tag and Folkosonomies?

Tagging is a pretty new phenomenon on the web and is the process of allowing users to categorize and organize content without a defined list of categories. The idea is that as more content is categorized in this bottom-up approach, the content will self-organize. You can see it at work over at Del.icio.us or Flickr.
Steve had written a piece on how tags might be used by marketers. He outlining the benefits to advertisers and suggests future applications of tagging for the marketing realm:

Folksonomy sites can be also be carefully used to unleash viral marketing campaigns — with a caveat. Marketers should be transparent in who they are, why they are posting the link/photos and avoid spamming the services.

Very glad he wrote that – but I still think that the tagging thing will be weighed down by spammed messages – just like every other medium out there. This is in terms of open tagging systems. A service like Flickr could easily ban a user for abusing tags and remove all their content to preserve the integrity of the system.
Kevin suggests it will die a quick death – or remain a niche technology – especially once the lawyers get involved:

Then there are the trademark issues. What’s the fastest way to initiate a whole gaggle of lawsuits? Start futzing with brand owner’s rights by selling pages categorized with keyword tags for “Bloomingdale’sâ€? to Macy’s and watch the fun. Remember all the excitement we had with selling keyword banners?

I think tags are great for a closed controlled system – like if I ditched categories on this blog and went strictly to tagging – I am creating a taxonomy from the ground up. The hope is that taxonomy could then mesh with other tagged collections of content. I remain skeptical. Once the internet marketing whores get a hold of a new technology – they simply won’t let go.

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