The LDS community is vibrant, smart and willing to give. Web 2.0 technologies (and mindsets) are providing opportunities for people to contribute.

Community tagging” is one example. Unstructured information (blogs, emails, articles, and so forth) is harder to search than structured data like addresses, phone numbers, names, debits, and credits. One way to make unstructured information more searchable (and thus more accessible) is to “tag” it.

Here’s how it works. Let’s say I write a blog post that tells a story of a time when I was young and I learned by watching my father serve a widow on Christmas day, even though he wasn’t sure he’d get done in time to take care of the preparations for the holiday. If someone goes into Google and searches the Internet to find a story for a talk or a lesson then they will likely not come across this story.

However, the Internet (and this blog) allows the author to “tag” articles. Tagging is just assigning words to an article which describe it and thus make the article more likely to show up in searches (whether on a blog or on the Internet).

For the story I listed, I might use tags like faith, story, service, father, dad, christmas, and lesson. Notice that some of these words don’t show up in the story, but they still capture the essence of the story. If people then searched on any of these words, they would be more likely to find the story.

This approach is good, but the problem is that a) it presumes the  author knows the right tags for an article and b) it takes time.

“Community tagging” is a phenomenon where people on the Internet collectively tag other people’s content. This happens on web sites like Flickr and Facebook. People upload pictures and others can tag the pictures. This spreads the workload out and can make it more precise.

How might we use “community tagging” for Church-related content?

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