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Tagging for Mom and Pop

We stayed at a small mom and pop “resort" in the San Juan Islands last weekend called WestBeach Resort. There were three families there and all have at least one blog. Everyone took pictures and everyone has Flickr. Aside from marveling at the total nerd-dom of all involved, I thought about tagging.

I’ve tagged all of my photos from the trip on Flickr (and this post) with the “westbeach�? tag. This made me think about the folks who run WestBeach and what this tagging stuff means to them. Here are some (admittedly idealistic) thoughts…

  • They could have a small sign or piece of text on their materials that says “Are you a blogger or Flickr user? Use the “westbeachâ€?? tag when you post about your visit here."

     

  • By tracking the tag using RSS, the WestBeach folks could become aware of previously hidden perspectives and photos of their customers and turn that feedback into a better experience.

     

     

  • By adding links to the tags on their web site, potential customers can browse through blog posts (Technorati), related bookmarks (del.icio.us) and photos (flickr) related to the Resort and have an updated and real view of what it’s like. They could even have a flickr badge of the latest photos, or something similar.

 

Of course, this is all assuming that the WestBeach Resort folks are prepared for negative feedback and the possibility of tag spam. All in all though, it got me thinking about the business model for tags and how the things listed above are low cost and could have big returns in the form of promotion.

Can or should businesses of all sizes and shapes promote the use of a “dominate tag�?? Does it defeat the purpose of tagging? Are we going to see more sites say “If you talk about me, use this tag�??

I’m thinking that if I were WestBeach and had a handle on tagging, I would promoting the tag to everyone who has a clue – at least until the spammers catch on.

Tags: westbeach, flickr, tags, RSS, resort