Tagaroo – Semantic Metadata for Bloggers

Listening In

Every now and then I go through my bookmarks clearing out those which are inactive or no longer relevant, and reorganizing. Checking one older Reuters News link lead to a redirect to Reuters Labs, and the Open Calais system. This initiative, developed by Thomson Reuters and Clear Forest is a step on the road to the ‘semantic web’, or Web 3.0 – automatically tagging and indexing online content with relevant metadata. Text, images, video, documents and podcasts are all part of the wealth of online content, the challenge for search engines is indexing everything, and providing relevant results to user queries.

Anyone familiar with WordPress understands that blog posts can be tagged with keywords, but those are often what the author thinks are relevant to search engines and directories, not necessarily the tags that could expose a blog to a wider audience. Creating the metadata – data (tags) about your ‘data’ can be as time consuming as the blog itself. Automating the process saves the author a great deal of time, can lead to new insights, and may help in promoting a blog.

Finding Connections

Finding Connections

Tagaroo is the WordPress plugin from Open Calais that generates metadata tags for your post as you write. It also searches Flickr for relevant photos based on those tags that you can use in your post. The result should be a streamlined process to optimize a blog for search engines, and providing choices for visually enhancing posts. In fact – – having just installed Tagaroo I am trying it out for the first time with this post. It works, with a caveat – smooth typing is often interrupted as the plugin parses the text, generates tags and displays Flickr choices.

The Tagaroo WordPress plugin is only available for self-hosted blogs – users of wordpress.com blogs will have to wait and see if it becomes available in the future. Installing is like all WP plugins – through the dashboard you can auto-download and install, or get it from Open Calais and FTP to the plugins directory on your server. Once activated the plugin requires an API key which requires an account with Open Calais – once acquired simply enter the key in the Tagaroo settings page and the system will activate.

When writing posts in WordPress you will note a new block under the editing pane. As you type Tagaroo automatically generates metadata tags based on your text, and provides a search screen with selected images from Flickr. You can choose to add a photo, and select the tags you wish.

Based on using the plugin on this post I rate it 6/10. The tags and photos are all relevant – the time saved in automating is somewhat lost when the system blocks typing as it parses the text.

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