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Impure folksonomies for retailers

Dan Klyn has some practical suggestions for retailers thinking about letting users tag merchandise. Why not pre-populate your catalog with tags drawn from the item descriptions? Why not rank tags higher based on the popularity of the page or item? What do you do about a product that’s tagged “crappy” or “over-priced”? (I think Dan’s answer that last one is that you surface tags based in part on how popular they are.) The result is not a pure folksonomy, but purity isn’t always what we — merchants and shoppers — need.

He also points to as an example of a merchant using tags well. [Tags: ]

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2 Responses to “Impure folksonomies for retailers”

  1. Anecdotes from online retail sites where customer comments and reviews are folded into the commerce space indicate that weeding-out the negative stuff is ultimately more harmful to overall sales than allowing such comments to stand alongside of the neutral or positive ones.

    BJ Fogg’s work on Web Credibility ( lends some credence to this notion that customers know what time it is, and that they reward merchants who’re willing to allow CGM not entirely within their self interest to display on the site alongside of the positive and neutral stuff.

    If we think about customer-assigned tags as extremely terse customer reviews … In such a framework, the “crappy” and “overpriced” tags will ultimately unlock more and better sales than in a framework where tags are stage-managed to keep ’em all sweetness and light.

    All the best to you on your new book! I expect it’ll rock my world the way that Cluetrain did an does :)

    Dan K.

  2. as dan said :
    All the best to you on your new book :-)

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