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Benefit 2: Obtaining Descriptive Metadata

The traditional way of getting quality metadata involves hiring people such as librarians or indexers to review each resource in a collection and add keywords to it. This process can be expensive and time-consuming (though you would typically get high-quality results). Alternatively, you could opt for autoclassification software that extracts keywords from your resources. This method is faster but also can be expensive.

Tagging lets you enlist users in the metadata creation process, effectively giving you keywords at a very low cost. This approach can be incredibly valuable for photos, videos, and other media that don’t have text metadata natively. Tags added to photos in Flickr, for example, help make it easier to find photos through a search.

Tag metadata also might be used to identify new keywords that could improve search engine rankings or website navigation. If someone tags a web page with "progressive rock," we can assume that she also might use the term "progressive rock" to look for that page in a search engine or menu bar. The page’s author can include that term (if it’s relevant) to make the page easier to find.

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