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Return on Investment: Seven Business Benefits of Tagging Systems

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Implementing a tagging system for your site may sound unnecessary or even painful. But Gene Smith points out that tagging can provide significant advantages in exchange for a relatively small investment of time and energy on your part.
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Let’s look at one important side of the value-centered design equation: return on investment. Whether you’re a Fortune 500 company managing a localized intranet or a small startup working on a Web application, you need to know the answer to one important question: "What can tagging do for me?"

There are seven potential benefits for organizations that adopt tagging. Some groups may realize many of these benefits, some only one. The key is to understand the possible benefits to you and to design a tagging system that achieves the desired results.

Benefit 1: Facilitating Collaboration

Tagging can be a way for users to contribute their knowledge—in the form of resources and tags—to a communal pool.

In their simplest form, social tagging systems allow people to share ideas and resources through passive collaboration. By adding resources and tags to the system, users help to build a knowledge base that benefits every user.

Tags also provide a simple way to capture people’s knowledge and terminology. Although some knowledge management efforts explicitly try to identify an organization’s experts, tagging systems allow people’s expertise to be revealed organically through their contributions.

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