Topic tagging is useful for those who constrain a timeline/feed as much as it is for increasing reach beyond followers in a social network
When people apply to beta-test RiteTag, one of the questions we ask is “which social networks (which have topic tagging) would you like to see integrated into RiteTag?” When we opened http://ritetag.com to the first two hundred beta-testers, we already had Twitter, Google+, Instagram, Youtube – and another six social networks searchable. RiteTaggers have been optimizing their eBay offers, tweets, and content for ten social networks from the start, and while we have researched and planned integration of more than ten more networks, we want to know which social networks our first users want most, so we can prioritize integration. Nearly everyone notices that RiteTag does nothing to optimize content for Facebook. A great many people ask us to do this, leaving us to explain the following:
RiteTag is useful and being developed further for brand monitoring, content aggregation and curation, but its core value is in optimizing topic tags to reach those who may be
- tracking tagged content
- constraining their timeline to include/exclude content containing certain tags
- not following us by name/account, but following the topic tags we use
Facebook is all about who, rather than what. We can tag pages and people, but not topics. In fact, there is no way to search for updates containing tags or key words in Facebook at all, and no way to passively (i.e. without convincing people to share our posts) get our updates seen by those who do not already follow us. Facebook topic tag optimization is not done by Ritetag because, while you may see the ‘#’ with words in updates, they actually do nothing, dynamically, in Facebook’s databases or searchability.
What does topic-tagging, tag-search and the ability to filter a social network’s timeline by a tag mean for us?
It gives us the ability to reduce the mass of updates from ourselves and our connections greatly – and focus on topic(s) we need to hone in on. With no topic-tagging or update keyword search in Facebook, there is no way to do this. In Google+, we can do this by term(s), tag(s), and even drill down to People, pages, G+ posts, Sparks, Hangouts, Events, and even constrain any of those to a location. One of the great divides between Facebook and Google+ is the great utility provided by the ability to filter our timeline. In Facebook, it is all about who wrote/shared what; you can adjust how much you see from specific contacts, but there is no way to mute by topic. In Google+, the product designers saw fit to give us far more control over our timeline.
In fact, in most social networks, content can be isolated, aggregated, curated, and organized through topic tags.
Facebook’s stance: there are too many updates.
My take: Facebook would prefer we simply push more content to more people – to get them spending more time in Facebook. Tagging people and pages is possible. This puts your content in front of those who never went looking for it, and never did anything to indicate any interest in seeing the cat barfing photos that you are certain will delight all viewers. Forwarding updates to groups (within reason) is also encouraged; Facebook wants you to connect more, show anything more. Indiscriminately.
This brief video show how RiteTag helps isolate tags that reach, with relevancy, and aids in curation as well.
I talk with L.A. electrical engineer, Sireesh Adimadhyam, about bootstrapping RiteTag, what he’ll do to either fund or bootstrap his hardware development project, and demo the current private beta iteration of http://www.ritetag.com