"AND THE WINNER IS..."
It's nice to see the venerable PC Magazine do a review of Web 2.0 services, this time having to do with tagging. The services they picked, in no particular order, are Clipmarks, Jeteye, Del.icio.us, My Yahoo! and Shadows.
I've commented on tagging before, mostly on how hard it is for mainstream consumers to use (see here, here, and here).
So this was interesting to look through and see how far these services have come and how much more they have to go.
Of the five services, only Clipmarks requires the download of a separate piece of software to store, organize and share your tags...the rest of them are web-based, accessible from any PC and/or browser, a must for me.
Since critical mass of users and tags are what makes these services useful, only two of them have the critical mass to date, Delicious and My Yahoo!, the other three being relatively new.
But all of them have some interesting ideas on how to provide useful tag functionality. I particularly liked the idea of being able to "tear off" a piece of content on a web side, and paste it into the Clipmark software, to then tag and organize it. Very much a familiar experience if you're into organizing with scrapbooks and the like.
And here are the spoilers...the winners and losers according to PC Magazine...please don't read the next section if you want to read the whole review yourself.
The one with the worst rank turns out to be the pioneer in the field, Delicious, and the one with the best, is My Yahoo!, one of the newer kids on the block.
The reviewers find the Delicious interface very difficult to understand and navigate, something I've commented on in my posts before. Having said that, I believe Delicious is in the process of rolling out a new interface, having added a search feature finally, as VC and investor Fred Wilson points out.
I'm not sure whether PC Magazine reviewed version 1.0 or 2.0 of the Yahoo! tag site. I personally prefer the version 1.0 and NOT the 2.0. The first version's interface is very much focused on helping the user organize his/her surfing experience on the web, with folders, tags and the like.
The second version is more focused on sharing the sites with friends and the world at large, which is useful, but less so for me than the first. Version 2.0 makes it difficult even to find the page that helps to organize your bookmarks and tags for yourself. As a result, I'm staying behind in version 1.0 as long as I can.
Longer term, it's clear that tagging as a feature and in some form, is going to be part and parcel of most portal experiences. Indeed, Microsoft has plans for tagging in its next version of Windows Vista, due next year. And of course, we all have to see what the seven-year-old wonder does in tagging or not.
So take the review with a grain of salt, but do take a look at it if you're curious about where we are with tags, and aren't.