Web Strategy: Using Folksonomies to improve your Marketing, Website, and even Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

A lot of folks (esp those in the Social Media industry like me) are at odds with the Social Media Optimization industry. I don’t need to name names, but if you’ve been paying attention to techmeme, you’ll know what I’m talking about. I want to shed light on some ways where ‘listening’ to your audience can actually help build a better vernacular and vocabulary on your website. Here’s a few resources that I ran across, that I find interesting.

Use Folksonommies to better understand your community, and then factor into building better Web Strategy

Understand Folksonomies, learn how to listen
It’s up to you to determine if you think this is ‘snake oil’ or not, but I see the value. A good web strategist should try to understand his community, listen very carefully and respond. This post is really focused on Folksonomies or natural language and tagging. Here’s some examples of Folksonomies if you’re not familiar with them. Now that you’re in the know, use those tools to find out how people are speaking, tagging, and sharing.

  • Keyword analysis tool: Good for figuring out instances in text body
  • Understanding Tagging Folksonomy – How it Relates to Improving PageRank
  • Web Strategy: Using Delicious for Marketing Research (my thoughts from a few months back
  • Folksonomies tell us (at no cost) how real people label, find, and think of content, this gives us yet another method to observe the user experience

    Improve your Web Strategies

    I don’t see anything wrong with using these tools to learn how to listen (yup, I’m flipping the telescope around) so that companies can better understand their audiences and communities. Now that you understand the real language that your real audience is using to think, tag, label, and navigate you can now build better Information Architecture, Marketing Copy, User Interfaces, and Taxonomies. It’s pretty simple, the community is telling you (and each other) how they think of content, it’s up for you harness this free information to build a website that matters to them.

    • Great post- i have monitored ‘factiva’ tags for a while to see what things people are finding interesting and many times send them to my marketing folks.
      I had a great conversation with Clare Hart (EVP @Dow Jones Enterprise Media Group) yesterday on the way down to Podtech for her interview with Robert about the power of what i call in my conversations with clients “communtity generated content”, content that is created based on the actions of the user community- from the tags applied to an article that can help the world better understand that content or help enterprises identify ‘experts’ by what they tag, to content that tries to explain what their community is doing like the top stocks owned by peers in their specific trading service (the idea is that you choose what service to use, and it is easier to segment by age, financia profile etc.
      From a platform prespective factiva/dowj jones does a lot of computer generated tagging based on established taxonomies, we use technologies to create word clusters and keyword clouds and i would love to see the power of the community also being provided in our services (i have clients that are starting to do this with our data behind the firewall already)- from tagging, too most read, most commented, most blogged etc,- things that we see in consumer tools but target them to the business community that the specific user belongs to.
      That data can then be easily built to build role based views into a a large and diverse content collection.

    • Sounds like you’ve got it all planned out. So how is DJ scraping folksonomies for additional data mining and intelligence?

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