An experiment in consensus tagging at SXSW 2006

My employer, Shadows.com, is running an experiment in encouraging tagging at the upcoming South By Southwest conference and festival here in Austin.

It’s now common at tech conferences for participants to agree on a common tag so they can more easily find each other’s posts to Flickr, del.icio.us, Technorati, etc. (See for example iasummit or aoir6.)

We’re taking it a step further. We did an ad hoc survey of how people have already been tagging and otherwise abbreviating the names of the bands coming to SXSW and put together a list of “official” SXSW tags. We’ve been seeding the process by tagging band websites into Shadows but don’t mean this to be an intra-Shadows thing. There’s always a lot of Flickr and blogging activity surrounding SXSW and we hope people will use this list as a guide wherever they tag.

It will be interesting to see whether the idea catches on. Since SXSW opens with the very tag-aware Interactive portion of the conference the idea may at least reach the early adopters. At the moment we’ve only settled on tags for the bands but hope soon to get to films, directors and Interactive panelists too.

By the way, the consensus tag for the whole SXSW experience seems to be “sxsw2006“. The four-digit version is leading over “sxsw06″ everywhere we’ve looked, and that was the case in 2005 as well.