One of my favorite stories about getting your priorities straight comes from the famed Tony Campolo, that forehead sweat-mopping preacher (I say that with deep respect…please go listen to him, he’s a hoot!) whom I listened to when I was attending the Baptist Student Union in Wichita Falls, Tx. I won’t recite his story about how each of us is special because out of the million of sperm that swam upstream, and our’s was the only one to make it.

Instead, I’m remembering his story about a fun activity one day was when 1-2 kids made it into a store and switched the price tags, assigning tags of great value to items of low value, and vice versa. The resulting confusion, writes Campolo, was fun to contemplate. As the reader, my main take-away was that each of us has “switched” the price tags on our lives and priorities. We spend our lives figuring out what is REALLY of value, and what is not.

The story comes to mind when I consider Steve Dembo’s post on tag generators. The story is appropriate, and with Dr. Scott McLeod’s latest post lingering in mind, suggests an interesting question. Is blogging something of little value that has had great value assigned to it? Or, is it traditional publishing venues (e.g. newspapers, research journals) that have mistakenly had great value assigned to them? Scott writes:

Most of my writing is about bringing issues of theory down to the practical level and/or expanding our leadership conversations to include practitioners and others in the field. Second, there is an ethos in the blogosphere about hyperlinking. If you want to check the credibility of an author’s sources, simply click on the link and see for yourself. It’s much easier than with print.

Third, there are a lot of really smart people out there with whom we’re not intersecting. I’ve learned a ton from folks without traditional academic credentials. Fourth, the blogosphere has its own way of assessing worthiness. Tools like commenting, Technorati, subscriber statistics, and other web traffic measures help us know if writing has value to intended audiences. In many ways, it’s much more transparent and honest than the supposedly-neutral academic peer review system.
Source: Dr. Scott McLeod, Dangerously Irrelevant

This is what popped into my head when I read Steve’s words. Funny, I ask myself now, at the tail end of my blog post (yes, I’m writing this section at the end rather than the middle), why am I reflecting on changing my priorities? And, I would that priorities and sharing those were as easy as using tags. Imagine how one’s life could go. What tags would you assign to your relationships (HOT, BORING, EXHILIRATING, HILARIOUS, FULFILLING)?


Tagging,” shares Steve Dembo (Teach42.com), ” is more of an art than a science, but it does serve a few very specific purposes. Not every blog employs tagging, nor would I say that it’s absolutely required, but understanding how tags work and what they can do for you is certainly knowledge that every blogger should possess.

As a long-time blogger, I found tagging to be a pain and to have little effect. Of course, I was using Thingamablog as my blogging engine and tagging really didn’t seem to help at all. However, since I switched to Blogger, my occasional experiments in tagging a blog entry have paid off big, if you consider having a lot of visitors a big pay-off…Scott points out that we can use web traffic as a way to help us know if writing has value to intended audiences. I like that explanation better than using web traffic to assess worthiness. Obviously, worthiness to your audience is important, but worthiness for oneself has a greater impact on a blogger’s longevity (that’s my opinion, obviously).

While I have Technorati on this blog, I do not use it as my tagging tool.

Although I can use tags in the blogger engine (“labels”), I see results when I use one of these tag generators:

  1. KeoTag Tag Generator – Enter Keotag, a beautifully simple site that lets users easily search for tags across 14 different sites, from Reddit to Ice Rocket.Keotag will also do the heavy lifting of generating the folksonomy tags for a blog post, or submitting a bookmark to multiple sites (Source)
  2. ICE Tag Generator
  3. David Warlick‘s Blog Tag Generator
  4. Fintan Darragh’s Tag Generator
  5. Richard Rodger’s Tag Generator (created with javascript)

Of course, there appear to be a variety of other tag generators, including the venerable meta-tag generators for traditional HTML pages:

And numerous tag cloud generators...

UberBloganoid has a list of 12 tag cloud generators, but my favorite is MakeCloud.com, which keeps an up to date tag cloud going based on your RSS feed!

tag cloud

Finally, one of Campolo’s other points is this…and note that I heard this when I was a 17 year old in college:

Based on a study done of 50 people over the age of 95 who were asked what they would do differently if they had life to live over again. They responded by focusing on the following:
a. They would risk more.
b. They would reflect more.
c. They would do more things that would live on after they were dead.

Put that in Web 2.0 terms….

  1. People will wish they had used more disruptive technologies at work.
  2. People will wish they’d blogged more (and tagged their work appropriately ;->)
  3. Purchased longer licenses for the domain URLs.


Maybe I need to be tagging my blog entries AND relationships more. Let me go let my wife know she’s got a tag of HOT….
;->

Note: Some of the images–the price tags–appearing in this blog entry were created with TinyTags! More about it:

tinytags is for generating a little tag graphic with text on it. After you make your tag, you can download it to your computer or save it to Flickr or ImageShack with a single click. You can even turn it into a t-shirt at Zazzle.com with just a few clicks.

The following was created with KeoTags:

Created with ICE Tag Generator:


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