Tags are a most powerful way to organise things and to enable service creation.
I was using Shoutcast recently, an application on the iTouch/iPhone, giving you access to 25,000 radios on the Internet. It also let you search for the stations that are broadcasting in that moment a specific singer or a specific song. This is made possible by the tags associated to each song being broadcasted.
Now, it shouldn’t be difficult to create an application letting me list the songs, singers, I am in the mood to listen to on this particular day, and the program automatically scans radio stations and plays the songs in the list as they are broadcasted.
This is not bad for broadcasters either, since it provides them with a “market of one” audience and let them reach me, even if I do not know of them and therefore I would have never tuned them in.
Radio on Internet is a widespread reality, over 25,000 channels are available today, 24 hours a day. Television on Internet is much smaller, http://broadcast-live.com/television/ , but we are still talking of hundreds of channels and it is a sure bet to say there will be many more available in the next decade.
YouTube is a gigantic, and growing, repository of video clips, Social Networks will provide many more video feeds in the future, thanks to consumer electronic digital cameras that are enabling the mass market to create clips in HD quality and to a growing availability of bandwidth.
MPEG 4 allows the tagging of individual frames and objects within a frame. This, in turns, will enable applications to serach for specific objects, those I am dreaming of.
Tagging technology is making significant progress and automatic tagging is just arond the corner.
Tagging our wishes is not too far either. Our cell phones will be able to tag automatically objects, places and words/sentences by capturing the emotions we feel. Works in this area is going on in several universities and results are already visible. Affective computing is the name of this technology, http://broadcast-live.com/television/.
The crucial point is not technology enabling tagging and tagging exploitation, rather how to maintain control of my tags since they represent on the one hand my “dreams” that to be fulfilled have to be socialised but on the other hand they represent a part of myself, that is precious and private. Striking a balance is key for me and for the business that can be developed on this.