Clearly a classic post on the topic of tagging, but I've not seen it before: A cognitive analysis of tagging (or how the lower cognitive cost of tagging makes it popular), by Rashmi Sinha:

"The rapid growth of tagging in the last year is testament to how easy and enjoyable people find the tagging process. The question is how to explain it at the cognitive level. In search for a cognitive explanation of tagging, I went back to my dusty cognitive psychology textbooks. This is what I learnt."

It's a good little read. Conclusion ('cause you're lazy):

"To conclude, the beauty of tagging is that it taps into an existing cognitive process without adding add much cognitive cost. At the cognitive level, people already make local, conceptual observations. Tagging decouples these conceptual observations from concerns about the overall categorical scheme. The challenge for tagging systems is to then do what the brain does - intelligent computation to make sense of these local observations, and an efficient, predictable way to ensure findability."

As it happens 1,272 people, lazily it appears, already tagged this since Sept 2005.

Found via my del.icio.us/inbox, where I subscribe to the tag 'tagging'.

Note: the 1,272 taggers who thus far tagged this post have collectively agreed that 'tagging' is the best category for this post, not 'tag', nor 'tags', nor 'classification'.

analysis article blog brain classification cognition cognitive del.icio.us design folksonomies folksonomy metadata psychology research science social socialsoftware tag tagging tags taxonomy toread usability web web2.0

Also note: The tag 'categories' or any variation thereof is entirely missing from the posts tagcloud, even though the article (post) uses the word 'categories' and its variations are used 40 times in its text.

Also, also note: The word 'tag' and its variations are used 30 times, including twice in the title.

For other posts of mine categorized tagged 'tagging' (by me), tag click here (note dest.url ;-)

Update (a few minutes later): Quick manual collaborative algorithmic, artificial, artifical intelligence results: