Zigtag’s social features

Zigtag has a lot of social features in it, turning your tagging into a social habit. Some of the social features include:

  • The ability to add friends
  • The ability to add special interest groups
  • The ability to send a bookmark to your friends quickly
  • Discussions on all the major objects in Zigtag (i.e. discussions on a group, tag or URL – coming soon).
  • News feed

Zigtag’s newsfeed is really where all the social features come together. It keeps you up to date on what is happening with Zigtag by showing you what you’re friends have bookmarked, new groups that have been created, people that have accepted your friend request, and bookmarks that have been added to groups. This is a place where you can go and see cool new sites that your friends have found, and it’s quite addictive.

What other things would you like to see in your news feed?

Zigtag groups are a great new approach to collaborative research and learning that allows any group of people to share resources and discuss the group through a forum.  A group can be private, membership only (i.e. anyone can view the group, but can’t add to it) or public. You can create a group for your team at work, for a specific project you’re working on, for your club or your class at school, or browse the Zigtag groups to find a group with interests similar to your own.

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Defined Tags – Zigtag makes tags semantic Part 2 of 2

There’s another really important aspect of using defined semantic tags – the fact that there is only one definition for a certain idea.  Let me explain this a bit.  Say you find a page on New York City, and you tag it with “New York”. Months later, you go looking for it again – but can’t remember if you tagged it with New York, NY, NYC, or even the Big Apple.  No problem!  With Zigtag, all of these synonyms mean the exact same thing – the idea of New York City.  Zigtag understands that New York and NYC are semantically equivalent. Therefore, you can actually search for that page you tagged “New York”, by any of the synonyms for it.

Above is a screen shot of Zigtag’s “Explore” dialog, where you can retrieve things you’ve tagged.  On the left is the tag you’re searching by, in this case NYC.  On the right are the results.  Notice that the results were actually tagged with “New York”, not NYC, yet Zigtag found them.

This is extremely powerful, and Zigtag is the only bookmarking solution to solve this problem.

It becomes even more powerful when used as a research tool.  On other sites like del.icio.us, if you were looking for restaurants in New York, you would have to search for sites tagged with NY, NYC, New-york, newyork, new_york, etc. and even then you’d probably not find all the things people are tagging about this.  With Zigtag, you’re searching with the idea of “New york”, and everybody understands that idea.

Semantic tagging is also very useful from a personal tagging standpoint.  After all, when you tag, you tag with ideas, not words.  This allows you to tag a page with “Car”, but retrieve it by search for “Automobile”, or tag it with “API”, and search for “application programming interface”. It means you don’t have to remember the exact word you tagged it with – just the idea you think of when you tag it.

So try out Zigtag, and be sure to tag semantically!  If you are already using it, or import your bookmarks from another service, we offer a tag renaming tool so you can convert your normal tags into semantic tags (an article on this is coming soon).

Defined Tags – Zigtag makes tags semantic Part 1 of 2

What makes Zigtag unique among the many bookmarking solutions available?  It’s our defined tags – that is, tags that have meaning.  Here’s an example:

Dropdown showing the many definitions of \

This is a screen shot of the Zigtag sidebar.  Here, we’re browsing a page about Apple Inc., and we want to tag the page with “Apple”.  But which Apple do we mean?  There are quite a few to choose from – the company, the fruit, the music album called “Apple”, or “Apple records”, to name a few.  Mousing over any of these choices provides a description of that tag so that you can make an informed decision of which one to choose.

Now you may think “well I will only ever tag with one tag called ‘Apple’, because I’m never going to tag something about the fruit”.  I must admit that when I started tagging, I never thought I’d have this problem, but it’s amazing how often you come across it.  For example, being a programmer and a guitar player, I often tag things with “Tabs” to refer to a tabbed interface, and “Tabs” to refer to a guitar tablature.  Being a science nut, I often tag things about neurology with “Memory”, and things about RAM with “Memory”.  In my own tag space, I’ve got about 20 examples where Zigtag’s defined tags help me clean up my tag space beautifully.

If you’re still not convinced, consider this: what if you’re using a bookmarking application for research, and looking at other people’s tags?  How do you know the intended definition of a particular tag? As an example, head to http://del.icio.us/tag/tabs.  It’s a big cluster of two different types of “tabs” – guitar tabs and UI tabs.

Zigtag has over 2 million defined tags in the system, and that number is growing every day.  You can even submit new defined tags here (eventually this will be a community process of adding defined tags – right now this goes into a queue and we’ll approve them eventually).

There’s lots more to know about defined tags, coming in the next couple days.  Stay tuned.

Welcome to Zigtag!

Welcome to the Zigtag blog! I’ll try to post a new post every couple days, detailing new features, features we’ve had for a while, stuff that’s going on with the company, and general keep-you-up-to-date posts.

As a first post, I guess it’s good to get it out of the way – what is Zigtag?

Zigtag is a new semantic social bookmarking application (wow what a mouthful!). If you’re familiar with delicious, it’s similar to that but a whole lot more user friendly, and a lot more features, the most important part being semantic tags. Semantic tags mean that each tag has a meaning – e.g. there is only one New York City, but you can reference the idea of New York City in a lot of different ways (New York, NY, NYC, Big Apple, etc.) Similarly, if you want to tag a page about Apple, which Apple do you mean? Apple Inc, or the fruit? With Zigtag, we make it easy to handle these thorny problems.

Zigtag is also a sort of social network in that there are the standard social networking aspects to it – friends, groups, a news feed, sharing links, etc. However, unlike other tools, collaborating and organizing links become a whole lot easier if everybody is annotating their tags with ideas, instead of words. It doesn’t matter that Sally tags with NY, and Greg tags with NYC, they both mean the same New York.

We’ll follow this up with a few articles in the next few days – but for now, try it out! Sign up for our beta at http://www.zigtag.com and we’ll get you an account.