The subject

Recently tags seem to be popping up just about everywhere you can imagine online, but a cursory internet search will reveal very little information about understanding and using tags. I think tags can be one of the most powerful and useful organizational tools available, but there are many people who don’t even know what a tag is, much less how to use it effectively.

Tagging obviously needs someone to step forward and explore the subject in a way that anyone can understand, without resorting to confusing terms like “folksonomies” and the like. Tags, when used correctly, should be easy to understand and intuitive to use, and my greatest hope is to help others as I grope my way along the road towards tag enlightenment.

The site

Tagamac’s main focus is on Mac OS X software that uses tags because Mac software is my main obsession in life. Tagging is in many ways an internet-based phenomenon and many tagging systems online focus on collaborative tagging, where everyone who uses a site contributes tags. Tagamac, on the other hand, is more focused on individual tagging within desktop programs. I may in the future write some articles about the big tag players online, but for the time being the focus is firmly on Mac OS X tagging software.

However, Tagamac also contains a large amount of general information on tags that will hopefully be useful to anyone who is trying to understand what tags are and how to use them. I encourage you to read my Intro to tags if you are interested in such general info.

Tagamac is optimized for best viewing in Safari or Firefox, but should work in any IE back to 5.5 or Opera. If you find something screwy, please let me know.

The software

Tagamac runs on WordPress, and is updated with MarsEdit. Evermore, Less, In Series, and cforms tweak it to my taste. I use Acorn, TextMate, and CSSEdit for design work and Yummy FTP to get it all online. I track the Mac tagging software with NetNewsWire and Notae. The header fonts are the excellent Estilo and Silkscreen. And last but certainly not least, Mint watches your every move.

The author

Ian Beck

Tagamac is currently written and maintained exclusively by Ian Beck, the guy behind One Crayon. I live in Washington State in the U.S. and do freelance web design (among other things). Aside from Tagamac, I also maintain a personal fiction/opinions/random junk clearinghouse called Beckism.com. In the past I have worked as an author and Editor-in-Chief for Inside Mac Games. I am a Mac software junkie, and have been for years.

My background in tagging is pretty much the same as anyone else. I downloaded a program that included tags, and after using them for a while realized how amazingly cool they were. I then went searching for some good advice on how best to use them and found zilch. After a few months of tracking down every piece of tagging software I could find and trying it, I decided that it wouldn’t be that much more effort to start working systematically to improve my knowledge on the subject, and now here I am, working through tags from beginning to end and sharing the love.

If you have any feedback about Tagamac or questions about tags, I’d love to hear from you! Please see the contact page for more info.

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