I was sitting up and got pinged by Dave Sifry about Technorati’s new related-tags feature; Technorati thinks that Baseball is related to Sports, MLB, Football, Basketball, Natural Philosophy (gotta love that), and tickets. Some don’t work that well, but the idea is compelling. I’ve been thinking about this stuff a lot, and I have a question: Do tags work? It shouldn’t be too hard to find out.
Someone needs to do a little basic research. First (this is the hard part) you pull together a set of sample searches. You could use a recent searches page, or I bet Dave Sifry would cough up a random selection from the Technorati feed.
Then, you go and do each search twice, once using keywords and once using tags. Note that the two searches can be different, it’s OK to apply human judgment. Then you record which way worked better (once again, there’s some subjectivity here). Then you write up your results.
I don’t have time to do this research, but if it were done reasonably transparently and carefully, I’d certainly contribute a pointer, and since quite a few people who care about search read ongoing, the word would get around pretty quick.