What is a tag?
Tagging refers to attaching keywords to online content, such as a photo, blog entry or Twitter post in order to categorise it. A tag cloud is a visual display on a website which shows how popular all current tags are.
How does it work?
Tagging in a computer application categorises the content, and also provides keywords for searching. In the photo sharing website Flickr, users can tag each of their photos with keywords, such as Paris, night, Eiffel Tower, to identify elements in the photo so that others can find it more easily when searching for specific topics.
In Facebook, uploaded photos can be tagged with the names of the people in the photo, and if a tagged person is also a Facebook user, the photo will then automatically be displayed on their personal page and added to their photo collection. Tagged Facebook users can also remove tags if they do not wish to be identified in a photo.
Bloggers can also tag their content with keywords to help readers search their site for specific topics, and to help search engines with indexing to help rank a site's relevance to a search query.
Twitter users can tag their posts by using the #hashtag symbol to create a new topic or add to an existing, trending one.
Why is it useful?
In general, tagging is useful because it makes sorting and finding relevant content easier.
What do you need to keep in mind about your child and tagging?
Tagging in social media sites can affect your child's privacy, and some recent forms of tagging, where a child's name is tagged over an offensive image, could also be upsetting. You may wish to investigate the tagging settings in the social networking sites your child is using.