Bringing a Human Side to Online Chatter

Media Morph: Blog Tagging

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Every week Ad Age Digital's Media Morph looks at how emerging technology is changing the way consumers get their information and media companies and advertisers present their messages. This week: Blog Tagging

What it is: A game in which a blogger writes five things that people may not know about him or her and then "tags" five other people who have to do the same. Initially struck us as kind of like a virtual version of the chain letter, although far more interesting and less annoying and time-consuming. Blogger Jeff Pulver, who is credited with kicking off this latest round of the game Dec. 10, calls it a "game for a virtual cocktail party." (Forgive us for weighing in three weeks after the round started, but Media Morph has been on vacation.)
Did you know Danny Sullivan has a blog about Ichthyosaurs?
Did you know Danny Sullivan has a blog about Ichthyosaurs?

What we learned from it: We now know Danny Sullivan's blog about the Ichthyosaurs has two subscribers (him and someone else), that Jeff Jarvis was once named one of San Francisco's most eligible bachelors and that Ad Age Digital columnist Steve Rubel placed ninth in the New York City Rubik's Cube contest in 1982. Indeed, we've spent the better part of the slow week between Christmas and New Year's getting to know better some of the bloggers we regularly read.

The bigger picture: On a broader scope, blog tagging shows how quickly viral activity can spread online and, points out Forrester's Charlene Li (who loves logic puzzles and was once mistaken for her child's nanny), it brings a human side to blogging. That's especially important for corporate blogs, she notes, where a major reason for having one is to bring a more human face to your business. HP's Eric Kintz has weighed in, as has Dell's Lionel Menchaca.

How to find them: Interested in seeing what bloggers are revealing about themselves? Most of the game's "players" have tagged their posts "five things" or "blog tags," making a Technorati search a little easier.
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