Tag Based Sites & Specific Topics

By dylanbdylanb (1225250079|%a, %b %e at %I:%M%p)

The huge influx of tag based sites has effected my website, UMHoops.com, and also has a lot of effects on the industry I'm investigation as well as being helpful in finding new information my project. Tag based sites fall very much in line with the web 2.0 and social networking revolution that is the back bone of the current age of internet start ups.

When I write a blog entry on my real blog and I think it is an especially good one, or one I want to get the word out about I will often send it to digg and other news sites. My site like many also has a "Share This" option which allows the user to submit it to many different social tag based sites. While I do this frequently, I have had very few posts actually generate much traffic from digg.


There are two of these sites which we didn't talk about in class that play a big part in my website. They are both "digg type" sites that are targeted toward sports. These sites are YardBarker and BallHype. YardBarker is the more successful of the 2 and actually just acquired $6 million dollars in funding. As we saw in class the list of these sites is very large and a surprising number of them are successful. Personally I was shocked to see so many similar sites have relative success. YardBarker clocks in around Slashdot in terms of size according to Quantcast numbers (YB & SD). This is pretty respectable for a sports targeted website.

The intriguing part of YardBarker is that they launched their own advertising network. This is a genius way of bringing two services together. Yardbarker relies on having user submitted content from independent sports blogs for the most part. By offering advertising deals with these blogs and requiring the independent bloggers to autosubmit their articles YardBarker makes money off the blogosphere and also pushes their content system.

So is the future in tag based sites generic sites or targeted sites? Clearly digg is the category leader and targeted sites will never have the type of traffic that digg has. However I look at some of these targeted sites (YardBarker is only an example of one such site) and I think they might be better if you know what your looking for. The top headlines on digg from the sports category (link) are all from national main stream media publications while the top headlines on YardBarker (link) are mostly from blogs and independent resources.

Because of the focus of this class on finding resources on the internet, targeted social tagging sites provide a very good alternative for extra information. They also give an inherent ranking of quality that allows you to get the best alternative resources. If there is a site like YardBarker for a specific topic it's probably worth checking out. One thing I can't help but notice is that there was talk about Google adding a thumbs up/thumbs down for results, essential turning into digg-style format.

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