Ok, I think I coined the phrase…but certainly not the activity.
I’ve been playing more and more with it via Technorati tags, Delicious and now I’m actively looking forward to tagspace. I’ve been tagging my content since I launched this blog…now I’m trying to be more consistent about tagging other content I like. I’m curious how you might be using Tagging?
I really like the notion of "Tag Drafting" as an efficiency and effectiveness tool - the analogy here to racing.
Drafting, or slipstreaming, is a technique in sports racing where competitors align in a close group in order to reduce the overall effect of drag or fluid resistance of the group. Especially when high speeds are involved, drafting can significantly reduce the average energy expenditure required to maintain a certain speed.
Drafting is usually to reduce wind resistance and is seen most commonly in bicycle racing, car racing, and speedskating though is occasionally used even in running. Some forms of triathlon allow drafting. Drafting is sometimes seen in swimming as well, particularly in "open-water" swim events where competitors are not separated into distinct lanes.
In cycling, the main (largest) group of tightly packed cyclists in a race is called a peloton, while cyclists riding in straight-line formation, each (but the first) drafting behind the one in front of him, is called a paceline. Drafting can be cooperative, in which several competitors take turns in the lead position (which requires the most effort and energy consumption). Or, it can be competitive or tactical, where one competitor will try to stay closely behind another leaving him or her more energy for a break-away push to the finish line.
So, what is Tag Drafting? It’s really the same concept: how I can I reduce the resistance to discovering useful information in territory others are already covering? To me, it falls into two categories: Topic drafting and Author drafting.
1) Topic drafting: This allows me to go to a social bookmarking service like Delicious and "draft" on a topic that others are also interested in and actively tagging. This seems a far more relevant way to discover new information on topics of interest than a search engine. Search gives me everything, whereas this will give me just the info others thought "tag-worthy." Example: Let’s say you are like me and interested in Web 2.0. Go to delicious and search web2.0 (done for you). Once you have registered on Delicious, you can even get an RSS feed to content users are tagging with Web2.0 (not recommended at this volume, but you could). There is a lot of content here, but I think easier to explore than the 220M results found with live search. More useful yet is creating Tag Bundles (Web2.0 + Social). Keep playing - find the right tag bundle for you/your topic, grab a feed and draft for a few weeks and tell me what happened - The good, the bad and the ugly. I’m trying this with the following Tag bundle: Web2.0 + Social + business.
2) Author drafting: I like this even better. In this approach, you are finding a fast "rider" you already know tags topics you care about and you are "drafting" behind them. Here are some people I draft for Web 2.0: Bobreb, Alexbarn & leelefever. Want to draft me? Here are two topics to follow: Web2.0 and BBQing. Now I haven’t been at this as long as others, so I have work to do, but hopefully this gives you the general idea of the power this can have.
So, tell me what you think. Try it out. Start tagging and then start drafting!! Have other cool techniques for leveraging social bookmarking…fill me in!!!!
Sean (aka seanodmvp at Delicious)
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