del.icio.us motivations

I was doing some research on del.icio.us for a presentation and found this gem over on Bokardo exploring the motivations for people using tags on all the tagging types of sites. His theory is that it's probably not for the altruistic reasons that everyone thinking and writing about all this community web stuff believes (or appears to buy into), but it's really just about saving bookmarks... not sharing, adding to the whole community, or anything bigger than that.

"The one major idea behind the Del.icio.us Lesson is that personal value precedes network value. What this means is that if we are to build networks of value, then each person on the network needs to find value for themselves before they can contribute value to the network. In the case of Del.icio.us, people find value saving their personal bookmarks first and foremost. All other usage is secondary.

As people use Del.icio.us more, and in order to gain more personal value, they use tags to be able to find their bookmarks later. Tagging isn’t even the primary function of Del.icio.us. Most of the tagging done on Del.icio.us is done secondarily, and for personal use.

The social value of tags on Del.icio.us is only a happy side-effect. Even though most of the ink spilled about Del.icio.us is about the social value, it’s really not the reason why people use it."


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