Social media–sharing sites allow users to share a wide range of media types, but many features are present on all of them. This section will detail some of those features.

Consumers have posted thousands of pictures of Nike shoes to Flickr.

Figure 5-3. Consumers have posted thousands of pictures of Nike shoes to Flickr.


A tag is a word assigned to a piece of content that helps describe it (e.g., book, work, blog, social media). A single piece of media can be tagged with multiple words, and tags are used to search content that is not textual, such as videos and photos; for instance, Figure 5-3 shows examples of media tagged with Nike. Tags are nonhierarchical, meaning they are not organized into a parent-child tree structure, and they are created by users rather than being determined by the site owner. The first use of a tag "creates" the category that all content with that tag falls into.

Social media sites typically support one of two types of tags: space separated and comma separated. Space-separated tags are entered in a list with a space between the tags. In space-separated tags, you can't have a single tag with a space inside it; if you wanted a tag called "social media" you would write it as "socialmedia." Some sites allow spaces if you enclose the tag in quotes. Comma-separated tags are written as a list with commas between the tags, so you can use spaces inside the tags.

It's a good idea to err on the side of too many tags, rather ...

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