The State of the Tag Board

It has been over a year ago since I first posted about discussion boards that use tags for message categorization instead of the traditional category/board structure. Since then a number of such boards have been built, some of which have died. But recently they seem to be a small revival. At the moment there are three interesting projects trying this concept out:

  • Blogoforum, that uses tags to categorize messages. It has some interesting ideas. My main problems with it is its lay-out. I often find it quite confusing to read threads. Blogoforum has recently launched a topic list sorted based on topic popularity.
  • OneLobby, this project, as I understand it will be a piece of software you will be able to download and install on your own server. It also uses tags for forums. It looks very promising to me, also because I know the authors are working on some other radical new features. Plus the lay-out is clean and simple.
  • Glorum, which was brought to my attention yesterday (thanks for the e-mail Mario). It combines tag based boards with a digg-like feature. You’re able to vote topics up or down. I suggested this idea a while back too and I hope it will work. For the rest this board seems pretty early in development. It’s very basic and clean.

These forums look very promising. Much more than the last wave of these tag-based boards. Not any of them are have lots of users and large amounts of discussions yet though. When that happens I wonder if they can cope. The mass is the challenge here. It will then become clear if tags are indeed a good way to categorize topics and messages.

I’ll continue following the development of these kinds of forums closely.