Common Tag Standard is released!

June 11, 2009

Common Tag LogoAs strong believers in the semantic tagging (we wrote about it here and here), we are happy to announce that today one big  step toward realization of the idea is made.

Faviki is involved in the development of the  new open tagging format – Common Tag, together with AdaptiveBlue, DERI (NUI Galway), Freebase, Yahoo!, Zemanta, and Zigtag. This is the first time that this number of web companies have stepped together from day one to introduce a tagging standard.

People use tags to organize, share and discover content on the Web. However, in the absence of a common tagging format, the benefits of tagging have been limited. Individual things like New York City are often represented by multiple tags (like “nyc”, “new_york_city”, and “newyork”), making it difficult to organize related content; and it is not always clear what a particular tag represents – does the tag “orange” represent the fruit or the color?

The Common Tag format was developed to address the current shortcomings of tagging and help everyone, including end users, publishers, and developers get more out of Web content. It is an outcome of an effort to develop the easiest way to let publishers get more out of their content by semantically marking it up.

Common Tag format is based on RDFa, a standard mechanism for placing structured content within HTML documents. The format uses the URIs of concepts defined on the Web as a way of anchoring the meaning of Tag objects. Common concepts can be found, among others, in two big databases of structured content (or controlled vocabularies, as librarians call it) – Freebase and DBpedia.

Common Tag is based on a small vocabulary defining:

  • A class Tag, which holds the metadata provided by a Common Tag for a specific Resource.
  • Two properties:
    • tagged (connects a document to the Tag)
    • means (connects the Tag to the concept’s URI)

There are also few subclasses and optional properties, you can have a look at the whole specification. Also, developers may feel free to make use of RDFa’s flexibility to extend the expressiveness of the Common Tag format.

An example of two tags indicating that the document is about Twitter (DBpedia URI) and Web 2.0 (Freebase URI):

<body xmlns:ctag="" rel="ctag:tagged">
    <span typeof="ctag:Tag"
              rel="ctag:means" resource="http://dbpedia/resource/Twitter" />

    <span typeof="ctag:Tag"
              rel="ctag:means" resource="" />

Faviki has implemented the Common Tag format (check out the extracted RDFa from Faviki Semantic Web topic page), and we hope that our users will benefit from it, as more publishers, developers and end users join in supporting the Common Tag format.

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5 Responses to “Common Tag Standard is released!”

  1. This is really GREAT news. As simple as can be. Bravo, bravo, bravo.

  2. […] käyttööni Favikin, joka on ollut yhdessä Yahoo!:n ja muutaman muun tahon kanssa kehittämässä Common Tagia: The Common Tag format was developed to address the current shortcomings of tagging and help […]

  3. @Bernard

    Thanks! I am glad you like it!

  4. ajbadd Says:


    This is a great project and I am a fan! I have a suggestion for you in terms of UI – Pictures!

    People are suckers for pictures. Your UI is cool and very easy to use but I suspect more pictures in the site .. like pictures of topics that are trending or pictures on your page that represent your interests… will aid in making faviki more mainstream. Surely, working so closely with Zemanta, that should not be too much for you guys to whip up.

    keep up the good work!


  5. @ajbadd

    Thanks for the feedback. I’m glad you like Faviki and find it easy to use!

    Yes, pictures are important, but it is still hard to find (semantically) relevant (and copyright cleared) pictures, even with Zemanta. Hope the situation will be better with the growth of the Web of data.

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