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Abstract

Two sites for tagging, one in China (i.e., 365Key) and one in the USA (i.e., Del.icio.us) are compared in terms of tagging mechanisms and tags created. In general, the Chinese tagging site provides its users with more pre-set functions whereas its American counterpart gives more freedom to its taggers. Our findings also show that tagging, like many other information behaviors, is greatly influenced by and stamped with the social and cultural traditions existing in each country. Taggers in both countries, however, do tend to choose terms of same or similar meanings, indicating that tagging, regardless of where it is done and where the tagger is from, is usually done according to the fundamental rules in indexing (e.g., nouns or noun phrases as tags). On the other hand, tagging as an activity unique in the networked environment for loosely representing and organizing all kinds of information, does not seem equal to keyword indexing which has been done in producing database systems (e.g., InfoTrac) and search engines (e.g., Google).