Monetizing Your Tag Cloud

I have had some struggle with this concept. I am a huge advocate of folksonomy, the mother ideology behind the now ubiquitous social media practice of tagging and the use of tag clouds. I love tag clouds, I love searching by tags-- and was a little irked when after Upcoming.org was acquired by Yahoo earlier this year that their big, gorgeous tag cloud was relegated to an anonymous URL that I had to get by contacting them and requesting it. At any rate, the latest monetizing scheme to pop up in the ever-evolving social media enterprise is monetizing the tag cloud. The catch-22 is that I often tell my clients just how important their tagging is-- it is not just throwing up keywords to posts, but that tagging is a conscientious marketing scheme. A prominently displayed tag cloud on a web site or blog instantly informs your reader of the kind of content they will find throughout the site. Making sure the most interesting and relevant tags to your demo appear largest is key. I suppose the next logical step after this is monetizing those tags if say, on your fashion blog Barney's wishes to have prominence in your tag cloud. Still, a part of me wonders if monetizing your tag cloud is as bad as paid editorial? Its almost as bad as Vibrant Media's "solutions" of in-text and popover video ads polluting publishers' content. I mean, where do we draw the line between monetizing and fair advertising and questionable journalistic ethics? At any rate, Ads-click is one of the first to offer bloggers the chance to monetize their tags, it will be interesting to see if this practice catches on.

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