"On the fly" tagging is important because many new ideas (half-baked ones) are hard to explain. Tagging is not categorizing but a way for us to informally describe how we feel about something in our own words. Malcolm Gladwell, author of "The Tipping Point " and "Blinks" offers some anecdotes on why we can’t trust people’s opinions — because we don’t have the language to express our feelings (audio file from IT conversations with Mr. Gladwell). BTW Pay attention to the "poster theory". I believe that using simple words and metaphors - tags - we can ascribe new meaning to our feelings about new ideas without really committing to them.Tags and folksonomies are messy and less restrictive, but so is the creative process. We all deal with things from our own frame of reference but with something new, we do not have a reference. We have to make something up - anything. Tag it as a thingy. We can play with tags because they are fluid and temporary."How long does a bold idea remain a whimsical spark before it is blessed and permitted to take shape in the world?" Evelyn Rodriguez from "Fitting In Isn't Exactly Innovation and It's Not Exactly Marketing Either". As the idea evolves and takes shape, the tags become richer and fan out. It becomes easier for us to invent better tags (words and metaphors) to describe it, especially if others are permitted to tag the same idea.The tags grow with the idea and new categories are born.Can we predict events with tags. General Inquirer applied to blogs From Dave Weinberger's Joho The Blog, "Berkman's Henrick Schneider ...talks about some quick research he's done using General Inquirer, "A computer-assisted approach for content analyses of textual data" by Philip Stone.""Applied more broadly — Ethan suggests looking at the top 100 technorati-ranked bloggers — this could be quite interesting. We kicked around other ideas, e.g., looking at the deviation among US MSM, foreign media and bloggers on a particular topic."This gets back to "The wisdom of crowds." "The wisdom of crowds comes not from the consensus decision of the group, but from the aggregation of the ideas/thoughts/decisions of each individual in the group." Kathy Sierra post, "One of us is smarter than all of us."What's the rate of adoption for a new idea? Who holds the tag? Who are the linkors? What about the long tail concept of the powercurve? Hey, maybe tags are a way to signal that we are interested but not ready to comitt. What say you?