Whenever I hear "tag", I always think of the childhood game and start to think I should run as fast as I can for fear that I may become "it". Microsoft’s Tag program is more similar to the urban "gang" definition of "tagging" where a gang spray-paints a symbol in a public location to let people know that they were there. The difference is that Microsoft’s version isn’t vandalism, and it’s actually quite useful. What they do is put a barcode comprised of different colored (or shaded) triangles onto a form of print media which you can then scan with your smart phone. When you scan the tag, your mobile browser will open up and take you to the website associated with the tag.
Here is an example of a tag that will take you to joshmartell.com:
I have started seeing Tags more and more often. They are frequent on Microsoft ads for SQL Server in magazines such as eWeek. I saw one on an ad for Halo Wars in my little brother’s Game Informer magazine. I even heard rumor that an environmental group had used it on a billboard!
Advertising is a great use for Tag since it allows you to give the people interested in your ad much more information without cluttering it up. I think that tags will soon be common on many products and used to compare prices between stores while out shopping. Wouldn’t that be great?!
Do you use Tag? What do you think? Let me know in the comments!