Tagging API for ASP.Net

December 29, 2005


Tagging API for ASP.Net

After coming up blank on a robust tagging API for ASP.Net apps, and wanting to incorporate this functionality into new versions of most Speerio products, I decided to create one. Along the way, I took a good, hard look at many websites to see how they implemented the UI for tagging. In most cases, everyone ripped Flickr’s UI. This is fine, but in the process they also copied some of limitations of the Flickr UI.

I took a clean-slate approach and decided I wanted to communicate more than just popularity through the tag cloud. The relative age of an item is just as relevant as how often an item is tagged with a certain tag, therefore I decided to introduce the concept of “age” into my tagging API. At a glance, the tag cloud not only tells you which items are more popular, but also which ones have newer/older information.

This ability to convey both popularity and age through a single UI is going to be an important feature of the (clean-slate) discussion forum I am creating. Imagine if you will, a discussion forum that is devoid of categorized groups of sub-forums, with only a tag cloud for navigation. If you’re looking for a solution or an answer to a question, you can instantly find all posts relevant to a keyword of interest to you simply by clicking on it. And then, you can explore clusters of related information to find the handful of posts that are most applicable to your situation. No paging through hundreds of posts only to find content that has no bearing on your situation. And if you want to browse, just click on “age” and you’ll see the topics that have been most recently posted.

Getting back to the API, here’s a screen grab of the cloud which can be added to any ASP.Net page or control with one line of code. The entire UI is customizable with CSS and works identically on IE and FireFox (should work on other browsers too, but I haven’t tested).


I also wanted to automate the detection of clusters between tags and users. I didn’t think this was information that was relevant on the main cloud UI, so I created a context-menu which allows a user to display a cross-browser, modal dialog containing more information about the tag.


I’ll have more details about the tagging API soon and an online demo in the next few days.


Founder NftyDreams; founder Decentology; co-founder DNN Software; educator; Open Source proponent; Microsoft MVP; tech geek; creative thinker; husband; dad. Personal blog: http://www.kalyani.com. Twitter: @techbubble
Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.