Should via be a Tag?

When bookmarking or link posting, it’s proper etiquette to put in a “via” that indicates where you got the link from. I do this a lot in my own bookmarks in the descriptions, e.g., “(via mray)” or “(via sog)”. That great wunderkammer, boingboing is the prime example of this behavior, they’re really good at doing it.

For quite sometime, I’ve been fretting over whether I should do vias in as tags instead of parenthetical stuff in the descriptions: if I got a link from Matt Ray, I’d use the tag via:mray.


  • I could more easily see a list of links I’d gotten from people. I could even make a tag bundle out of it. (This is where smart tag bundles would be nice, so I could just say “put all tags that start with via: in this bundle.) Of course, it’d mean I’d want to do a tag search like via:* for all tags that start with via:. I’m not sure if the search syntax allows for this.
  • It’d be a cheap networking/link spelunking thing. If I used the same text in in the via tags as the person’s ID, you code something up to layer on a link between the two of them. That is, you could offer the feature: “If you liked this link, check out more links from the person who sent this to Coté”.
  • I can get an idea for who sends me the most links by counting up how many via:mray’s, fro example, I have.
  • People could subscribe to all links suggested by mray, scoped down to my bookmarks, or everyone’s bookmarks. That’s sort of like reverse bookmarking…or something.
  • People who send me links can track the effectiveness of sending me links. That is, if I like the link enough, I’ll bookmark it, slapping on the via: tag. So, folks who send me links can answer the question “which links that I sent Coté did he really like: like enough to go through the effort of bookmarking?”

How’s That Sound?

Yeah…. So…. Maybe I’ll start doing that. Anyone else do this? Have any thoughts?

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