Of course, one of the funniest things about Youtube is the tags users apply to their videos. In fact, this phenomenon (bad Youtube tags) was the subject of a Tony award winning play “An Extremely Elongated Nose-stick is Speechless,” written by P. Nocchio. It is interesting to note, however, that the poor choice of tags used to describe Youtube videos is not purely a product of Youtube users. The inanity in Youtube tags is traceable in part to Youtube’s tagging system.
Youtube describes tags as “keywords that describe videos.” As an example, Youtube provides the following scenario: “a surfing video might be tagged with ‘surfing,’ ‘water,’ and ‘waves.’” According to Youtube, “[u]sers who enjoy watching surfing videos can then search for any of those terms and that video will show up in their search results.” You will notice, however, that you cannot tag a surfing video with multiple word tags. As a result, users cannot tag a George Bush blooper as “George Bush” or better yet “Bush, George W.” This was, of course, the example that P. Nocchio utilized so deftly in his play -- the lines being haughtily spoken by A Medium-Sized Nasal Protuberance.
So, if Youtube wants to truly implement effective free tagging, the website should allow for multiple-worded tags. Of course, it is conceivable that Youtube users might not exactly understand this powerful new feature, tagging a George Bush video as “really funny” instead of just “funny.”