There is an interesting article in Business 2.0 about the 'Flickrization of Yahoo'.
Indeed, the Flickr purchase helped ignite a larger strategy. Thanks to a new generation of managers like Butterfield and Fake, Yahoo is starting to see how user-generated content, or "social media," is a key weapon in its war against Google ('GOOG'). That upstart in neighboring Mountain View may have a better reputation for search, it may dominate online advertising, and it may always win when it comes to machines and math. But Yahoo has 191 million registered users. What would happen if it could form deep, lasting, Flickr-like bonds with them -- and get them to apply tags not just to photos, but to the entire Web? [Business 2.0 :: Magazine Article :: Features :: The Flickrization of Yahoo]An example is the new Shoposphere service, where Yahoo has introduced user assembled picklists, tagging, revenue sharing and APIs to encourage the development of 'conversations' which may drive sales. At the same time, Amazon has introduced tagging capability.
The more I see of tagging the more like a conversation it seems. As I say below ...
Given all that, I find the most interesting recent development to be the new search capacity on del.icio.us. It allows navigation within the aggregate personal choices of its users - in terms of tags and links. And in fact, as I used it, it struck me that following tags is like conversation in some ways: in each case, you get hints and pointers, you fork in different directions, you are at the intersection of a variety of interests, and you are woven into a fabric of reference which may have more or less to do with the world outside the conversation. [Lorcan Dempsey's weblog: Search results]
Shoposphere and Amazon references via Techcrunch.