Re: So, do tags *really* improve discussions?
In my mind, tags enable the discussion to a much larger scale and is best employed when the number of topics is extremely large (such as this forum or wordpress.org support). It allows people to group topics by the things that are important to them but still in a predefined category (or forum). While they may be talking about quite a few things (that would be picked up in a search), tags allow the users to define what was important to them. A ‘Coles Notes’ of their topic…so to speak.
I have had some great discussions on the benefits and cons of tags with my wife (as she prefers just categories) and I like the scalability of tags. Either way, with both employed we all win. It is a matter of opinion!