This looks somewhat interesting. Just launched, Common Tag

“is an open tagging format developed to make [ Web ] content more connected, discoverable and engaging. Unlike free-text tags, Common Tags are references to unique, well-defined concepts, complete with metadata and their own URLs.”

From what I read, it sounds a bit like herding cats — attempting to persuade (firstly) bloggers and social bookmarkers to use standardised vocabularies and terminology for content tagging. I suspect it’ll find difficulties in gaining traction, simply due to the sheer size of the Web. Nice logo, though…

commont

It would be interesting to see an academic version, which could auto-read a document and suggest and automatically embed (microformat or RDFa?) tags using the A&AT terms.

And I just found out about the Yahoo Search BOSS, which seems to have been around in mature form since late 08. It’s Yahoo’s competitor to Google CSE. It seems to have appeared during their recent takeover troubles, which doesn’t inspire confidence. However, it’s getting new features and appears to be under active development. New sorting functions have apparently been added to BOSS, offering sorting by date and/or a specified time range (although it seems that may be limited to custom News search?). There’s also a Python-driven mashup feature, although at present people seem to be using this to add rather naff-looking context-aware sidebars alongside search-results. There’s also a kicker in the small print…

In the near future, we will be introducing a fee structure for BOSS

If sorting by date was a feature that could be added to Google CSE results, and a keyword-targetted RSS feed was then allowed to run from that sorting, JURN could feed you a usable approximation of a rolling keyword-specific table-of-contents alert from 3,000+ ejournals. Does the current standard open access ejournal publishing software allow that sort of cross-journal alerting service, I wonder?