Tags are metadata attached to a piece of information that makes that information easier to find. With the rise of Web 2.0 collaboration, people are now tagging their images, friends, and blog posts. You’ll notice that most of my blog posts have tags which I have assigned and my blog has a cloud of tags at the top of the rightmost column in which the size of a given tag is correlated to how frequently it appears in my posts.
These tag clouds are not new and, in fact, many of us probably take them for granted. But the power of these tags can be harnessed by searching specifically for them. For example, https://en.wordpress.com/tag/esl/ links to a page that lists every blog post on WordPress that is tagged ESL. An RSS feed of this page is also provided so you can subscribe to this list via an RSS reader. Blogger, another popular blog-hosting service, which is owned by Google, does not seem to have a similar setup, but can be searched via Google’s blog search, which does not search exclusively within Blogger.
Twitter, the popular microblogging site, also allows searches for messages that are tagged with ESL on Twitter at https://twitter.com/search/%23ESL. Note that %23 is the way a # sign is encoded in a URL. Tags on Twitter are preceded by a #. If you just want to view messages that include ESL but are not tagged ESL, go to https://twitter.com/search/esl. The latter search is more inclusive, which may be a good thing or a bad thing.
Other online media also provide easy ways to search by tag, but these are among the most useful for building a personal learning network. Of course, you can always replace ESL in any of these URLs with any other search term you are interested in. Happy searching!