Too me, it would be more natural to have tags with an initial upper case letter than a lower case letter, but that isn’t the case (pun intended). I hear no reason to why that is, but colleagues keep telling me to only use lower case while creating tags. I wonder if it may have to do with the fact that the tag itself is not created as a controlled vocabulary, managed by an Information Architect at all times. Instead a tag is a kind of folksonomy, driven and managed by its users from the bottom up. But I have no clue… I’m only guessing. Do you know why tags first letter is lower case?
Partly to do with the likely matching lower case of the word when found embedded in the relevant content.
Partly to provide a consistent nature to the tags without seeming to give any one tag preferential treatment or any sense of importance that is not due.
Partly to remove a layer of complication when creating, defining, exposing, using, sharing, translating, duplicating and implementing tags.
And importantly, partly because the tag is not a noun or a description or phrase nor any language related element - it is just a tag - a handle by which to pivot data around.
Is "all lower-case" a rule?
If you google "tag cloud images", you'll find all kinds of tags.
Example from Wikipedia:
The advantage I see for a pure lowercase situations, is that the tags could be used in a context where lowercase makes sense.
as opposed to
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ba da cha Nice. Ben, this is a great point. Tags with an upper-case first letter would be more readable, according to usability research. 50 Websites Deconstructed by Jacob Nielsen talks about this.
Just because they're input in lower-case doesn't mean we can't display them with the best convention. Input!=Output. I say convert the tags to have upper-case first letters. Great idea Ben.