Machine tagging the BBC
I'd like to propose an experiment. If you ever publish a photograph on Flickr that features, or is otherwise related to, a BBC TV or radio programme you might think about machine tagging* it with the programme's unique identifier. First find the programme's unique PID (that's the 8 character ID you find in /programmes or iPlayer URLs; the "b00lj1nc" in http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00lj1nc), then add a Flickr tag that looks like this...
That's it, the photo is now machine tagged. Machines can now discover that this photo refers to this programme. This is a rather trivial example; my radio tuned to Any Questions on BBC Radio 4. If you click through and check the tags on Flickr you'll see something that looks like the machine tag above.
So it might be that you took the picture because you really enjoyed listening to something, but more interesting would be a location of a show, or pictures from when you were in the audience, or maybe you've taken a picture of something or someone that was featured in a programme...
Statue of the Venezuelan revolutionary, Francisco de Miranda, as featured on In Our Time
By machine-tagging these photos you will be helping machines connect things together and create new paths for people to find both BBC programmes and your photos. Sites like Upcoming, last.fm, Dopplr, MusicBrainz and OpenLibrary already support machine tags and are often connected to Flickr. Some people are even machine tagging sightings of threatened wildlife. An event/place/book page can then point to the machine-tagged photo page on Flickr and the photo page can point back to the event/place/book page. And, of course, it's not just photos that you can tag like this, you could machine tag your blog posts about BBC programmes or your social bookmarks or even your tweets. As an example, the BBC could use machine tags to point to your photos from our programme pages or use them to illustrate a blog post.
All these machine tags will be helping to connect and link different pools of data on the web which are currently unconnected. And that's what the web should be about - linking things.
* Machine tags are specially formatted tags that people add to their photos (or other things on the web). The format of these tags (a namespace, a predicate and a value) mean that machines can work out what they refer to. Read more about machine tags here and here.