Vance blogged all he had learned about students finding each other through blog tags here:
Stevens, V. (2008). All I know about Blogging and Microblogging. AdVancEducation. Retrieved March 14, 2008 from:
http://advanceducation.blogspot.com/2008/02/all-i-know-about-blogging-and.html



Here is what Vance intends for this course (from conversation with Rita Apr 2, 2007)

Students
each student and teacher should start a blog, a bloglines account, and a del.icio.us account.
See http://www.vancestevens.com/blogs.htm for blog suggestions
and http://www.vancestevens.com/rss_edu.htm for an explanation of RSS and bloglines

The students will learn how tagging works and how to interact wth each other's blogs by aggregating the ones they want to follow in their bloglines accounts http://www.bloglines.com .

I would like in this course to engage students (and teachers) who will write using blogs
it is important that the students write something OTHER than assignments in class
They should write what genuinely interests them, and keep blogs as online journals

We hope to have students from different backgrounds, cultures, so that they find it appealing to read each other's blogs.

If we have several classes doing this (Nelba in La Plata and Rita in Rosario, Argentina, and if Doris joins from Venezuela) then students might find a small set of blogs they want to follow.

Teaches would ask them to to explore the available blogs and find two or three they want to comment on then they can subscribe to those blogs

When students write they need to TAG their entries -from the start, get them tagging
all items created for this course should be tagged writingmatrix this could include photos on flickr and lots of other web 2.0 materials

Tagging is used by del.icio.us http://del.icio.us and technorati http://www.technorati.com
now, if the students tag their posts then we should start turning up stuff under writingmatrix shortly if we get them to tag in del.icio.us things they are reading of each others then pretty soon they can see who's reading THEM . Then they can follow that person's blogs writingmatrix is just one of the tags they would tag their posts with other words as well (tags can be any word someone uses to catagorize a blog post or web artifact, like a photo).
writingmatrix is the anchor tag and should be common to all our web artifacts

Emily has a post explaining how she uses del.icio.us to find tagged blogs
http://eweinb04.blogspot.com/2005/04/tagging-bookmarks-with-delicious-for.html

Teachers

What I plan to do is show the teachers how to aggregate their students' postings
and use the tags to aggregate content on the Internet

Motivation

Students should find theres a reason in doing this, and need motivation it should be an APPEALING experience, or else they wont be interested in "tagging", thats OUR interest - their interest will not be aroused by "tagging" they just want to use English and learn more about the language, thats why I insist on motivation.

So the basic issue is to show how tagging IS interesting It's what makes the social networking work they should have an intrinsic interest in "tagging" themselves tagging will put people with similar interests in touch this has to be conveyed to students AND teachers .

Students will not likely understand "tagging" from the start, only once I tell them and they see how they can connect and learn from other people
teachers need to understand the concept in order to make it work

But first of all, they need another source of interest: getting in contact with REAL people from somewhere else so that they become interested in communicating with them.

Basically if you use delicious then you tag pages you SEE with words you think they are about
you could tag YOUR pages the same way (using delicious, what you think they are about)
if writingmatrix is ONE of the tags then students in this project will come on the pages with writingmatrix and can follow whatever other tags are there if they are interested in them

With delicious you can see who's tagging YOUR pages for example, if I tag one of my pages I can find who else has read that page and tagged it
obviously must have liked it to tag it
I can then click on that person's name and see what else they have tagged
follow those tags

I still want to learn how technorati works
I'm working with Bee on that one (need to update it) http://beevance.wikispaces.com
it's a difficult concept to grasp and communicate to others