Sunday, February 10, 2008

Tagging and Folksonomies

Tagging and folksonomy are terms that are affiliated with social bookmarking.I feel that they require some clarification in order to better understand how and why social bookmarking functions so effectively.
Will Richardson in his article Taming the Beast in School Library Journal(March 2007)retrieved from ProQuest, stated that the operating principle behind social bookmarking, tagging and folksonomies is if you find something interesting enough to save, odds are good that others will too and together using these tools we can build resource lists much more effectively than just working alone. I equate it to having your own personal support group. He went on to explain how tags work, that they are keywords that help you identify what a site is about. He gave a simple example of bookmarking Romeo and Juliet and adding tags such as 'Shakespeare', 'theatre', 'Romeo_and_Juliet' which would be used to retrieve the information. With tagging, there comes controversy as to the appropriatness of some tags, which I will discuss in another section of my blog.
Now, according to Richardson comes the really cool part!
The social bookmarking site where you have saved those tags becomes connected to similarly tagged content by other users. It's a 'homegrown taxonomy' for the Web, a 'folksonomy'. Folksonomy is a term created by the information architect Thomas VanderWal and combines the people or 'folks-y' approach to building a taxonomy. A user tags a video, image, bookmark or text in order to remember it later and then that information is added to the global tag cloud and helps to build a folksonomy.
I can definitely see that tagging, folksonomy and social bookmarking are interrelated. Using to tag a favorite '7 Things you should know about Social Bookmarking' has resulted in 495 other people who share my interest in this topic which is now a folksonomy! Amazing and fascinating!!

1 comment:

Linda Morgan said...

Loved the personal support group analogy!