Saturday, February 9, 2008

Folksonomies vs. Taxonomy

When we use social bookmarking services, we are helping to create a new way of organizing information to be used for research. In my cataloguing course we are learning about the importance of standard rules for organization to ensure access, yet social bookmarking is, as Richardson says, “run by millions of amateurs with no real training in classification”. There is clearly great potential for chaos in this kind of organization, although some argue that tagging allows us to see the way others interpret the information we are using, that participation is easy and that tagging data is helpful as new ways to find information. Folksonomies Tap People Power is a short but informative article about folksonomies created by tagging.


Jennifer said...

I think it would be interesting (and I am sure researchers and librarians are doing this) to have a real look at the folksonomies in comparison to subject headings. I bet that if you gave 1000 people to same website to tag they would come up with folksonomy that would be of more use to the average user than many of the other subject headings we use in librarianship. LCSH is so bizarre and maybe we actually need to build this from the ground up for real users rather than top down.

We certainly know that our users often have a hard time finding information the "old" way.

elizabeth said...

It would be an interesting experiment alright. I imagine it wont be long before there will be open source programs for libraries (like Fish4Info but more) that will use folksonomies instead of traditional subject headings. Does anyone know if something like this already exists? It would sure be interesting from the primary perspective.