Computers in Libraries 2007: Folksonomies and Tagging

Folksonomies and Tagging
Elyssa Kroski

  • Tagging websites: Social media and social bookmarking, listmakers and social cataloging, blogging, Allows for organization, browsing, social recommendations, etc. The conglomoration of the tags of individual users forms a folksonomy.
  • Folksonomies are inclusive — location, education, political views, gender, race — all are included.
  • Folksonomies are current — they’re added to in real-time, and adapt
  • Folksonomies offer discovery — real-language assists browsing and creative finding
  • Folksonomies are non-binary — you can synonomize
  • Folksonomies are democratic — everyone gets to vote
  • The enormity of published information makes the traditional taxonomy and controlled vocabulary unmanageable solutions to organization. Resistance to Folksonomies is Futile.
  • Disadvantages: No synonym control/controlled vocabulary. Lack a hierarchy to guide users. Lack recall; never going to get everything in one search due to vagaries of tagging. Succeptible to gaming the system.
  • What’s next? Tag clusters & bundles (sort of creating the hierarchy/synonym control that’s not there now), deep tagging (tagging within an item, not just the entire item)

PennTags @ University of Pennsylvania BioMedical Library
Tags.library.upenn.edu

Robert Cagna

They are looking for partners, and want to make the project open source. Calling all volunteer schools! Also, go play with it. You can do anything except add tags; only University affiliates.

Bookmarking works well for what it does, but what it does is save a list of standard websites. PennTags was devised to allow deep tagging within the library’s holdings.

The tag clouds really indicates who has adopted the system – business, film, etc.

Can make your own homepage, can make tags private, — all linked to user account

PennTags links out to the source – catalog, SFX, publisher, whatever

Annotations can be added to any tagged item, within library catalog – so a record shows tags as well as commentary. [they’re using Voyager; no positive as to whether other ILS solutions can accommodate it. Any bets re: Ex Libris?]

Has a WYSIWYG editor, and RSS feeds.

Allows project creation (which can then be used to feed content to other web pages in real-time), and has been used as a new book list or could be used as a bibliography or subject guide [annotation features would make it spectacular for this – it’s a live web link system, but also has the possibility to make it subject/keyword accessible as well as sortable.]

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