Lecture 15: Folksonomy Module 6 Dr. Jessica Laccetti
Outline• Key Ideas• Folksonomy and Thomas Vander Wal• Good and Bad Tag Clouds• General Rules• Homework
Key Ideas• Folksonomy as social activity• The erosion or at least blurring of hierarchies and oppositions• The impossibility of identity• What are some current views about the emergence and diffusion of media?
Folksonomy• Folksonomy is the result of personal free tagging of information and objects (anything with a URL) for ones own retrieval.• The tagging is done in a social environment (usually shared and open to others).• Folksonomy is created from the act of tagging by the person consuming the information.
The "f-word" (as Vander Wal puts it)allows "regular" folks to categoriseor structure information in a waythat is pertinent to them (i.e.personalised).
Folksonomy• As the name suggests, its a taxonomy made by the folks – user generated definitions and information structures.• But folksonomy is just a part of a larger idea: tagging.• Tagging is the tying of words to objects.• Vander Wall explains that this method of tagging has less "cognitive load" for users because it’s about key words rather than some kind of overlying systemic planning• I see it more of a free–form way of categorising information – personalising it
Folksonomy• Folksonomy is a subset of tagging – identifying/categorising for personal use, “re– finding” information• This aspect of personalisation has important impacts for the business sector in that it allows businesses a view of their product from the customers point of view.• Again, Vander Wal gives a funny example of how tagging can affect your product by showing a cd available on amazon.com (see here) and how it was tagged:
Folksonomy• You wouldnt want your product labelled as "talentless" would you...?• So, with the help of folksonomy, businesses can move from their "top down" approach to a more open and realistic understanding of their product (or at least how it is perceived).
Folksonomy• People/users/taggers are moving from employing tags as descriptors for solely personal use to, the other end of the spectrum, where tags seem to be jumping off points for dialogues and stories
Flickr and Folksonomy• Have you noticed on flickr how some photos start so many stories?• Tags: pebbles, rocks, flag: http://www.flickr.com/photos/omnia/90953407/• Tags: moose, encounter: http://www.flickr.com/photos/lesec/258467874/• Tags: fall, leaves:• http://www.flickr.com/photos/robinthom/52759 426/
General Rules• For me, a good tag cloud makes information accessible to those who are interested in it.• Tag clouds with a gazillion different terms look "messy" to me.• Do NOT include spam in tag clouds - that just changes the whole positive participatory idea behind folksonomy.• Also, if taggers use a lot of similar words like: blogger, blog, blogging, blogs - that just adds to the mess.• Stick to uppercase or lowercase and decide whether youll use singular or plural terms (blog or blogs? FirstName or firstname?)
Tagging• Is dynamic• Offers serendipity (not structure)• Reflects changing ideas• Changing communication
Why Tag?• Access to information• Useful for sorting (according to the user)• Aggregation tool• Social communication
Activity• Go to Wordle.net and click “create”• Open another tab and search for a job ad that you would like to apply for (now or eventually)• Copy the job ad and paste it into WORDLE• What are the key tags that appear• Has the tag cloud made certain elements of the position more clear?• Add your thoughts as a comment on today’s blog post
Homework• Create your own Delicious login and bookmark two sites pertinent to this course. – Be sure to include the course tag: ALES204, and send to me using: for:ALES204.• Biba will guest lecture on Friday, be ready to send 3 critically literate tweets!