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Playing Tag : Cataloging by the Crowd
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Playing Tag : Cataloging by the Crowd


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  • 1. Playing Tag: Cataloging by the Crowd
      • Elizabeth B. Thomsen
      • Member Services Manager
      • NOBLE: North of Boston Library Exchange
      • [email_address]
  • 2. Traditional Taxonomy
    • "A Place for Everything, and Everything in Its Place"
    • Shelf-oriented: We have to decide the primary subject for a work so we can put it somewhere
    • There’s always a top-down hierarchy
  • 3. Catalogers
    • We strive for logic, order and consistency
    • We provide access through authorized headings, controlled vocabulary and properly-constructed Library of Congress Subject Headings
    • Learn the system, and then apply it to all new material
  • 4. Not So Simple
    • Many works are about more than one thing
    • Many subjects are “point up” to two or more higher subjects
    • Any decision is wrong for some of your users
    • We mitigate by adding links and pointers: See and See Also references, added entries, keyword searching, etc.
  • 5. Wikipedia
    • Cataloging issues: establish a subject, redirect users from other terms
    • A simple redirect can take users from the unauthorized term to the one being used
  • 6. Disambiguation Pages
    • Used when a subject has more than one meaning, including topics, geographic and personal names
    • Disambiguation pages have organized, annotated lists of all the different topics using the same term
    • Death Penalty
  • 7. Two Paths to Disambiguation
    • Best Guess: If there is one article that is the most likely, Wikipedia will redirect the user to that article, but offer a link to the disambiguation page
    • User Must Choose: If there is no most likely article, the user must choose
    • Van Gogh | Mercury
  • 8. Flickr
    • Photosharing site
    • Members tag their photos for their own convenience, but also to share them
    • Members may allow others to add tags
    • Groups use tags to create galleries
    • Many informal games and projects use tags
  • 9. Flickr Tags
    • Most common tags: subjects and places
    • Other tags: medium, technical details, mood, color, geotagging
    • No synonym control
    • Informal rules tend to develop at all levels
    • Many members use multiple tags for the same concept: mass and massachusetts
  • 10. How Useful are Flickr Tags
    • Aboutness more difficult to determine for photographs than text
    • Place names: tag all by place taken, or use only when the place is significant? Use hierarchy for place names?
    • What about tags like “me” and “cute”?
  • 11. Flickr Examples
    • Flickr Current Tags – This is the main tags page, with the most popular tags from the past few days, plus all the most popular tags
    • My Tag Cloud – A member’s tag cloud
    • Boston | Boston Clusters | Cute Clusters
  • 12. Flickr: Exploration
    • Flickr tags are useful for exploration and discovery
    • You can’t find everything, and probably wouldn’t want to
    • Tags have to be seen in context: groups, projects, contacts, clustering, interestingness, etc.
    • Flickr search is weak
  • 13.
    • Social bookmarking site
    • Members save things here for their own use, share them and get recommendations
    • Members tag items for their own convenience, but also to share and find additional resources
  • 14. Tag Features
    • Recommend: When you tag an item, the system presents recommended tags based on what other people have used, one click to add those. Tends to reduce synonym and spelling errors
    • Tag bundles: Members can create sets of related tags for their own use, adds a little hierarchy and organization
  • 15. Examples
    • Main Page
    • Main Tag Display
    • Most Popular Tags
    • Display of tag: opensource
  • 16. CiteULike
    • Academic social bookmarking site
    • Similar to, Furl and others
    • Members tag citations for articles, books, websites, etc.
    • Broad folksonomy : Many people tagging the same citations
    • CiteULike
  • 17. LibraryThing
    • Social cataloging system for books
    • Members catalog their personal book collections; can also be used for small organization libraries, booklists, etc.
    • Imports cataloging from LC, Amazon and other sources
    • Members add tags to books in their collection
  • 18. LibraryThing Tags
    • Members use tags for all sorts of things: subjects, genre, theme, location, gift notes, and designations like tbr (to be read)
    • Tags are used to organize the member’s collection, and for exploration of the site as a whole
  • 19. LibraryThing Synonyms
    • LibraryThing allows premium members to link duplicate tags
    • Only affects the global view of the tags, not the actual tags
    • Only true duplicates should be linked
    • Linking is noted, and can be undone
  • 20. LibraryThing Tag Examples
    • Tag Cloud
    • Author Cloud
    • Zeitgeist
    • Selected Tag: Complexity
    • Synonyms: Cooking
    • Tag Combining: Recipes
  • 21. Future Directions
    • More recommended tags based on tags on the same or similar works; the users own tags, etc.
    • More spelling help: “Did you mean…”
    • More synonym control for searching, as in LibraryThing
    • Use of algorithms to assist in synonym control
    • Translation tools for tag searching
    • Private tags
  • 22. Library Catalog Ideas
    • Use LibraryThing or something similar to allow library members to create and share their own tagged collections of titles.
    • Allow members to determine their own privacy settings for sharing lists. Include a real name option, like Amazon
    • Integrate social information into the catalog as an option
  • 23. Library Ideas, Cont’d
    • Encourage vendors to incorporate social bookmarking features into their personalization options
    • Add tag searching as an option
    • Harvest information from the social software for collection development, as website content, etc.
  • 24. Questions?
    • Elizabeth Thomsen
    • [email_address]