What value does a user-generated folksonomy offer in comparison with a taxonomy designed by information professionals?
What is a Folksonomy?
Informal tags created by communities of users of such sites as Flickr and Delicious to enable content searching. Created by the user for the user.
- serendipitous browsing
- constantly evolving
- chaos through democracy
- accuracy not so important
- used for ‘fast moving’ content within a constantly evolving social media NOT for managing high value content where reuse and access are critical
- poor precision and accuracy (although in certain sites where content is so great such as Flickr this might not be such a problem)
- no checking
- lacks structure of a thesauri
- no controlled vocabulary
- poor browsing facility
However, as Lemieux points out integration of Taxonomy and Folksonomy is possible.
– some control is required but the two can co-exist. For example, Ann Arbour public library where patrons can tag, leave reviews and star-rate an item which has also been catalogued by a traditional taxonomy
– taxonomy directed tagging: suggested tags from a controlled vocabulary, avoids navigating a hierarchy and achieves consistency
– taxonomy influenced tagging for specific fast moving content, which can capture popular terms which could then be deployed on high value content to enrich a taxonomy