Monday, June 1, 2009

SLQ's Week 6 Folksonomies and Tagging

This fortnight we are looking at tagging and folksonomies , and the tools that enable us to create and share our content.  I like the idea of tagging, and have been using tags for some years now to add what I perceive to be keywords,  that will help describe my content.  I love the word folksonomy, or the unstructured categorization scheme that tagging is part of.  It at first glance seems in direct contrast to the Library's taxonomy, or formal categorization scheme, but I think eventually we will end up with a combination of both.  One of my friends is writing an essay for her Grad Dip on this topic, and I have enjoyed discussing this topic with her.

I have rediscovered, a social bookmarking tool that uses tags to bookmark my favourite web locations in the cloud.  This means I can access my information from which ever computer I choose to sign in on.  I have always meant to get around to using Delicious, but am determined to import my favourites from home and work and then retag them so I can always have access to them.  It is funny that as I write this I am following a discussion on twitter on this exact topic!

I have been using Technorati for a few years also, and have found it a great way to find new blogs on a certain subject.   What I love even more is the Technorati State of the Blogosphere an annual report that provides an in depth look at the who, what, when and where of blogging, how to use it for profit and how brands enter the blogosphere.  It is always a good read.

Library Thing is another web tool that uses tagging for classification.  I love my Library Thing account, and try each month to update it (though I sometimes forget).  It is a great way to keep track of what I have read, but also to find new authors.  I love scrolling through other people's accounts and reading their book titles.  I have often used this to source a new author!  Though this in no way compares to real conversations with customers as to their likes and dislikes and suggestions.  I can admit to actually reading and finishing my first Nora Roberts book on the advice of a customer just last week, and discovered Patricia Briggs and Linda Le Plante from conversations at the help desk! But Library Thing is truly the next best thing as it facilitates through tagging the 'if you like.... you will like ....'

 The Horizon report (2007) has this to say:
"A little group of Web 2.0 technologies—tagging and folksonomic tools, social bookmarking sites, and sites that make it easy to contribute ideas and content—is placing the power of media creation and distribution firmly into the hands of “the people formerly known as the audience” (Rosen, 2006). No longer satisfied to be consumers of content, today’s audience creates content as well. Producing, commenting, and classifying are just as important as the more passive tasks of searching, reading, watching, and listening."

I love this quote as it alludes to the notion of engagement, active participation. 'No longer satisfied to be consumers of content.... but creating content as well(Horizon Report, 2007).  Now if only we can provide services that allow our customers to do this!

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