Curated by: Luigi Canali De Rossi

Wednesday, January 5, 2005

User-Driven MetaData Definition: Tagging From The Roots

Transforming the creation of explicit content metadata from an isolated, professional activity into a shared, communicative activity by users, is an important development that should be explored and considered for future development of large repositories of digital content.

Photo credit: Justin Bird

True: Its uncontrolled nature is fundamentally chaotic, suffers from problems of imprecision and ambiguity that well developed controlled vocabularies and name authorities effectively ameliorate.

But:Conversely, systems employing free-form tagging that are encouraging users to organize information in their own ways are supremely responsive to user needs and vocabularies, and involve the users of information actively in the organizational system.



User-driven categorization systems can 'emerge.' "Once you have a preliminary system in place, you can use the most common tags to develop a controlled vocabulary that truly speaks the users' language."

Peter Merholz recommends using a folksonomy as the start of professionally designed controlled vocabularies.

In any case, grassroots content categorization is moving forward and with some clearly undisputed successes. Content managers, information architects, managers and librarians, here is my synthesys-edit of this must-read paper:

Folksonomies - Cooperative Classification and Communication Through Shared Metadata
Adam Mathes
Computer Mediated Communication - LIS590CMC
Graduate School of Library and Information Science
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

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posted by Robin Good on Wednesday, January 5 2005, updated on Tuesday, May 5 2015

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