Some key ideas to consider during this class:
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?
Thomas Vander Wal, who coined the term, folksonomy, defines it as:
"Folksonomy is the result of personal free tagging of information and objects (anything with a URL) for one's 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 categorise or structure information in a way that is pertinent to them (i.e. personalised).
As the name suggests, it's 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. I think 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 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.
Q1. Are their any drawback to employing a taxonomy created by the folks?
Especially if one considers the marketing of products (such as your own book).
Q2. I’ve shared with you my interpretation of what makes a *good* tag cloud. What makes a tag cloud good in your opinion?
Q3. Can tag clouds alter the perception of a text (think of Vander Wal’s Amazon example). Also have a look at Janet Harris’s use of Tag Crowd to analyse the MSNBC Democratic debate and how these tag clouds affect our thinking of the texts: (aside: isn't there loads of interesting stuff here...note who is the only person to mention women..also note the use of "America" but one candidate chooses only to say American, keeping it more personal?)