07 December 2007

A Moot of Folksonomies

Being a rigorous sort of chap, I was sceptical about folksonomies - ad-hoc tags. But over time I've come to appreciate their power - and the fact that once people start using them routinely, the combined body of folksonomic knowledge becomes quite impressive.

But the obvious question is: what lies beyond the simple tag? Myabe this kind of thing:

GroupMe! extends the idea of social tagging systems like del.icio.us, Flickr or BibSonomy by introducing the group dimension. The foundation of social tagging systems are so-called folksonomies, which describe how users (folks) tag resources (e.g. photos, videos, publications, etc.). In technical terms a folksonomy is just a collection of tag assignments:

(User, Tag, Resource) = User has tagged Resource with Tag at a particular time.

Over time it is likely that semantics emerge, e.g. tags that are often assigned to same resources may be synonyms. Hence, folksonomies are promising to improve (web) search, etc. With GroupMe!'s approach of taggable groups we extend tag assignments with a group dimension:

(User, Tag, Group, Resource) = User has tagged Resource with Tag in a certain Group at a particular time.

This prompts the next question: what do we call these groups? I vote a "moot".

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