social bookmarking (week 7 readings)

In this weeks’s reading, the topic is mainly about tagging and social bookmarking. In Hammond et al.’s article, they introduced the basic concept in social bookmarking and gave a brief introduction on history. Also they discussed why use tag and some issues related to tagging. Finally, authors proposed that the social bookmarking could be used at the academic setting because the current technology not only stores user-supplied tags, but also provides citation metadata terms which could possibly be used on electronic publishing. There is the second article on this topic “social bookmarking tools (II)”, but I’ve not got a chance to read it. I believe it’s going to talk more on the application of social bookmarking.

Rainie’s article’s about tags. He discussed how taggings work, who taggers are and why use tagging. He also identified the trend of using tagging and thought that tagging sites were getting more popular. In his interview with Weinberger, he pointed out some problems associated with tagging. These problems are also discussed in Hammond et al.’s article, such as lack of standard and ambiguous tags.

Mathes discussed an interesting term “Folksonomy” which is the combination of “folk” and “taxonomy”. He pointed out that an important aspect of a folksonomy is that is comprised of terms in a flat namespace: that is, there is no hierarchy, and no direct specified parent-child or sibling relationships between these terms. So these folksonomies are the set of terms that a group of users used. Therefore, these terms might be meaningful to their owners or a small group of people in a limited field, but other people won’t really understand what it’s about. As a result, there are some problems related to folksonomy, such as ambiguity or synonym. At the end, the author talked about the potential research on tagging, including quantitative and qualitative tag analysis. These researches could help us use the strength of tagging and apply it in different fields.

Udell mentioned in his article that tagging is very powerful and it helps people organize their blogs and articles. However, the example he used also demonstrated the serious problem. Piquepaille said that he won’t be able to collect a full archieve of his posts even using keyword searching, but after using tags, he could open del.icio.us and get the posting. The problem is if you write the article, but you still could not find it, then who’s able find it? Same as tags, you are the only person know what the tag is, who else could possibly know? So hopefully, the future of tagging could follow the way Udell described, “self-interested use leads to collective abundance.”

Hollenback introduced a new expended del.icio.us, nutr.itio.us. The most useful feature of nutr.itio.us is that it knows the most common del.icio.us tags associated with whatever page you are attempting to bookmark. He mentioned that when you tag a paper, nutr.itio.us helps you by allowing you to pick from the tags you have previously used. I think this is a great feature because it potentially reduces the ambiguity and provides a relatively fixed vocabulary. In addition, he discussed some others new applications, such as extisp.icio.us and cocoal.icio.us, and they are all very useful tools.

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