Thursday, April 28, 2005

Newsweek article on "tagging"

In the April 18, 2005, issue of Newsweek, "The Technologist" column is about "tagging," sites like Flickr and, that collect users labels for things. These "things" can be absolutely anything - the great thing about the Internet is that communities can appear almost instantaneously around anything at all. These labels can then be used to generate a folksonomy. There's a lot of buzz out there about folksonomies right now on the Web, and it's well-deserved. It's cool stuff. It provides such a great sense of how REAL PEOPLE (who?) think about things.

I'm enough of a skeptic to think it's not practical for libraries to switch wholesale to folksonomy-type endeavors for subject access, but surely there are ways in which we can capitalize on the wealth of relevant information being generated out there. I've been interested for some time in incorporating user-contributed to a project I work on. My plugs for this to date have used Wikis as examples - I think I'm going to have to add folksonomies to my spiel!


Ivan Chew said...

I've been thinking if it's high time libraries started revamping the "user education" classes and incorporating "tagging" as a regular feature. OR maybe even a "Blogging 101" course even, and along the way, we let them know why we have DDC and LC. Not that we want them to adopt DDC or LC strictly, but I think they might better appreciate this aspect of librarianship.

Jenn Riley said...

I absolutely agree! Great point. We need to know what our users know about emerging technologies. We can't afford to sit back and see what catches on. If we do that we'll have been left too far behind.