Benefits and Shortcomings of Folksonomies

Decent Essays
Social tagging, which originally emerged as means for users to describe, organize and share content, forming groups known as “folksonomies,” has challenged the traditional idea of organizing knowledge within information systems, raising questions whether tags and folksonomies might improve information retrieval, thus bridging the gap between lay persons and builders (Smith 136-139; Lee and Schiyer 1747-1748; Rolla 174-175; 182-183). In fact, folksonomies have been proposed an alternative way to organize and find information, such as Park, who applying the “information foraging theory,” proposed that since users naturally collect and evaluate results, folksonomies can help facilitate the discovery of information through tag- browsing, allowing users to find related tags classified by others(Smith 137; Park 515-518; 521-522). Yet, despite the uniqueness of this model, there could be shortcomings, because while tags serving as categories for browsing might be a good idea for smaller folksonomies, it would be difficult for a user to find all relevant items (recall) within a large folksonomy of thousands items, especially if the tags are broad, not connected by multiple terms, and the user is looking for specific information (Unit 1). Instead, tags would be more effective as indexing terms, something that has been explored for viability against library systems, such as in OPACS. Studies comparing tagging against indexing with OPACS have shown that OPACS run contrast to the
Get Access