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Folksonomies and Tagging: Libraries & the Hive Mind Tom Reamy Chief Knowledge Architect KAPS Group Knowledge Architecture Professional Services

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Presentation on theme: "Folksonomies and Tagging: Libraries & the Hive Mind Tom Reamy Chief Knowledge Architect KAPS Group Knowledge Architecture Professional Services"— Presentation transcript:

1 Folksonomies and Tagging: Libraries & the Hive Mind Tom Reamy Chief Knowledge Architect KAPS Group Knowledge Architecture Professional Services

2 2 Agenda Introduction - Themes Essentials of Folksonomies – Advantages, Disadvantages, and Dangers of Folksonomies Improving the Quality of Folksonomies – Facets and Flickr – – Topics, Popularity and Findability – LibraryThing – facets, topics, and weirdness Folksonomies and Libraries – What Wont Work – What Might Work – Semantic Infrastructure Approach – Evolving Folksonomies Conclusion

3 3 KAPS Group: General Knowledge Architecture Professional Services Virtual Company: Network of consultants – Partners – Convera, Inxight, Siderean, FAST, etc. Consulting, Strategy, Knowledge architecture audit Taxonomies: Enterprise, Marketing, Insurance, etc. Services: – Taxonomy development, consulting, customization – Technology Consulting – Search, CMS, Portals, etc. – Metadata standards and implementation – Knowledge Management: Collaboration, Expertise, e-learning – Applied Theory – Faceted taxonomies, complexity theory, natural categories

4 4 2.0 Themes Tags are great because you throw caution to the wind, forget about whittling down everything into a distinct set of categories and instead let folks loose categorizing their own stuff on their own terms." - Matt Haughey - MetaFilter Its MySpace meets YouTube meets Wikipedia meets Google – on steroids. Its ignorance meets egotism meets bad taste meets mob rule – on steroids. – The Cult of the Amateur – Andrew Keen Things fall apart; the center cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,… The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are full of passionate conviction. - The Second Coming – W.B. Yeats

5 5 Essentials of Folksonomies? Wikipedia: A folksonomy is an Internet-based information retrieval methodology consisting of collaboratively generated, open-ended labels that categorize content such as Web pages, online photographs, and Web links. A folksonomy is most notably contrasted from a taxonomy – done by users, not professionals, Example sites – and Flickr (not really – no feedback) It is just metadata that users add Key – social mechanism for seeing other tags

6 6 Advantages of Folksonomies Simple (no complex structure to learn) – No need to learn difficult formal classification system Lower cost of categorization – Distributes cost of tagging over large population Open ended – can respond quickly to changes Relevance – Users own terms Support serendipitous form of browsing Easy to tag any object – photo, document, bookmark Better than no tags at all Getting people excited about metadata!

7 7 Disadvantages of Folksonomies - Quality They dont work very well for finding – Re-finding is of marginal value No structure, no conceptual relationships – Flats lists do not a onomy make Issues of scale – popular tags already showing a million hits Limited applicability – only useful for non-technical or non- specialist domains Either personal tags (others cant find) or popularity tags – lose interesting terms (Power law distribution) – Most people cant tag very well – learned skill Errors – misspellings, single words or bad compounds, single use or idiosyncratic use

8 8 Dangers of Folksonomies Unwisdom of Crowds – We find that whole communities suddenly fix their minds upon one object, and go mad in its pursuit; that millions of people become simultaneously impressed with one delusion, and run after it, till their attention is caught by some new folly more captivating than the first. – From witch hunts to tulipomania to stock market crash Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds Tyranny of the majority – Popularity drowns quality – Narrowing of choices, lost content Belief that hierarchy, taxonomy not needed

9 9 Will Social Networking make better Folksonomies? Not so far – example of – same tags Quality and Popularity are very different things Most people dont tag, dont re-tag Study – folksonomies follow NISO guidelines – nouns, etc – but do they actually work – see analysis (hint – no) Most tags deal with computers and are created by people that love to do this stuff – not regular users and infrequent users – Beware true believers!

10 10 Flickr Facets

11 11 Flickr Facets Faceted navigation – extremely powerful, easy to use to find – Combine strength of structure and personal perspectives Basic Facets – over 90% of content – Place – Amsterdam to Beach – 40% – Events, Date, People, Things / Animals, Color Subject Matter – less than 1% Works on lower level scales: – Artparade, tourofbritain, stgilesfair, hideoutblockparty (last weeks)

12 12 Tags Design blog software music tools reference art video programming webdesign web2.0 mac howto linux tutorial web free news photography shopping blogs css imported education travel javascript food games Development inspiration politics flash apple tips java google osx business windows iphone science productivity books toread helath funny internet wordpress ajax ruby research humor fun technology search opensource Photoshop media recipes cool work article marketing security mobile jobs rails lifehacks tutorials resources php social download diy ubuntu freeware portfolio photo movies writing graphics youtube audio online

13 13 - Topics, not Facets High level topics - photography, news, education Get related terms by popularity, not conceptual – Photography Synonyms - photo, photos Related – art, design, images, camera Related Facet – howto, tutorial, photoshop Popularity is not quality – Dominance of computer terms – Tyranny of the majority – design (1 MIL), interior design – 3,909 Top 25 – same set, slight order shift – social inertia – New terms - important – iphone, ipod,.net, ebooks,facebook – Dropped terms – adult, babes, britney, naked, sex, sexy

14 14 - Folksonomy Findability Too many hits (where have we heard that before?) – Design – 1 Mil, software – 931,259, sex – 129,468 No plurals, stemming (singular preferred) – Folksonomy – 14,073, folksonomies – 3,843, both – 1,891 – Blog-1.7M, blogs – 516,340, Weblog- 155,917, weblogs – 36,434, blogging – 157,922, bloging – 697 – Taxonomy – 9.683, taxonomies – 1,574 Personal tags – cool, fun, funny, etc – Good for social research, not finding documents or sites – How good for personal use? Funny is time dependent

15 15 Improving the Quality – Internet Sites Add automatic facets - Flickr – Design facet system – one time cost, some monitoring Cluster tags – Taxonomy / Ontology – Entity Extraction, populate facets and subjects – Types of relationships – ubuntu – tutorial, howto, reference, tips, install Add broad general taxonomy of most popular tags – Tags as natural categories – build up and down – Start – evolve a simple 2 level taxonomy Evolve quality of tags and emerging structure of tags – Preferred term = popular (Blog/blogs – Books/book) – Add mechanisms – rank tags, taggers, categories

16 16 Folksonomy and Libraries Three contexts: – Library Catalog – Internet Service – Enterprise (KM) contributor Univ of Pennsylvania – Penn Tags – academic tagging Stanford – educate patrons about library resources – Tool for librarians to identify good Internet sites Research – ALA, Louise Spiteri, Margaret Kipp Library Thing

17 17 Library Thing Book people arent much better at tagging High level concepts – psychology (55,000), religion (120,000), science (101,000) Issue – variety of terms – cognitive science – need at least 40 other tags to cover the actual field of cognitive science Strange tags – book (19,000) – its a book site? Combination of facets and topics – Facets – Date (16 th century, 1950s, 2007) // Function (owned, not read) // Type (graphic novel, novel) // Genre (horror, mystery) – Topics – majority like

18 18 Library Thing – Book on Neuroscience 1) (Location: dining room)(1) biological(1) biology(8) box74(1) Brain(1) brain research(1) brains(1) cognitive neuroscience(1) cognitive science(1) consciousness(1) currently reading(1) HelixHealth(1) kognitionswissenschaft(1) medical(1) medicine(1) neuroscience(19) non-fiction(5) partread(1) Psychology(4) Science(10) textbook(10) theory(1)(Location: dining room)biologicalbiology box74Brainbrain researchbrainscognitive neurosciencecognitive scienceconsciousness currently readingHelixHealth kognitionswissenschaftmedicalmedicine neurosciencenon-fictionpartreadPsychology Sciencetextbooktheory Too General: Science, Psychology, biology, textbook Too specific: Location: dining room, box74 Facets: currently reading, partread

19 19 Library Thing – Harry Potter (51) 2003(55) 2007(44) adventure(118) Boarding school(86) British(193) children(292) children's(624) Children's books(39) Children's Fiction(118) children's literature(255) coming of age(41) england(142) English(48) Fantasy(3,412) favorite(54) Favorites(57) Fiction(2,277) film(47) friendship(47) hardcover(136) harry potter(1,499) Hogwarts(90) hp(80) J.K. Rowling(60) juvenile(97) juvenile fiction(40) kids(81) magic(922) Mystery(53) Novel(182) own(175) Owned(51) potter(56) Read(419) rowling(95) school(105) series(435) witchcraft(47) witches(125) Wizardry(68) wizards(409) young adult(823) youth(50) adventureBoarding schoolBritishchildrenchildren's Children's booksChildren's Fictionchildren's literaturecoming of ageenglandEnglish FantasyfavoriteFavoritesFiction filmfriendshiphardcoverharry potter HogwartshpJ.K. Rowlingjuvenile juvenile fictionkidsmagicMystery NovelownOwnedpotterRead rowlingschoolserieswitchcraft witchesWizardrywizardsyoung adult youth

20 20 Library Thing – Harry Potter Redundant: Harry Potter, J.K. Rowling Inconsistent: 51 say 2003, 55 say 2007 Too General: British, Fantasy, Fiction Too many variations – children, childrens, childrens books, childrens fiction, childrens literature Strange: school, series, England, Mystery Personal: Favorites, owned, Read

21 21 What Wont Work Traditional Library Strategies – improve users – Recommendations about count-non-count nouns or singular – plural – Link to online dictionary or Wikipedia – extra work, whole focus is on ease of tagging – any help has to be immediate and integrated - or done by a central group Social Networking – Social networking good for socializing, not tagging – Social Network sites – getting worse not better Either / Or – folksonomies or LCSH

22 22 What Might Work Semantic Infrastructure and Evolution – Environment and dynamic social rules Integrated Evolving Solution: Content Structures, People, Technology, Policies and Procedures // with Feedback with consequences New Relationship of Central and Crowd – Not top down or bottom up – Interpenetration of opposites Reduce Folk and Increase Onomy – Wikipedia – Social plus 2,000 editors Increase Folk – add discussions and social context to tags

23 23 Semantic Infrastructure: New Library Roles Library 2.0 – New librarians – social and intellectual context New relationship of center and users – more sophisticated support, more freedom, more suggestions, more user input – - New roles – for users (taggers, part of variety of communities – both distributed and central) – New roles for central – create feedback system, tweak the evolution of the system, Develop initial candidates Communities of Practice – apply to tagging, ranking – Community Maps – formal and informal – Map tags to communities – more useful suggestions – Use tags to uncover communities

24 24 Semantic Infrastructure: Technology Enterprise Content Management, KM Platforms – Place to add metadata – of all kinds, not just keywords – Policy support – important, part of job performance – Add tag clouds to input page – More sophisticated displays Tag clouds mapped to community map Tag clusters, taxonomy location Semantic Software – Inxight, SchemaLogic etc. – Suggest terms based on text, on tag clouds Social Networking – add semantics – SNA – apply to people and tags

25 25 Semantic Infrastructure: Putting it all together Complexity Theory and Folksonomies: Feedback Ranking Methods – Explicit – people rank directly Categories, tags, taggers Good tags, best bets for terms or categories? – Implicit – software evaluation, reverse relevance Ranking Roles – Taggers – everyone (rewards, make it easy and fun) – Meta-taggers – everyone (but levels of meta-taggers) – Editors – tagging system, integration with taxonomy, resolve disputes, Wikipedia model

26 26 Best of Both Worlds: Integrated Solutions Start and end with a formal taxonomy / Ontology – Findability vastly superior – Communication with others – share tags – Take advantage of conceptual relationships Tagging experience – folksonomies plus – Users can type any word – system looks it up – plurals, synonyms, preferred terms, spelling variations – Software suggestions – based on content of bookmark, document and on popular user tags – natural level not top down – New terms flagged and routed to central team Facets – for both things and documents (faceted taxonomy) – Software suggests facet values, user override – Cognitively simpler task than own value, complex hierarchy

27 27 Conclusions: Folksonomies and Libraries Library 2.0 – focus on social collaboration, not tagging – More complex use of folksonomies Folksonomies can help – but they need help to evolve better quality – Fundamental contradiction of ease of tagging and findability will limit usefulness of Internet folksonomies 90% of what you hear about Folksonomies (2.0) is hype – again – Folksonomies are a great source for first drafts and social research Evolution, not Revolution! – Evolve folksonomies, taxonomies, ontologies Semantic Infrastructure solution (people, policy, technology, semantics) and feedback is best approach

28 Questions? Tom Reamy KAPS Group Knowledge Architecture Professional Services

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