Starter Kit: Tags and Folksonomy


As Rheingold says,

When millions of people tag, categories emerge, and entities can easily be stored and found via multiple categories – an organizational form that has come to be known as a ‘folksonomy’.

A fundamental component is tagging (labelling), which expresses a new way of aggregating and organizing knowledge.
Folksonomy consists in the creation of categorizations by users through the use of keywords (tags) freely chosen and based on their interests. They are, as the term says, taxonomies created by those who use them based on individual criteria. This phenomenon, in contrast with the methods of formal classification (in particular with the classical taxonomy), grows above all in non-hierarchical communities linked to web applications, through which textual and / or multimedia contents are disseminated.
In the Internet scenario the taxonomic categories and subcategories used previously are no longer sufficient. Without the tag system, says Derrick De Kerckhove, the Internet would be a huge archive in which the search for information that interests us would become almost impossible:

The tag is the nature of the Internet. Without the tag, without this possibility of sharing the messages that are being processed and sending them online in different pieces that follow different routes, the Internet would be a point-to-point system only and not distributed as it is. Distribution is the basic metaphor of current culture: it is redistributed, decentralized, reorganized, all points of connection with the web become ubiquitous.

The attribution of a tag is only apparently trivial: in fact, it presupposes a reflection on the content and the identification of a classification criterion, a form of mental organization, an overview and the attribution of a value to information. The same also applies to descriptions, which add a critical value to what we are collecting and sharing, as well as a summary representation of information.
This brings into play the cognitive processes of organizing the information needed to attribute meaning to the information gathered. When we make the tagged content available through content curation, we are not only making information available, but we are transmitting to other people the meaning we have attributed to the information itself.



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