Folksonomies Hit the Conference Trail

Folksonomies are making the conference rounds: both at IASummit and SXSW. Here are some notes about the presentations there.

Gene Smith has a quick writeup of the IASummit Folksonomies Panel with the slides from each of the speakers. The slides, even without the context of voice, give a quick overview of some of the issues that were talked about.

If you’re familiar with any of my past posts on folksonomies:

…then you’ll know that I’m very optimistic about them. From what I can tell from the slides (which isn’t much), Morville doesn’t think you can find anything in folksonomies, Merholz is hesitant, and Smith and Vander Wal optimistic. I really hope these folks write up their talks so that those of us who didn’t attend can get a clearer picture of what they’re saying.

Smith also mentions the feeling that folks don’t know where to use folksonomies…which is a question I discussed here: I’ve Heard of Folksonomies. Now How do I Apply them to My Site? (short answer: you don’t need tagging to create features that leverage actual user behavior, you just need something explicit and aggregable)

Moving down the conference trail brings us to SXSW (South by Southwest). There, a similar discussion panel “Leveraging Solipsism” went on and Liz Lawley tracked it on Many-to-Many. She found Don Turnbull’s part the most interesting, and she provided us with a few of his interesting questions about tagging:

  • Who controls the sharing? And who controls those controls??
  • anonymity vs community (and privacy issues related to this)
  • free riders—people who never tag, just browse
  • what constitutes a community? are personal relationships necessary? do they grow out of the information sharing, or define with whom you share information?

All interesting questions.

Also, over at Shelley Power’s burningbird, I found one of the comments to her in-depth overview of tagging called Accidental Smarts (which has an excerpt from bokardo), quite interesting. Hans Gerwitz makes a distiction between “bookmark aggregation”, “link aggregation”, and “tag aggregation”, using del.icio.us for the first and last terms and technorati for the middle one. Interesting… (note: scroll all the way to the bottom of that amazingly long page to read the comment in question)

Published: March 15th, 2005

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