I’ve just come across this fascinating conference paper by Yan Yi Lee and Sharon Q. Yang called ‘Folksonomies as Subject Access – a Survey of Implementing Tagging in Library Online Catalogs and Discovery Layers’
The term ‘folksonomy’ isn’t original to this paper, but it was new to me, and the concept has definitely give me loads to think about. It’s a slightly more charming term for a ‘crowd-based taxonomy’, but it carries with it loads of assumptions and connotations. Taxonomies–and especially those of the librarian sort–are often guarded by a team of highly trained specialists. There is some logic behind this–or at least was–because if something is cataloged incorrectly it might never be seen again. But, now in an age of digital humanities and crowd sourcing, the sheer scale of involvement means that a ‘folksonomy’ might actually be an effective manner of cataloging information.
I’ve enjoyed reading Lee and Yang’s conference paper immensely… and I wonder if the future of conference papers might become more aligned with the folksonomies creates on WordPress and Twitter.