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Folksonomy

Though this term has become known online in the past year and the idea behind it is arousing interest in the technology community, it is rare outside such specialist groups. This may be changing. A folksonomy is a type of classification system that spontaneously arises out of the way users tag items of information with freely chosen keywords (a more common term, in fact, is tagging). Such tags might be attached to photographs that individuals upload to Web sites such as Flickr, or to sites listed on StumbleUpon, a user network for sharing information about them. It’s a “bottom-up” form of informal classification that’s fundamentally different to the “top-down” type imposed from above, such as the Dewey system for classifying books. A useful article on the word on the Wikipedia site says it’s a blend of folk and taxonomy and that its invention has been attributed to Thomas Vander Wal.

Tagging, or Folksonomy, represents an alternative and complement to traditional enterprise rigid ontology.

PR Newswire, 8 February 2005

Folksonomies work because although users can choose idiosyncratic tags, most people tend to use fairly obvious ones most of the time.

the Guardian, 24 Mar. 2005

Tagging, or Folksonomy, represents an alternative and complement to traditional enterprise rigid ontology.

PR Newswire, 8 February 2005

Folksonomies work because although users can choose idiosyncratic tags, most people tend to use fairly obvious ones most of the time.

the Guardian, 24 Mar. 2005

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Copyright © Michael Quinion, 1996–. All rights reserved.
Page created 14 May 2005

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The English language is forever changing. New words appear; old ones fall out of use or alter their meanings. World Wide Words tries to record at least a part of this shifting wordscape by featuring new words, word histories, words in the news, and the curiosities of native English speech.

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This page URL: http://www.worldwidewords.org/turnsofphrase/tp-fol1.htm
Last modified: 14 May 2005.