Social tagging or folksonomy? Do they have the same meaning?

Do social tagging and folksonomy have the same meaning? I think this remains an unsolved issue. One might say social tagging and folksonomy refer to the same concept or idea, but others might not agree. It has previously been discussed sometimes, as for example in this blog post: tagging vs folksonomy?

Folksonomy is a neologism, created by merging the terms folk and taxonomy. If we understand taxonomy as the practice and science of classifying content, we could define folksonomy as the practice and science of classifying content in a collaborative way.

On the other hand, Wikipedia states:

Folksonomy (also known as collaborative tagging, social classification, social indexing, and social tagging) is the practice and method of collaboratively creating and managing tags to annotate and categorize content.

Analyzing this definition, I don’t agree with “…creating and managing tags to annotate…”. Is it necessary to manage tags to be a folksonomy? Another kind of classification made in a collaborative way is not a folksonomy? I think it is, e.g. some people could collaborate to get an agreed list of classes. For instance, in Wikipedia article’s discussion, Bryan says: …Are Wikipedia’s categories a form of folksonomy? I think they are… I agree with him for this statement.

Taking into account that, by definition, social tagging requires to collaboratively assign tags to some content, folksonomy has a broader sense, because it can refer to another kind of social classification, but not necessary tagging.


Category: social-tagging

Tags: ,

- February 12, 2009

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published / Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>