Approaches to Social Tagging: Folksonomies

Tom Reamy

Tom Reamy, Chief Knowledge Architect, KAPS Group, gave an information-packed presentation on folksonomies and their uses in social tagging.  He began by noting that a hybrid approach to content management is necessary because search engines have been failing for years.  Folksonoies can be used as an insight into what people are thinking about in an organization; they are much better than search logs for this purpose.  The main problem with folksonomies is getting people to tag their content; true believers tend not to tag for infrequent users.

Value can be obtained from a taxonomy by combining it with other techniques such as search and content management.  This will create a framework in which taxonomies can be used.

Text analytics goes beyond folksonomies, mainly by the use of auto categorization, and can be used for summarization, fact extraction, and sentiment analysis.  Basic level categories–those which are shorter and easier to understand–are at the level at which most knowledge is organized.  They can be used to categorize not only documents but entire communities and add a new element to social media.

Reamy concluded that the best is yet to come as these techniques become widespread.

These are only a few of the topics covered by Reamy in this presentation.  All of his presentations are available on the KAPS website, and are highly recommended for an introduction to the subject.

Don Hawkins
Columnist, Information Today and Conference Circuit Blog Editor

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