Thursday, October 21, 2004

Ethnoclassification

Metadata for the Masses "We’re beginning to see ethnoclassification in action on the social bookmarks site Del.icio.us, and the photo sharing site Flickr. Both services encourage users to apply their own freely listed tags to content — tags that others can then employ when looking for content. See a web page that looks interesting, but don’t have time to read it? Post it to Del.icio.us with a tag that will help you find it again."

"The primary benefit of free tagging is that we know the classification makes sense to users. It can also reveal terms that “experts” might have overlooked. “Cameraphone” and “moblog” are newborn words that are already among Flickr’s most popular; such adoption speed is unheard of in typical classifications. For a content creator who is uploading information into such a system, being able to freely list subjects, instead of choosing from a pre-approved “pick list,” makes tagging content much easier. This, in turn, makes it more likely that users will take time to classify their contributions."
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