Sunday, January 09, 2005

Better than Nothing

folksonomies + controlled vocabularies "The advantage of folksonomies isn’t that they’re better than controlled vocabularies, it’s that they’re better than nothing, because controlled vocabularies are not extensible to the majority of cases where tagging is needed. Building, maintaining, and enforcing a controlled vocabulary is, relative to folksonomies, enormously expensive, both in the development time, and in the cost to the user, especailly the amateur user, in using the system."

"The cost of finding your way through 60K photos tagged ‘summer’, when you can use other latent characteristics like ‘who posted it?’ and ‘when did they post it?’, is nothing compared to the cost of trying to design a controlled vocabulary and then force users to apply it evenly and universally."

Folksonomies succeed where the Semantic Web fails "I hazard a guess that most of the Semantic Web crowd is, like me, firmly in the ‘well-designed metadata’ camp. Our vocabularies and ontologies are designed by experts, then handed down to the users. We are not at ease with the idea of users creating their own categorization schemes. If we’ve learned anything from experience, then that the average user is unable to get a subclass realtionship right. A bunch of sloppily assigned tags will not be useful for inferencing."

"Betting on the Semantic Web is betting against ease of use, conceptual simplicity, and maximal user participation. And I don’t see how ontologies and the RDF data model stand even the slightest chance in this particular area."

Via Pro metadata will lose to folksonomy.
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