Technologies: Search for Meaning: Collaborative Tagging, Emergent Ontologies

UofS Social Computing Presenter: Mayya Sharipova

Shirky C. (2005) Ontology is Overrated Marlow C., Naaman M., Boyd D., Davis M. (2006) HT06, tagging paper, taxonomy, Flickr, academic article, to read

Ontology. Classification
A lot of information-> Organization of information Ontology Study of entities and their relations Classification, categorization
Organization of a collection of entities into related groups

Categorization (examples)
Dewey Decimal System's categorization
Dewey, 200: Religion 210 Natural theology 220 Bible 230 Christian theology 240 Christian moral & devotional theology 250 Christian orders & local church 260 Christian social theology 270 Christian church history 280 Christian sects & denominations 290 Other religions

Library of Congress
D: History (general)
DA: DB: DC: DD: DE: DF: DG: DH: DJ: Great Britain Austria France Germany Mediterranean Greece Italy Low Countries Netherlands DK: DL: DP: DQ: DR: DS: DT: DU: DX: Former Soviet Union Scandinavia Iberian Peninsula Switzerland Balkan Peninsula Asia Africa Oceania Gypsies

Yahoo directory

Problems with categorization/ontology
A lot of human labour World of user ≠ world of experts Constrained vocabulary Binary decision Subjective Doesn’t fit changing world

Links structure
Google search engine

Social tagging

Social tagging
Web-based tagging systems allow participants to annotate a particular resource, such as a web page, a blog post, an image, a physical location etc. with a freely chosen set of keywords (“tags”). Folksonomy instead of taxonomy, Technorati, Upcoming and Flickr

Advantages/ attributes of social tagging
Distributed workload of creating metadata Market logic Individual motivation, group value Individual differences don’t have to be homogenized User and time are core attributes No signal lose Filtering is done post hoc Merged from URLs, not categories Merges are probabilistic, not binary; no need for shelf

A model of tagging system

Taxonomy of tagging systems
System design influence resultant tags User incentives

System design
Tagging support Aggregation model Object type Source of material

Tagging rights

Resource connectivity

Social connectivity



resultant tags

Upcoming - events

Flickr - photos - bookmarks

User incentives
Organization need (personal) Social needs (communicative) Attract Play & Contribution attention competition & sharing Self Opinion presentation expression

Future retrieval



resultant tags

Flickr study

How social tags can be used?
Better search engines Information organization Discovery & communication Spam filtering Reducing effect of link spam Identifying trends and emerging topic globally and within communities Locating experts and opinion leaders in specific domain

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