January 5, 2005
Now that I’ve regained my sanity after finals and the holidays I thought I would post my paper on the subject: Communal Categorization: The Folksonomy (or PDF version). I would consider it an early draft, but I thought I would put it out there, since many of the ideas are in line with current discussion.
The latest in this dialogue is a post by Peter Merholz on the topic of folksonomies (free tagging systems, mob indexing, folk categorization, social tagging, or tagsonomies, whichever you prefer — the comments on his post contain a good discussion). In it he links to a paper by Adam Mathes: Folksonomies - Cooperative Classification and Communication Through Shared Metadata.
I would agree that “folksonomy” is not the ideal term for the phenomenon, but so far is the only word used consistently and without overlap into other topics (e.g. social categorization). I would suggest Clay Shirky’s phrase “Communal Categorization” as a possible solution.