February 3, 2005
Art imitates tags
There seems to have been an explosion of folksonomy-related discussion, including Peter Merholz on the art/life (chicken/egg ?) aspect of tags:
These tags are no longer simply keywords that describe something about the content, but instead are the reason for that content to be.
In my paper on folksonomies I mentioned the squaredcircle tag on Flickr as such an example. Now this has further developed into a poster of squaredcircle images arranged in a fibonacci pattern.
danah boyd also has an excellent post on the social/cultural aspects of folksonomies.
What makes the tagging phenomenon utterly fascinating is that there is a collective action component to it. We love to see how people will come to common consensus on relevant terms. But part of what makes it valuable is that, right now, most of the people tagging things have some form of shared cultural understandings.