3.iii Folksonomy Tagging

Association for Computers and the Humanities (ACH) and ProfHacker. 2010. Digital Humanities Questions & Answers. http://digitalhumanities.org/answers/.

Digital Humanities Questions & Answers (known simply as “DHAnswers”) is an online question and answer board for digital humanities practitioners run as a collaborative project by the Association for Computers and the Humanities (ACH) and the Chronicle of Higher Education blog, ProfHacker. Questions are appropriately tagged as they are asked, thus creating a collection of tags for others to navigate and ideally find answers to their own relevant questions. DHAnswers provides an excellent example of how folksonomy tagging can be harnessed by a specific community in order to foster social knowledge creation on a predetermined subject.

Delicious Media, INC. 2017. Delicious. https://del.icio.us/.

Delicious is primarily a social bookmarking site. Users can bookmark various links, websites, or articles on the Internet and share these bookmarks with other Delicious users. Although the default setting is public sharing, users can choose to archive bookmarks privately. Folksonomy develops on Delicious as users tag their selected bookmarks with any desirable metadata terms. Delicious facilitates knowledge creation through a purposefully social environment.

*Huffman, Steve, and Alexis Ohanian. 2005. Reddit. https://www.reddit.com.

As a popular social news site, Reddit prompts users to tag and submit content. The hierarchy of posts on the front page of the site (as well as the other pages on the site) is decided by a ranking system predicated on both date of submission and voting by other users. Reddit exemplifies social knowledge creation via folksonomy tagging in a social network environment. Notably, the news site is also open source.

Pinterest, Inc. 2013. Pinterest. http://pinterest.com/.

Billed as “the world’s catalog of ideas,” Pinterest merges folksonomy tagging, inspiration boards, and a classic social network framework. A web-based application, Pinterest encourages sharing through “pinning” or posting image or video collections to a user’s pinboard or page. Pins can be freely shared and circulated, multiple users can pin on the same board, and users can follow other users’ boards. Notably, boards can be public or private depending on user preferences.

StumbleUpon, Inc. 2017. StumbleUpon. http://www.stumbleupon.com.

Founded in 2002, StumbleUpon is a discovery search engine that finds and recommends content based on personal user interests. In this way, users may discover new content based on their already-asserted interests. In order to keep the system running, users are encouraged to rate content while they review it, as peer-sourcing functions determine relevant content. Through collaborative filtering and folksonomy tagging the system organizes and culls user opinions. Notably, StumbleUpon also functions as a social network.

Yahoo Inc. 2005–17. Flickr. http://www.flickr.com/.

At the time of writing, Flickr boasted more than 8 billion images and 70 million photographers or active content uploaders on the site. Flickr relies heavily on folksonomy tagging to support its community and induce crosscommunity media sharing. Users can tag their uploaded photos in order to promote sharing, as well as take advantage of personal indexing capacities by tagging other’s images. Notably, institutions such as the White House and NASA also maintain their own Flickr streams.