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A Qualitative Exploration of Folksonomy Users’ Tagging Behaviors

  • Journal of the Korean Society for Library and Information Science
  • 2011, 45(1), pp.189-210
  • DOI : 10.4275/KSLIS.2011.45.1.189
  • Publisher : 한국문헌정보학회
  • Research Area : Interdisciplinary Studies > Library and Information Science
  • Received : January 17, 2011
  • Accepted : January 31, 2011

Park Hee Jin 1

1성균관대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This study aims to explore how users are tagging in order to utilize a folksonomy and whether they understand the social and interactive aspects of tagging in three different folksonomic systems, Connotea (www.connotea.org), Delicious(http://delicious.com), and CiteULike(www.citeulike.org). The study uses internet questionnaires, qualitative diary studies, and follow-up interviews to understand twelve participants’ tagging activities associated with folksonomic interactions. The flow charts developed from the twelve participants showed that tagging was a quite complex process, in which each tagging activity was interconnected, and a variety of folksonomic system features were employed. Three main tagging activities involved in the tagging processes have been identified: item selection, tag assignment, and tag searching and discovery. During the tag assignment, participants would describe their tagging motivations related to various types of tags. Their perception of the usefulness of types of tags was different when their purpose was for social sharing rather than personal information management. While tagging, participants recognized the social potential of a folksonomic system and used interactive aspects of tagging via various features of the folksonomic system. It is hoped that this empirical study will provide insight into theoretical and practical issues regarding users’ perceptions and use of folksonomy in accessing, sharing, and navigating internet resources.

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