del.icio.us and my folksonomy

19 05 2007

i’m curious if anyone else has experienced what i experienced this morning. as i was using the sidebar feature of the del.icio.us extension for firefox i sensed that some of my bookmarks weren’t coming up as search results. but i knew that they were there.

it didn’t take long before i determined the problem. in my listing of web 2.0 titles, some were tagged with “web2.0”, others tagged “web-2.0”, yet others tagged “web_2.0”, and even a few were tagged “web20”. links to content on informal learning was tagged either “informal-learning”, “informal_learning”, or “informallearning.” and it wasn’t just inconsistent filling in of spaces. did i tag the content i was looking for as “workplace learning” or “organizational learning”? or was it “thebigquestion” or “tbq”? “learningcircuitsblog” or “lcb”?

i spent hours this morning combining and deleting tags in my del.icio.us account. clearly my folksonomy is getting in the way of my efficient access of my de.lic.ious links. of course, de.lic.ious could offer a tag joining feature – mysyndicaat does this very nicely. the renaming and deleting tools for editing your tags in del.icio.us are quite simple to use and do help prune my burgeoning tags. but even if they provide the solution, the problem still lies in my brain’s ability to remember what tags i’m using.

besides memory, there is also the issue of the influence of the other de.lic.ious users. what if i tag all my content web-2.0, but everyone else uses web_2.0. my contributions will never be seen! so i incorporate the del.icio.us community’s favorite tags in my folksonomy. then my friends send me links with tags that fit with their conception of the world. but i don’t have time to change them, so i just add web2.0 and web20 to my cloud.

wait, i’m right back where i started! i’m curious. does anyone else have problems managing their folksonomy? or should i start attending a 12-step program for tagaholics?

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