What is Folksonomy


Folksonomies are a set of natural language terms (tags) that are used to describe the content of a document or web resource. The term was coined by Thomas Van Der Wal by merging the words folk (people, popular) and taxonomy (Management -taxis- of the classification -nomos-).

What is Folksonomy?

Folksonomies are used in the field of the Social Web, as a resource for social tagging. It differs from traditional digital labeling in that it is collaborative and part of the definitions given by the users themselves.

It is used, above all, in the subject of social networks. In general, the people who enter them usually move the contents and even create it. In addition, they accompany it with labels that classify it according to the categories they consider appropriate.

Based on the definition, and based on what was said by the creator, Thomas Vander Wall, there are two types of folksonomy:

  • Narrow folksonomy: This is the creator of the content or a very small number of people apply the tags to the content being classified. It is usually linked to an object and it is very difficult to know how. are being used. Which makes it very complicated the appearance of new descriptions or vocabularies.
  • Folksonomy expands: The creator does not influence but it is the users themselves who do it, thus favoring that these labels are in their own languages and their own words, which makes it a more flexible system.

What is a Folksonomy for?

Folksonomies serve, in a fundamental way, to classify all kinds of content found on the Internet.

It is a system that favors search on any platform on the network. Make the audience not only a passive agent, but also have an influence when it comes to establishing categories and classifying any publication. In addition, it is constantly evolving to promote continuous renewal.

If companies use it well, they can achieve a great reach for any type of publication they seek to spread.

Folksonomies and Ontologies

Work is currently underway on the development of new resources. It is called Folksontologies and would develop from folksonomies. What would be sought would be to extract the meanings shared by the community.

Criticism of Folksonomy

The advantages of the phenomenon such as:

  • Simplicity of use. It allows you to create terms, describe and interpret the results.
  • All users can participate, without prior training. Which makes it economically profitable.
  • The vocabulary is very specific to the resource described

Despite this, Folksonomy has been criticized due to its lack of terminological control. Those that lead us to events such as

  • We can find the ambiguity of language due to phenomena of polysemy (same label with multiple related meanings) and synonymy (multiple labels of the same concept).
  • The appearance of spelling errors between the terms.
  • There is no precision in the assignment of terms due to the lack of pre-labeling policy, lack of semantic relationships between terms.
  • The lack of stemming (method of reducing a word to its root). The normalization of the word flexion and the heterogeneity of users and contexts.