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    Location: Aberystwyth, Wales, United Kingdom

    I am the owner and managing director of Information Automation Limited (IAL), a company that specialises in research, consultancy and training for the information profession. We are particularly interested in all forms of electronic information resources (e-journals, e-books, etc) and I teach a course in electronic publishing at the Department of Information Studies in Aberystwyth. Drilling down still further(!), my interests centre on the quality and evaluation of electronic information, and in the thinking that underpins activities in library and information science.


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    Tuesday, December 13, 2005

    The Wisdom of Crowds

    In my last blog I quoted from Ellyssa Kroski's excellent blogged article, "The Hive Mind: Folksonomies and User-Based Tagging". In using such a short quotation, I did not do it justice! The Hive Mind sets out, in considerably more detail that I have done, the advantages and the disadvantages of Folksonomies.
    Advantages include: inclusivity, currency, community, usability, and user-focus - as she says:
    "Resistance is Futile: The fact of the matter is that the enormity of information that is now being published online through new mediums such as blog, wikis, etc., make a traditional taxonomy and controlled vocabulary an impossible solution."
    Disadvantages - some of which I have mentioned before - include: lack of synonym control, lack of precisions and lack of recall.
    I look forward to Ellyssa's next blog. The current article ends, "We are on the cusp of an exciting new stage of Web growth in which users provide both meaning and a means of finding through tagging." I agree.
    But I want to see a means of making messy information less messy.

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