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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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    Friday, January 06, 2006

    Social tagging or social decisions?

    I have been posting quite a lot about the power of social tagging - particularly in my comments on David Weinberger's paper at Online (see December 5th and December 6th) and on Ellyssa Kroski's blogged article. Apart from an earlier comment about the contradictory derivation of the term 'Folksonomy', I have made generally positive comments. Professor Tom Wilson of Sheffield, editor of Information Research, has just posted a thoughtful piece to the mailing list LIS-LINK. In much earlier postings ('Folksonomies' and 'Cataloguing e-books') of mine, I have been less positive, and questioned how random, unstructured and uncontrolled keywords - I think I used the examples of variations such as 'publishers', 'publisher', 'publishing' and of 'eagle owl'/'bubo bubo' - bring together like items. Tom Wilson makes a similar point and suggests that the algorithm that brings most used sites to the top of a search engine list is a more efficient social decision than any made via services such a Connotea or Worth reading!

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