Folksonomies Web 2.0

OPAC2.0 – New feature – more similar searches

Continuing on the additions from yesterday.

Today we added the top three search terms for each object to the USER KEYWORD section of an object page. This section is where folksonomy tags can be added and deleted.

Here is a 1960s raincoat for example.

Why did we add this to the USER KEYWORDS section?

What we are finding through our ongoing analysis of folksonomy tagging behaviour is that users are generally adding synonyms. What folksonomies are doing in this instance is effectively ‘crowd-sourcing’ synonym generation. Now when a user searches for term and selects an object from a list of results they are making an association between the object and that term. In many instances these may be tentative associations and generally full of false drops, but when aggregated patterns begin to emerge (see Chan 2006 forthcoming). Effectively on our site we are noticing that the search terms are beginning to offer the same kind of synonym behaviour that tags do.

We are presenting them together as a way of making explicit the terms that are already associated with an object (automatically). This way we hope to improve the diversity of user tags (why tag with a word/term that already appears?). This is just a trial though and if we see little or no change then we may move the search terms off to a separate section.

I’d welcome any comments or thoughts on this as we’re experimenting here.