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A classification scheme created by collective action, often created and managed using collaborative web technologies such as a Wiki

Usually a folksonomy is only created where:

  • The domain being considered is too complex to be easily described
  • There are a wide range of stakeholders with a wide range of different views, so consolidating all opinions would be expensive
  • There is not enough funding available to employ resources to implement a taxonomy

Under these circumstances there is no option but to adopt a more interactive approach. In this case the choice is not between having a complete, consistent ontology and evolving an understanding though collective action. It is between having a tagging system that relies heavily on user input and having no tagging system at all.

If a folksonomy is hierarchical, complete and unambiguous it can also be considered to be a taxonomy. However, the very procedure employed to create one makes it unlikely that any given folksonomy will ever reach this high standard.

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The following pages link to here: Card Sorting, Classification, Gathering Data, Ontology, Taxonomy, Wiki

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