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Social Tagging in China and the USA: A Comparative Study

Chen Xu and Heting Chu

ASIS&T 2008 Annual Meeting (AM08 2008)
Columbus, Ohio, October 24-29, 2008


Two sites for tagging, one in China (i.e., 365Key) and one in the USA (i.e., are compared in terms of their respective tagging mechanisms and tags created. In general, the Chinese tagging site provides more pre-set functions to its users whereas its American counterpart gives more freedom for its taggers. Our findings also show that tagging, like many other information behaviors, is greatly influenced by and stamped with the social and cultural traditions existing in each country. Taggers in both countries, however, do tend to choose terms of same or similar meanings which indicates that tagging, regardless of where it is done and where the tagger is from, is still done in accordance to the fundamental rules in indexing. As an activity unique in the networked environment for loosely representing and organizing all kinds of information, tagging does not seem equal to keyword indexing although both share some similarities.

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