Tagging and Social Networks: The Impact of Communities on User Centered Tagging

Co-Sponsored by SIG-TAG, SIG-KM and SIG-CR

Scope: The panel will discuss tagging of documents in the context of social networks. This discussion will include to what extent and in what manner users, consciously or unconsciously, take into account their communities when assigning tags. Likewise, the panel will investigate to what extent the community influences tagging behavior, and if this influence helps or hinders search and retrieval or affects the context of the tags generated. The topic areas proposed for this conference panel are: Context of Social Network Metadata: Do users tag for the group(s) of people they associate with? Metadata use: Do small communities have a stable use of terminology? Search and retrieval: How do tags relate to metadata searches and contextual retrievals? Social Network Architecture: To what extent, if any, does community membership influence tagging behavior? Questions that will be discussed among panelists and with the audience will focus on the social network part of the difficulty of dealing with tags. Within a community, is it possible to decide whether to interpret a tag or just treat it as a primary key or keyword? More questions below.

Moderator: Heather D. Pfeiffer New Mexico State University, hdp@cs.nmsu.edu
Heather Pfeiffer has just completed her PhD at New Mexico State University. She is interested in Knowledge Engineering, Database Management, and collaborative testbeds. Heather has presented papers and posters at ICCS, KCAP, VL, ASIS&T, and various university conferences on topics relating to knowledge bases, databases, Artificial Intelligence and other knowledge engineering, and published papers in journals such as JETAI and JMMS. Heather graduates in December with a PhD in Computer Science from New Mexico State University, has a M.S. in Computer Science from New Mexico State University, and a B.S. in Biology/Microbiology from University of Washington.

Panelists: Qiping Zhang College of Information and Computer Science, Long Island University, qiping.zhang@liu.edu
Dr. Zhang is an Assistant Professor in College of Information and Computer Science at Long Island University. She is interested in facilitating productive collaborations of individuals who are geographically and culturally distributed. Her work not only just communication technologies, but also cultural issues that arise in inter-cultural, distributed collaborations. She has presented papers for conferences of ACM, ICKM, ALISE, International Congress of Psychology, etc and published papers at journals like JIKM. Dr. Zhang holds a Ph.D. and M.S. in HCI from University of Michigan and M.S. and B.A. in cognitive psychology from Peking University.

Emma Tonkin UKOLN, University of Bath, e.tonkin@ukoln.ac.uk
Emma Tonkin is an Interoperability Focus Officer working for UKOLN at the University of Bath. Her job often leads her into working directly with end-users of cataloguing systems. As her background is in human-computer interaction, her major interest is in developing an understanding of user behaviour and the factors that influence the uptake and use of these technologies. Her current project is the IEMSR, a metadata schema registry designed to support registration, use and reuse of DC and LOM metadata schemas and profiles. She serves as co-moderator of the Dublin Core Metadata Initiative's Schema Registry community, and as a member of the DCMI advisory board. She is currently pursuing a PhD on the topic of wearable computing at the University of Bristol.

Margaret E. I. Kipp College of Information and Computer Science, Long Island University, margaret.kipp@gmail.com
Margaret Kipp is a Lecturer in the College of Information and Computer Science, Long Island University and a PhD candidate in the Faculty of Information and Media Studies, University of Western Ontario. She has a background in computer science and worked as a programmer/analyst before moving to information science. Her research interests include classification systems, collaborative web technologies and the creation and visualization of structures in information organization systems. She has presented papers and posters at ASIST, JCDL, IA Summit and CAIS and published papers in Scientometrics. She is currently working on her thesis which examines information organization on the Internet, specifically concentrating on social tagging and social bookmarking.

Edward M. Corrado The College of New Jersey, corrado@tcnj.edu
Edward Corrado is Systems Librarian at The College of New Jersey. He is interested in Open Source Software and emerging technologies and how they can be used in libraries. Edward has presented papers at ACRL (Association of College & Research Libraries), Internet Librarian, Endeavor Users Group Annual Meeting, Netspeed, various regional and state library conferences on topics relating to Open Source Software, Web 2.0, and computer security. He has also presented posters at ASIS&T and the LITA (Library & Information Technology Association) National Forum. Corrado has recently published papers in Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship and Computers in Libraries. Edward holds a Masters of Library Service from Rutgers University and a B.A. in Mathematics from Caldwell College.

Heather Lea Moulaison Rutgers University, heather.moulaison@rutgers.edu
Heather Moulaison is a doctoral student at Rutgers University. She is interested in organization of and access to online information in France and French-speaking countries. Heather has presented papers or posters at ACRL, ALCTS, LITA, and various international, national, and local conferences, and has published papers in journals such as Government Information Quarterly, Computers in Libraries, and [forthcoming] The French Review. Heather has both an MA in French and an MSLIS from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Note: the panel proposal was co-authored by Andrea Resmini, who was unable to attend the event. CIRSFID, University of Bologna, resmini@cirsfid.unibo.it
Andrea Resmini is an Information Architect. An IT professional since 1989, Andrea holds a Masters in Architecture from the Politecnico di Milano and has been a guest researcher at JIBS, the Jnkping International Business School. He is currently a PhD candidate at CIRSFID, Department of Computer Sciences and Law, University of Bologna. He specializes in F/LOSS CMS and issues related to topic maps, folksonomies, classification, usability and findability. Andrea is one of the founders and current developers of the FaceTag project and he is currently serving on the Board of OSCOM, the International Association for Open Source Content Management.


Each Panelists Contribution

Comparison of Tagging: Cognitive and Social Factors (Qiping Zhang)

With the development of web 2.0, where multi-author contribution will be common, collaborative tagging becomes a popular concept. The tagging metadata contributed by users are used for individual-based activities like searching, filtering, navigating, and group-based social networking like finding people with common interest and so on. Tagging data will help to reveal the knowledge sharing and topic networks based on the relations among tagging words. Tagging data will also constitute a social interaction among taggers. In this presentation, Dr. Zhang will discuss the review of related work on this topic and provide her view on the issue of how tagging fosters social information organization and collaboration, and how to leverage the explosive volume of metadata.

The many roles of terminology in a collaborative work environment (Emma Tonkin)

The IEMSR metadata schema registry was designed to provide a means for publication and reuse of metadata schemas and application profiles, based on the hypothesis that the publication of this information would lead to greater reuse of this data, limiting the number of application profiles in use. However, choice of terminology relates, not only to the concept encoded, but also to the common language of the working group. Sociolinguistics provides a number of models for understanding the role of shared terminology in a community (Patrick, 2002), leading the IEMSR project to reevaluate preconceptions about the longevity of jointly defined terminology in a collaborative work environment. To what extent does community-specific terminology act to improve the user experience? If terminology use evolves with time, does this affect the longevity of an application profile? Can shifts in language use be identified, tracked and mitigated? If application profiles are required to evolve with community language use, what are the implications? If they are not adjusted accordingly, what is the result?

Patrick, P. L. (2002). The speech community. In J. K. Chambers, P. Trudgill & N. Schilling-Estes (eds.) The handbook of language variation and change. Oxford: Blackwell, 573-597.

Patterns in Tagging: Collaborative Classification Practices in Social Bookmarking Tools (Margaret E. I. Kipp)

The rise in popularity of social tagging suggests an interest in the organization of information on the web. My research examines the tagging patterns exhibited by users of Del.icio.us, CiteULike and Connotea to assess the continuities and discontinuities between social tagging and traditional intermediary designed methods of classifying and indexing material.

Various research projects show that social tagging systems begin to demonstrate patterns of collective consensus as the number of taggers grows. Small numbers of frequently used tags tend to emerge by unspoken consensus, and inconsistencies follow predictable patterns that can be anticipated (e.g. use of plurals, alternate spellings). Some evidence of the tagging behavior of smaller communities within the larger group is also present. In tagging academic articles, tag use also shows strong similarities to a flattened thesaurus where equality and quasi-synonym (Related Term) relationships are predominant.

In all studies so far tags also indicated intriguing practices relating to time and task and to an affective relationship which suggest the presence of extra dimensions in classification and organization, dimensions which conventional systems are less able to facilitate.

Social Tagging: Community Tagging or Personal Tagging in Communities? (Edward M. Corrado)

Social tagging can be described as the collective assignment of keywords to resources (Trant, 2006). How much do people who use social tagging tools take into account the context of their community when they tag? Do they use different terminology when they are purposely tagging items for a community compared to when they are use tagging tools with only themselves in mind? Some virtual communities will use a specific tag that allows for items with that tag to be advertised within that virtual community. By looking at the differences in tag terminology used by people in such a community when they included a tag associated with a community versus when then do not, it might be possible to discover what influence community has in the choice of tags, and to what extent people consciously consider community context while tagging.

Trant, J. with the participants in the Steve Museum project (2006) Exploring the potential for social tagging and folksonomy in art museums: Proof of concept. New Review of Hypermedia and Multimedia 12(1), 83-105.


Social Tagging in France: The Evolution of a Phenomenon (Heather Lea Moulaison)

Despite a reputation to the contrary, France has historically been an early adapter of new communication technologies, including the Minitel, cell phones, and Web 2.0 in general. Their virtually national-level comfort with blogs through the SkyRock Web site enabled what has been considered by some to be the site-level precursor to MySpace, giving the French a first taste of community-building in cyberspace. With Internet technology becoming a fully integrated part of daily life, online postings continue to reflect the offline activities of the French Millennial generation, as evidenced in community-based videos that are tagged and commented by users on video-sharing sites.

Integrating bottom-up and top-down classification in social tagging systems: FaceTag (Andrea Resmini)

FaceTag is a working prototype of a collaborative tool conceived for social tagging of specialized domains. The linear space provided by traditional flat tag systems is replaced by a multidimensional approach where each resource (in this case, bookmarks) is described through facets laid out according to the CRG specifications. These can be freely assembled to build an effective zooming navigation system where browsing and searching are seamlessly integrated. FaceTag is built around the notion that the system provides a metadata framework upon which, socially, users build the structure: there is no algorithmic intervention. Tags gets assigned to facets (and can be assembled in hierarchies) directly by users while collecting and saving bookmarks: but what emerges is a social navigation tool, community-driven, in which facets allow to broaden or narrow the result set and guide the user along the different conceptual dimensions. In our view, the blend of facets and tags augments the information scent and improves the overall findability of social systems for specific domains, adds context, helps avoiding ambiguity and allows for a much improved, evolving search using the berrypicking model.

Moderators Questions for Panelists: What are the motivations of tagging? What are the social consequences of tagging: relationship building, social sharing, etc.? (social factor) Could tagging be equal to semi formal or informal metadata? There are many definitions of community. What is yours and how does it relate to social networks?