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What a fancy word folksonomies is! To many, they may not be aware that they are using or contributing to a folksonomy every day.

So what is it? It’s a way to organize, to work together to create a way to classify things. Libraries use it in the Dewey Decimal System or Library of Congress Classification. We use terms we agree upon in order to be able to find related items again later, such as in the library’s online catalog. Even though the word folksonomies doesn’t refer to a music genre, how we break music into genres, such as folk music, does create an agreed upon vocabulary to classify all music together in order to make it easier to find. No way would you want to be mixing up rap, country, and jazz music or else you would have some angry people out there with something to say about it!

If you use social media you’re helping create a folksonomy with every hashtag you write! Some people create funny hashtags to add a sense of humor to the posts they create on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Others are much more reserved in their tagging. Please see my post on Hashtag Mania for more of my thoughts on hashtags. This type of classification wouldn’t work if it weren’t for the work of everyone in the online communities. When everyone works together to create a system of classification, we can help by using terminology which is more common and widely used, which in turn makes the subject or hashtag easier to find by those who may have different names for the same thing. Example: I love French fries with my fried fish and cookies for dessert, but in England I’m going to be ordering fish and chips with biscuits for dessert. Terms are important for all users!

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