In response to:
Guy, Marieke & Tonkin, Emma. (2006) “Folksonomies: Tidying up tags? .” D-Lib Magazine 12(1).
Marshall, Catherine C. (2009) “Do tags work?.” Tekka 4(1).
I’ve been reading a lot about tagging for a paper in another class and it amazes me how every article that cites tagging on the web uses delicious and flickr as examples.
Regarding power law, it would be interesting to do a study where participants are asked to tag items without being shown the tags ascribed by others and see if there is an organic consensus.
I think an equally important issue to the power law objection is the design of how tags can be added and searched for. Not all tag-enabled platforms accept tags the same way. If users are only able to tag with single-word tags retrieval is hampered. “Information Retrieval” is not the same thing as “information” “retrieval.” In order to combine multi-words tags into single-word tags, we get “information-retrieval”, “information_retrieval”, and “informationRetrieval.” None of these search terms will bring up the others. In addition, there is the issue of conventional shorthand to contend with. I and many others are more likely to tag with “info retrieval” than writing out information.