Bookmarking, tagging and folksonomies

Initially I was not terribly interested in tagging and folksonomies (of course, this was before I had any real understanding of what tagging is; this pre-judgment seems to be an annoying habit I still strive to break).  I did not get into librarianship with any real desire to pursue the more cataloguing strains within the profession.  While I do admire our more catalogue-inclined colleagues, I have never felt a huge pull towards the discipline myself – professionally speaking.

That isn’t to say that I am uninterested in categorizing elements of my personal life and interests – particularly with music and music related culture.  For this week’s blog and lesson, I joined lastfm.  I have all kinds of friends and acquaintances who are rabid over the site, but for whatever reason or another, I have resisted.  This is a pity, as clearly tagging and creating a communal discourse on something like music holds immense appeal for me.  I have been a longtime fan of music, but I still sometimes get a little intimidated when I attempt to approach and embrace a new genre of music.  Sometimes the task seems so huge, so daunting that it is difficult to pinpoint any one place to start.

This is where tagging can assist: different voices may align and work to place this varied information together.  Like-minded individuals can direct and advise on places to start.  You like this new metal band?  Tag it and be linked to what others consider American Black Metal.  Amazing!

I think this speaks to many of the advantages with social media.  I have returned (at least in my thinking) to this idea that the internet as this vast expanse of information.  Social media applications and tools provide a means of connectivity.  Librarians would be well advised to position ourselves at the centre of the connectivity.

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