Folksonomies, and RSS Feeds, and ELGGs - Oh, My

external image GW400H266**Folksonomies** are a type of user-generated organization and search system. A combination of the words folk (or folks) and taxonomy, the term folksonomy literally means "people's classification management". The process of folksonomic tagging is intended to make a body of information increasingly easier to search, discover, and navigate over time as users add information and tags. Folksonomies are generated in Web-based communities, like wikis, that allow Web users to label and share user-generated content, such as photographs, or to collaboratively label existing content, such as Web sites, books, works in the scientific and scholarly literatures, and blog entries.
The tag cloud graphic above depicts a folksonomy for Web 2.0.
The size of the font indicates the popularity of the subject tag.

Visit the NISC weblog page at and use the tags to find information that interests you.

Positives of the folksonomy search structure: Tags/labels can respond quickly to changes, innovations and fads in the way users categorize Internet content.

Negatives of the folksonomy search structure: Unlike search engines like Google and Yahoo, folksonomies lack a hierarchy or systematic structure for the tagging system. This makes the terms relevant to what one user is describing and may not show their relationship to other objects of the same type.

**RSS** - Rich Site Summary, or Really Simple Syndication. RSS is XML file formats for web syndication used by news websites and weblogs. Using RSS files, you can create a data feed that supplies headlines, links, and article summaries from your web site. Users can have constantly updated content from web sites delivered to them via a news aggregator, a piece of software designed to receive these types of feeds, called RSS feed, webfeed, RSS stream, or RSS channel. If you use a personalized Google homepage, you are familiar with RSS--the data streams that provide the personalized content.

**ELGG** - A new kind of e-portfolio based on personal publishing and social networking. Developed by two professors in the UK and named after a town in Switzerland, the idea is to provide learners with the tools to create open source, cross-platform communication and social networking spaces for educational use. Here's a very good article about ELGG Social Network Software for Education by Steve O'Hare on

Looking forward...
Web Science Research Initiative has been organized by Sir Timothy Burners-Lee (inventor of the World Wide Web) in conjunction with other gurus the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) at MIT and the School of Electronics and Computer Science (ECS) at the University of Southampton. "The goal of WSRI is to facilitate and produce the fundamental scientific advances necessary to inform the future design and use of the World Wide understand the growth of the Web and to create approaches that allow new and more powerful beneficial patterns to occur." They also hope to help the Web support "the basic social values of trustworthiness, privacy, and respect for social boundaries."