Folksonomies, tag clouds, and tagging tools vary in nearly every application and web site in which they are used.

A folksonomy is a list of labels or tags that users generate. They can be a label for a picture, a title for a file, a category for a blog posting. When several people combine their tags, the results can be displayed as a folksonomy. Usually these labels are displayed in a tag cloud, allowing a reader to easily see which term has the most information, and what other words are being used.


Folksonomies are the most powerful for users when administrators can merge similar words and edit the vocabulary. Folksonomies are the most powerful for personal use when you can retain your own tags that have meaning for you. The ideal software solution would allow both merging terms at a broad level as well as allowing users to keep their own data sets as well. Drop-down or automatic-fill boxes for tags suggest already-approved tags to help with consistency.

At some point, all folksonomies become chaotic, and control and cleanup should be done to make them usable again.

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