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Social Bookmarking Tools: A Case Study - Connotea (16 Apr 2005)
Instead of placing reference material in folders, or folders within folders, the organisational apparatus of Connotea creates a totally flat, but multi-faceted, space. The data can be viewed from the perspective of tags, or users, or links. The 'tags' of Connotea and other social bookmarking tools often lead commentators to decry the anarchy of unconstrained keywords, but this overlooks the fact that tags are intended first and foremost as a way for individual users to manage their own collections. In this way, they are similar in purpose to folder names in computer file systems. However, instead of creating sub-levels of organisation by nesting folders hierarchically, flat tagging achieves this by assigning multiple tags to each item, each tag being treated equally. This releases the user from some of the constraints of a traditional file system, and a web-based interface allows easy navigation of material organised in this way.
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