International Conference on Weblogs and Social Media

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March 26-28, 2007

An Activity-based Perspective of Collaborative Tagging

Shreeharsh Kelkar, Ajita John and Doree Seligmann

Collaborative tagging offers an interesting framework for studying online activity as users, topics (tags), and resources (bookmarks) get associated with each other through a folksonomy. In this paper, we consider an activity-based perspective of collaborative tagging where activity is defined as the act of associating a tag with a bookmark by a user. The perspective categorizes activities based on two defined measures: intensity and spread, which indicate the level and range, respectively, of the tagging activity, measured for both users and tags. Our block-model perspective juxtaposes two subperspectives: (i) A user perspective that captures the activity of users across different tags and, (ii) A tag perspective that captures the activity in tags across different users. This juxtaposition can provide an insight into different communities of users and tags. It has applications in identifying trends and types of interests in web communities as well as expertise, staffing needs and knowledge gaps in enterprise communities. Results obtained by analyzing data from a commercial tagging service offer interesting case studies.

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