InfoWorld Editor Stuck in 2005
So before we run off and recommend that companies ditch their classification efforts, and Librarians, let's recap why tagging has 'issues' in the corporate setting:
- Adoption Rates & Buy-in - When users are given the opportunity to self-classify documents or enter 'nothing', guess which way many will turn? Unfortunately, enterprise wide buy-in isn't as easy as conceptualizing within a magazine column.
- Tagging has huge potential for abuse & spamming - even behind the firewall, users will put self interest first, and aren't always concerned if their co-workers can find their document later.
- A complete lack of synonym and homonym control- On the web with millions of users, this may be good enough. But when an enterprise requires access to its information to operate, missing stuff here and there just isn't acceptable.
- Tagging requires critical mass to work - The smaller the organization, the more users won't find what they are looking for. The result is that users will be forced to browse their co-worker's tags, rather than search on an enterprise wide basis.
- Tagging often ignores the Long Tail - In the professional service industry, our selling proposition is our expertise. Niche bits of information are important. Ignoring the small stuff leads to knowledge gaps, and forces professionals to re-invent the wheel. Clients don't want to pay for that.
So here's the deal... Tagging is a great technology. Every corporate librarian out there will tell you that. And it works even better when teamed with a controlled vocabulary. But for Mr. Margulius to equate Librarians with one classification style over the other, and claim that we are a waste of money, is simply insulting. Librarians were examining the merits of folksonomies 2 years ago, and he's just getting into the game now?
Perhaps this is InfoWorld's new online strategy? If you were looking to linkbait a bunch of Librarian bloggers, well I guess you got me ... um ... no. I just put 'nofollow' on your link. No google juice for you Infoworld! Have a nice day.