Tags, folksonomies and file structures

I’ve been responsible for spec’ing the recently released Community of Practice (CoP) platform for IDeA, which is being made available to all local authorities in the UK public sector. I kept functionality to a bare minimum in the interests of getting the site launched – hence bells & whistles are few and far between. However, I’m currently getting these (bells & whistles) spec’d now, but having great difficulty in convincing managers at IDeA of the merits of using community tags for creation of ‘folksonomies‘, as opposed to using a rigid file plan for places like the document library. I’m familiar with self-tagging content I produce, and finding key information using ‘tag clouds’, but I still seem to be in a minority – primarily limited to those familiar with social networking tools. Tradition dictates that there MUST be a file plan – it would appear! Then I came across David Cameron’s blog – if he can see the merits of tag clouds then I’m hoping I can convince my colleagues in IDeA (and ultimately the 2 million or so other staff working in local government) that this is the future! I didn’t coin the name ‘Dissident’ by accident!

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