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Folksonomy is a neologism for a practice of collaborative categorization using freely chosen keywords. More colloquially, this refers to a group of people cooperating spontaneously to organize information into categories, noted because it is almost completely unlike traditional formal methods of faceted classification. This phenomenon typically only arises in non-hierarchical communities, such as public websites, as opposed to multi-level teams. Since the organizers of the information are usually its primary users, folksonomy produces results that reflect more accurately the population's conceptual model of the information. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Folksonomy [May 2005]

The folksonomy of "video nasties"

The ambiguities and insecurities of the “popular archivist”

For Jim Collins, “the emergence of new repositories of information such as the computer network […] exemplify the widespread reformulation of what constitutes an archive, and just as importantly what constitutes an archivist” (Collins, 1995: 25). As my analysis of “nasty” website discourse demonstrates, this new democracy of archivization (achieved through the emergence of the web) has allowed male “nasty” fans to operate like even more liberated versions of Henry Jenkins’ “textual poachers” (Jenkins, 1992), reclaiming official facts and collating memories, and giving them new uses and new meanings within the realm of the personal website.

Through the meshing together of the objective - facts, figures and lists - and the subjective - memories and nostalgia and the use of items from fans’ collections - within online archives, such fans carve a niche for themselves between the public (fan magazines such as The Dark Side, as inspiration and primary source of the facts and information used on such sites, but also wider, more legitimate bodies such as the BBFC and the DPP) and the private (the individual activities of “nasty” video collectors, who watch, order and catalogue such videos in the private spaces of their homes).

However, as Will Straw recognises, while such approaches seem to have a social, dynamic and heroic bent (with published and establishment sources being reclaimed, with ongoing archives being constructed, with dynamic memories being recounted and preserved), they also have an anti-social and insecure flipside (a “propping up” with published sources, an emotional attachment to past objects and past times, a hiding away in the stuffy realm of the archive and the collection). What the existence of such a flipside reveals is that while the uses of the “video nasty” on such sites can operate as a means of obtaining a feeling of autonomy, power and activeness for the identity-seeking fan, the ambiguities that exist behind these uses always run the risk, on more free-flowing message board discussion, of being easily exposed and opened to criticism. Particularly, if the earlier-cited message board discussion is taken into consideration, by female horror fans with differing approaches to the appreciation or consumption of horror and/or cult cinema. --Kate Egan, http://www.cult-media.com/issue3/Aegan.htm [May 2005]

see also: taxonomy

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