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Folksonomy, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Mess
Clay Shirky, Decentralization Writer/Consultant, shirky.com
Stewart Butterfield, General Manager, Flickr, Yahoo! Inc.
Joshua Schachter, Director of Engineering, Yahoo!
Jimmy Wales, Chairman of the Board, Wikia, Inc

Date: Wednesday, March 16
Time: 10:00am - 10:30am
Location: California Ballroom B & C

As Louis Armstrong said, "Folk music is music by folks." Similarly, folksonomy is organization by folks. The term, coined by Thomas Vander Wal, described the shared classification of a large body of material, often using simple tags in a flat namespace.

Folksonomy assumes you can get value from such shared classification without binding guidelines for how the material is classified, or professional standards for limiting who the classifiers are. Anyone who has ever taken Intro to Library Science can see why folksonomies are unworkable, which makes it all the more curious that they are working in places like del.icio.us, Flickr, and Wikipedia.

Come hear the founders of those three systems talk about the theory and practice of unconstrained classification as practiced on their sites, and their speculations about future direction and value to developers in adopting folksonomic strategies for large, distributed systems.

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