Folksonomies in crowdsourcing platforms: Three tensions associated with the development of shared language in distributed groups

Publication Type:

Conference Proceedings


The European Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work (ECSCW) (2024)


<p>Members of cooperative groups can work together more effectively if they develop a shared language, but distributed groups face barriers to doing so. To better understand how shared language can emerge in and support the work of distributed groups, we review the literature on folksonomies (a kind of shared language) in crowdsourcing systems (one type of distributed work). The review highlights three tensions associated with the development of folksonomies in crowdsourcing. The first problem is who has the power to decide on adopted terminology. Second, different users of the language may have different needs. There might be tension if people tagging objects are not the same as those using these tags to search for content. Finally, projects need to decide when to intervene to maintain a balance between a stable ontology and the ability of the project to accommodate ongoing changes. We illustrate these considerations by comparing how they are handled in the story-sharing site Archive of Our Own, the citizen-science project GravitySpy, and the photo-sharing site Flickr.</p>

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