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Ontology is Overrated: Categories, Links, and Tags

Classification systems are confusing, providing a side-topic interest for most people. It’s not exactly fascinating stuff. Ontology is Overrated: Categories, Links, and Tags, however, presents a very readable overview of the limits of classification by categories and hierarchies. The challenge is similar to organizing a folder structure on a computer. Which files go into which folders? How do we handle overlap? What if I forget which folder I put the file into? What if someone else is using my computer to find the file? Alternative classification schemes (like tags or “folksonomies”) give greater control to the end user. Google, as an example, has done a great job of “throwing content into a bin” and giving users a simple interface to find information. Intelligence is applied to content by the person at the time of search. Tags take it one step further and allow groups of users to tag and reclassify information in a manner that makes sense to them.