Commons Knowledge and Folksonomy

There are both pros and cons to commons knowledge as discussed in Monday’s class. We also discussed about copyright as being the opposite of commons knowledge as its closed source, expert-driven and taxonomic rather than folksonomic. During this era of Web 2.0, people from around the world can collaborate with one another, sharing ideas and perspectives that can be both insightful and true. On the other hand, there can be faults with it as well. As Lievrouw puts it, “At its worst, it generates an appalling morass of misinformation, rumor, incivility, libel, partisan rants, uniformed ‘opinion’, and unverifiable claims”(178). An example of this is Wikipedia, which is edited by readers but a number of articles are edited by certain personnel, which is usually the more high-traffic articles. In addition, many people view Wikipedia as an unreliable source, which at times can be true. I believe that Wikipedia should be a starting point into the topic being researched and following the hyperlinks that are attached to the article can lead you further to a more reliable source. In another vein, we discussed folksonomy and its relation to commons knowledge. Social media, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr, is commons knowledge since its democratized and collaborative to some extent. The use of folksonomy, which is bottom-up categorizing, is prevalent in social media as hashtags are used to both describe the content and the person’s ideas, but also to bring in other users to their profile, status or post. By doing this, it creates the shared space for individuals to express their ideas, thoughts, and be verbose. While this may be good, as it brings people together who have shared interests, this isn’t without its faults as Lievrouw stated that it can cause rants and uninformed opinions, and so forth.

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