Folksonomy and last.fm

18 Jan 2008 - 4:34pm
6 years ago
3 replies
765 reads
Vlad Fratila
2007

Hi everyone!

I recently stumbled across some papers about taxonomy/folksonomy (mind you,
I'm still a student).
I noticed the common oppinion about folksonomies is that they are not
reliable because of the
synonymy of the language.
(
http://www.adammathes.com/academic/computer-mediated-communication/folksonomies.html
)

So today I find this image on last.fm
http://userserve-ak.last.fm/serve/160/405256.jpg
You can find it at this page http://www.last.fm/music/Kooks

IxDA has 2 topics on this, quite theoretical and interesting:
http://ixda.org/discuss.php?post=9948
and
http://ixda.org/discuss.php?post=16143

I'm curious for thoughts about the method last.fm is using to clean up their
tags. For now, it does not seem much.
And if this is older, the fact that I haven't seen it until now must mean
something.

How would you "normalize" their tags though? What techniques are being used
for this? What is the best practice?
(Sorry if this is a bad post, but they say theory is one thing, practice
another :)

Comments

18 Jan 2008 - 6:20pm
stauciuc
2006

Hi

I use Last.fm daily, so I will speak from this point of view.

I came across that page once, clicked on that link, got to the MusicBrainz
website, read through to "MusicBrainz is a community music metadatabase that
attempts to create a comprehensive music information site. ", didn't even
notice the download links (too small?), remembered all I wanted from
last.fmwas to listen to music, closed the MusicBrainz website and got
back to my
business.

I guess motivation is a good factor to consider when asking users to 'do
things the right way'. When I navigate to a page that says 'Invalid tag', I
am not that motivated to start fiddling with my ID3 tags or learn how to use
a new piece of software.
But when a song I like can't be recognized, because it has a bad or missing
tag, and I can't add it to 'My Loved Tracks' for that reason, then maybe it
would be a good time to remind me that there is (if there really is) a tool
that could help me get those tags in order *automatically*.

This last.fm user spoke.
Sebi

On Jan 18, 2008 11:34 PM, Vlad Fratila <sparkle.vlad at gmail.com> wrote:

> Hi everyone!
>
> I recently stumbled across some papers about taxonomy/folksonomy (mind
> you,
> I'm still a student).
> I noticed the common oppinion about folksonomies is that they are not
> reliable because of the
> synonymy of the language.
> (
>
> http://www.adammathes.com/academic/computer-mediated-communication/folksonomies.html
> )
>
> So today I find this image on last.fm
> http://userserve-ak.last.fm/serve/160/405256.jpg
> You can find it at this page http://www.last.fm/music/Kooks
>
> IxDA has 2 topics on this, quite theoretical and interesting:
> http://ixda.org/discuss.php?post=9948
> and
> http://ixda.org/discuss.php?post=16143
>
> I'm curious for thoughts about the method last.fm is using to clean up
> their
> tags. For now, it does not seem much.
> And if this is older, the fact that I haven't seen it until now must mean
> something.
>
> How would you "normalize" their tags though? What techniques are being
> used
> for this? What is the best practice?
> (Sorry if this is a bad post, but they say theory is one thing, practice
> another :)
> ________________________________________________________________
> *Come to IxDA Interaction08 | Savannah*
> February 8-10, 2008 in Savannah, GA, USA
> Register today: http://interaction08.ixda.org/
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
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>

--
Sergiu Sebastian Tauciuc
http://www.sergiutauciuc.ro/en/

18 Jan 2008 - 7:20pm
M. Jackson Wilkinson
2008

Depending on how the tag entry interface is laid out, I've seen
success by suggesting existing tags as the user is entering them.
Sometimes this is styled like auto-completion, other times it can be
a drop-down list of sorts, or simply a list presented to the user
after entering an unknown tag.

As long as it's unobtrusive and actually seems to be helpful, users
seem to go for it.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=24745

19 Jan 2008 - 7:43am
Fred Beecher
2006

On 1/18/08, Vlad Fratila <sparkle.vlad at gmail.com> wrote:
>
>
> So today I find this image on last.fm
> http://userserve-ak.last.fm/serve/160/405256.jpg
> You can find it at this page http://www.last.fm/music/Kooks
>
> IxDA has 2 topics on this, quite theoretical and interesting:
> http://ixda.org/discuss.php?post=9948
> and
> http://ixda.org/discuss.php?post=16143
>
> I'm curious for thoughts about the method last.fm is using to clean up
> their
> tags. For now, it does not seem much.
> And if this is older, the fact that I haven't seen it until now must mean
> something.

I don't think this is related to either taxonomies or folksonomies as there
is no classification happening. I am an obsessive last.fm user myself, and
have actually gone through and fingerprinted my iTunes library (it doesn't
take much human effort, just CPU time).

What's happening here is that last.fm wants to come to consensus on *how to
label* a given track, album, etc., not what genre it is or whatever. They're
trying to solve the problem of having the same track show up as multiple
different tracks. Previously, if two users scrobbled the same track but with
slightly different ID3 tags, they'd show up as different tracks. The
last.fmtagging system (which is about as folksonomic as it gets) is
something
completely separate.

Conceptually, the "folksonomy pointing to the taxonomy" technique discussed
in one of the links you sent is similar, but in this case you may have
several different ways of labeling a track that point to the "canon"
label. For example, I downloaded a Roger Rotor album from eMusic and the ID3
tags for all the tracks are in all lower case. When I listen to tracks from
this album they show up on my last.fm profile as, e.g., "Roger Rotor -
Beyond Beyond" instead of "roger rotor - beyond beyond."

Personally, I think this sort of thing is great for a site like last.fm.
People use it for all sorts of things, but discovering new music is probably
it's primary value (well, for me anyway : ). So when I really like a track I
can click on it to see who else has listened to it and then see what else
they've listened to. Before tag normalization, that would be more difficult
because what I'd be looking at is not everyone who listened to the same
track, but only those people whose ID3 tags for the track were the same as
mine.

- Fred
(http://www.last.fm/user/captainbleep)

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