Thursday, February 03, 2011

Tagging for community of practice

Over the last few weeks I have been thinking about, and discussing, a couple of tags within the folksonomy for an Open PhD. The main discussion has been with Leigh Blackall regarding the use of 'openphd' vs. 'onphd'. There are a number of themes within this discussion important to the Open PhD, in particular, the tagging approach in general. These themes influence the choice of a tag and how it is used.
  1. the tag should become the meme (or identifier) for all those inspired by or engaged in this activity. This does not exclude the use of other tags (or words) that become a part of the folksonomy.
  2. tagging builds the Community of Practice (CoP) folksonomy. A tag and its 'surrounding' tags become a part of the folksonomy within the community participating in the subject area containing the tag (or word). This is also a semantic web issue. Its like adding reference points to the knowledge shared within a CoP. It is important to recognize the Open PhD movement is a CoP.
  3. tags should also resonate with how you personally organize data in your head. (your contribution to the folksonomy) It is this like mindedness (or common tags) that further connects the CoP.
  4. tags are global, community aligning and individual all at the same time. The tag can be referenced through your profile or through the communities or global folksonomy. Your personal tags are a subset of the global. see the difference here;

All this comes back to the use of these two tags;
openphd - which seems to have become the meme for the Open PhD, it's obvious why.
onphd - which is meant to represent the Open and Networked PhD. This makes more sense as a tag for the Open and Networked PhD, for what we are doing will rely heavily on our social / learning network.

So what is my approach within all this?
I'm going to use both tags, openphd because it has become how I think about what I am doing and I believe it has become the meme regarding the Open PhD; networked and otherwise. I am also going to use onphd for items I come across that are reference toward the open and networked aspect.

Note: What do I mean by surrounding tags. These are the tags that become words within the folksonomy shared by the CoP.