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Understanding Why Users Tag: A Survey of Tagging Motivation Literature and Results From an Empirical Study

17 Pages Posted: 7 Jul 2018 Publication Status: Accepted

See all articles by Markus Strohmaier

Markus Strohmaier

University of Koblenz-Landau

Christian Körner

Graz University of Technology

Roman Kern

Know-Center

Abstract

While recent progress has been achieved in understanding the structure and dynamics of social tagging systems, we know little about the underlying user motivations for tagging, and how they influence resulting folksonomies and tags. This paper addresses three issues related to this question: 1.) What distinctions of user motivations are identified by previous research, and in what ways is user motivation amenable to quantitative analysis? 2.) To what extent does tagging motivation vary across different social tagging systems? and 3.) How does variability in user motivation in hence resulting tags and folksonomies? In this paper, we present measures to detect whether a tagger is primarily motivated by categorizing or describing resources, and apply these measures to datasets from seven different tagging systems. Our results show that a) users' motivation for tagging varies not only across, but also within tagging systems, and that b) tag agreement among users who are motivated by categorizing resources is significantly lower than among users who are motivated by describing resources. Our findings are relevant for 1) the development of tag-based user interfaces 2) the analysis of tag semantics and 3) the design of search algorithms for social tagging systems.

Keywords: Social Tagging Systems, Tagging Motivation, User Motivation, User Goals

Suggested Citation

Strohmaier, Markus and Körner, Christian and Kern, Roman, Understanding Why Users Tag: A Survey of Tagging Motivation Literature and Results From an Empirical Study (October 19, 2012). Journal of Web Semantics First Look 17_0_1, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3198988 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3198988

Markus Strohmaier (Contact Author)

University of Koblenz-Landau ( email )

56070 Koblenz-Metternich
Germany

Christian Körner

Graz University of Technology ( email )

Kopernikusgasse 24/IV
Graz University of Technology,
GRAZ, STYRIA A-8010
Austria

Roman Kern

Know-Center ( email )

Inffeldgasse 21 8010
Graz
Austria

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