How fanfic archives lead the world in data organization

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/06/11/centaurs-vs-tag-wranglers.html

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Taxonomy is human! Who knew? Come to think, I have yet to see AI that can index a book as well as a human. It’s a big picture/small picture thing. As above so below except in certain cases, see below.

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The emergence of a cultivated/managed folksonomy with an encouraged, fluid ontology as an alternative to the Rigid ontologies vs folksonomies, is a really interesting sociological/social psychology finding. In a strange way it reminds me of how it is cheaper to pay someone to pick up litter than to try to enforce litter laws, even if it isn’t as “satisfying” from a law and order or efficiency perspective. Being overly worried about efficiency actually loses it’s value in an economy of abundance where people consider having a job a luxury, and if anything we are literally looking for meaningful work for people to do.

I’ve had to adopt a similar flexible strategy in my work developing project management software for non-profit initiatives. I get the project requirements basically the day the grant is approved and work must begin, so the first round of software is always a certain set of rigid structures common to all our projects, and then a lot of flexible categories that emerge over the first project year. If the project gets a second year of funding, we reflect, refine and cultivate based on year one’s findings.

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Not surprised; fanfic writers and readers have a strong, vested interest in being able to find exactly what they want in Ao3. For reasons.

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Great article, wrong org! :smiley: The Archive of Our Own is a project of the Organization for Transformative Works (OTW) (https://www.transformativeworks.org/) and yes, you were in fact one of our earliest supporters/donors back in 2007! :smiley:

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