What Does Folksonomy Mean?

Folksonomy is the process of using digital content tags for categorization or annotation. It allows users to classify websites, pictures, documents and other forms of data so that content may be easily categorized and located by users.


Folksonomy is also known as social tagging, collaborative tagging, social classification and social bookmarking.

Techopedia Explains Folksonomy

Derived from "folk" and "taxonomy," folksonomy is a common feature of most social media and Web 2.0 platforms. It creates a common and shared vocabulary of related terms or keywords with each unique type of content.

Folksonomy primarily occurs through tagging, or adding metadata information to content. This data may be in the form of any of the following:

  • Location/URL/content shortcut
  • Category/type/class
  • Author/owner

Adding such data results in improved content visibility, classification and searchability.

Folksonomy may be broad or narrow. Broad folksonomy provides a wealth of related content data and tags, whereas narrow folksonomy information is limited.


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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.