AAAI Publications, Third International AAAI Conference on Weblogs and Social Media

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Personal Information Management vs. Resource Sharing: Towards a Model of Information Behavior in Social Tagging Systems
Markus Heckner, Michael Heilemann, Christian Wolff

Last modified: 2009-07-07


Social tagging systems allow users to upload and assign keywords to digital resources. Thus a body of user annotated resources gradually evolves: Users can share resources, re-find their own resources or use the systems as search engines for items added by the whole user population. In this paper we want to contribute towards a better understanding of usage patterns within social tagging systems by presenting results from a survey of 142 users of the systems. Flickr, Youtube, Delicious and Connotea. Data was gathered partly by using the Mechanical Turk service, and partly via an announcement on the Connotea blog. Our study reveals differences of user motivation and tag usage between systems. While (resource) sharing emerges as an all-embracing intra-system motivation, users differ with respect to social spheres of sharing. Based on our results which we integrated with earlier research from Cool and Belkin (2002), we propose a model of information behaviour in social tagging systems.


tagging, motivation, empirical study, information behavior, personal information management, information sharing

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