The goal of this paper is to conduct an analysis of seventeen existing and proposed methodologies for the use of facets in social tagging applications, with particular emphasis placed on the extent to which these methodologies address the following questions:
- How do you choose facets that can apply generally to all subjects in social tagging applications
- How many facets would suffice to cover site members’ needs?
- Who should choose the facets?
- How do you ensure that the facets chosen reflect the needs of the site members?
- How do you maintain the facets and impose quality control over them?
Results of this analysis indicate that these methodologies provide insufficient guidelines for the choice, evaluation, and maintenance of the facets. An underlying problem in many of these studies is their lack of clear definitions of what constitutes a facet. The lack of emphasis on the mutual exclusivity of facets is particularly troublesome, since it is perhaps this attribute that would determine the effectiveness of facets in a social tagging application. Most of the proposed methodologies do not address how facets are to be derived or maintained. A proposed framework for a more rigorous approach to the incorporation of facets into social tagging applications is presented to facilitate the use of facet analysis as a bridge between the benefits of the grassroots, bottom-up approach to the selection of tags, and a more controlled and efficient organization and visual browsing of tags in social tagging applications.