The paper offers up an ontology of tags based in Heideggerian phenomenology and schema theory. It critiques the view that social bookmarking sites are a type of collaborative effort among users and illustrates that collective is often mistaken for collaborative. The latter implies an shared cultural understanding and the former results in the loss of minority culture semantics. The paper argues that the semiotic approach underlying the analysis of tags likewise mistakes the ontic for the ontological. Only an approach that is inclusive of the cultural identities of the taggers can succeed in discerning the emergent semantics of tag sets and reach the ontological conceptualizations that are integral to semantics of tags.
Update 2010.02.05: QuickTime .mov of the presentation.