Folksonomy Projects and Tools

Over the years, Bob has cultivated a special interest in bottom-up or folksonomic metadata systems. They play a key part in our client work, teaching, and development. Below you will find some of the output from that interest.


OneQ is a simple tool Bob created for emerging definitions from a group of contributors. You can check the tool out here.

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Faculty Accomplishments Folksonomy Project

In the 2002-2003 academic year, we completed a research study on an automated tracking application for faculty accomplishments. The study included work on the value the application needed to deliver to induce faculty to use it and research into a taxonomy creation system that could allow the vocabulary of accomplishment to emerge directly out of faculty contributions.

Project Start October 2002
Project Complete June 2003
Project Team

Bob Boiko
Aaron Louie
Suzi Soroczak
Todd Waller

Project Documentation

Project Overview

The faculty accomplishments project is sponsored by the UW Provost’s Office, the School of Nursing, and the Information School to make recommendations to implement a university-wide faculty accomplishments system (FAS) for tracking the achievements of the UW faculty. The system would be used by the faculty at the UW to record their accomplishments over the course of their employment with the university. Deans and university administration would make use of this information to prepare reports on departmental and university activities and advertise the accomplishments of the faculty. Other uses for a system of this type would be to reduce accomplishment data redundancy, facilitate finding expertise on campus, and support the faculty tenure process.

The overall goals of the accomplishments system project were:

  • Defining and describing what an accomplishment is. Our system must somehow instantiate a concept of accomplishment that is wide enough to encompass the whole faculty yet confined enough to be comparable across disciplines. The system must show how such accomplishments can be created and later accessed.
  • Acknowledging, rewarding, and promoting accomplishments. The system we propose must define and instantiate these terms and propose an interface for accomplishing them.
  • Categorizing accomplishments in ways that are meaningful to the users of the system. The proposed system must show how the users of the system can find the types of information they most want from the accomplishments that the system contains. For example, users might want to see accomplishments in the light of the expertise or interests they imply.
  • Enabling maximal high quality submissions from faculty. The system must include feasible and reasonable means for encouraging faculty to log their accomplishments in a high-quality way and categorize them to the extent necessary for the later use of these accomplishments.

To prove that our approaches are useful, we tested them with our primary users. To prove them implementable, we produced prototypes and working models that demonstrated the approaches. The project was successfully completed in June 2003.

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