The Trouble with Tags: The Challenges of Collaborative Metadata and Participatory Culture in Class Blogs
This piece describes how I tried to get students in an introductory world literature survey course to link similar ideas and themes in their blog posts by asking them to create tags. I envisioned that these tags and the corresponding connections made would form an evolving archive of literary themes and cultural issues. However, the resulting tags were overly specific to each student’s individual blog post, which obscured connections rather than forming them. Ultimately this piece illustrates the challenges and potential of tags as a form of collaborative metadata that frames and develops student understanding of literary criticism.