Keywords:commonplace books, commonplacing, folksonomy, social tagging, remixing
This paper presents illustrative examples of digital technology that facilitates information sorting and recontextualizing. A number of online media, like microblogging and photo sharing Web sites, allow collecting and systematizing information over time. Citations and user annotations, along with copied and embedded multimodal material, are compiled into new works through a complex interplay between users and Web services. The resulting texts can be seen as remixes, created by tags and links to various sources, which let individual contributions become part of a large number of potentially new texts. This article examines two examples to highlight qualities of tagging written and visual information: Twitter and Pinterest.
This way of reusing digital information may be compared to similar analogue information management practices, known as commonplacing, found in early modern Europe. Readers would keep useful information to be retrieved later by copying passages from their own reading into notebooks called commonplace books.
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