Bruce Sterling est un auteurs de science-fiction qui, comme William Gibson, son camarade cyberpunk, a imaginé dans les année 90 un futur proche qui ressemble fortement à notre présent (voir notamment "Les mailles du réseau").
Dans cet article de Wired il revient sur le concept de "folksonomies". Extraits:
A folksonomy (…) arises spontaneously as Net users encounter information, think about what it means, and tag it with descriptive words. Then software makes the information accessible via a simple keyword search. The results aren’t definitive or scientific, but they can be very useful.
Folksonomy emerges from a combination of two inventions: (1) machines that can automate at least some of what it takes to classify information and (b) social software that makes users willing to do at least some of the work for nothing. You’ll notice that 1 and b don’t really go together. Folksonomy is like that. A pinch of free work and a peck of mechanical sorting will get you from 1 to b.
There’s room for scholarly smarts in this approach – for instance, you might invent a really cool term like folksonomy – but mostly, it’s a new way to crowd-surf. It’s as though you threw a kayak into a mosh pit and glided not just through Web pages but through labels, concepts, and ideas, too.
That won’t lead you to a specific piece of information, but it’s new and fascinating. What’s more, it’s native to the Web. Flickr has invented an eyeball-stickiness engine – a colossal photoweb slide show where you can glom your eyes onto whatever other people might call "ice" or "fire" or "sexy."
In a future of information auto-organized by folksonomy, we may not even have words for the kinds of sorting that will be going on; like mathematical proofs with 30,000 steps, they may be beyond comprehension. But they’ll enable searches that are vast and eerily powerful. We won’t be surfing with search engines any more. We’ll be trawling with engines of meaning.