I’ve now spoken to two more taxonomy consultants who both expressed the opinion that folksonomies should be embraced, but only where they really work, and that they can’t always substitute for formal systems. Would anyone entrust their child’s health to the opinions of a random crowd, rather than a thorough examination by a trained and qualified expert? On a different theme, if you want a comprehensive stock control inventory so that you know how many items to order from your wholesaler, you want to know exactly how many widgets you have in your warehouse, not how many widgets, plus doodahs, plus gizmos, you have and hope when you’ve added them up you have the right number. You want to know that whenever a shipment has arrived, it has been logged on the system as a box of widgets, and not as whatever whoever happened to log the delivery felt like calling it at the time. On the other hand, you want your customers to be able to search for widgets using any term that springs to mind, and if it helps them to add a tag to your website labelling widgets “grandma’s buttons” so they can find and order them easily another time, then let them do it!