Two helpful articles that support the argument that we need socially-oriented tools that work in conjunction with more traditional information discovery and categorization technologies:
Tagging That Works Presentation Links
A very complete presentation by one of the thought-leaders in the field of tagging. Definitely worth clicking through the SlideShare screens or downloading the PDF to gain a overview understanding of the social aspects of tagging.
Today's presentation at the O'Reilly Web 2.0 Expo seemed to go very well. My session was Tagging That Works had really good feedback, which I thought was good as I really did not know the audience coming in to the presentation.
Knowledge Jolt with Jack: When and why taxonomy fails
Taxonomy fails when the design does not reflect the use. Richardson looks at the issue that taxonomies are often designed by subject matter experts, while the people using them are not. Unless the SME's impart a lot of their knowledge about the subject to the users, the users are going to use different terms in their attempts to find and categorize content. Frustration ensues.
Taxonomy fails because it's too easy to get too complex (and rigid) with a taxonomy. And the supporting technology (search) places too much emphasis on creating specific metadata in your information management system. I hadn't heard this second argument, though I have experienced it in various settings. Either the search tools completely ignored the fact of how something was tagged with metadata. Or that metadata swamped out all other results. Richardson uses a nice example to walk through how it happens. That said, this seems like something that should be manageable with the search algorithms that are available today.