Building taxonomies for web content is costly. An alternative is to allow users to create folksonomies, collective social classifications. However, folksonomies lack structure and their use for searching and browsing is limited. Current approaches for acquiring latent hierarchical structures from folksonomies have had limited success. We explore whether asking users for tag pairs, rather than individual tags, can increase the quality of derived tag hierarchies. We measure the usability cost, and in particular cognitive effort required to create tag pairs rather than individual tags. Our results show that when applied to tag pairs a hierarchy creation algorithm (Heymann-Benz) has superior performance than when applied to individual tags, and with little impact on usability. However, the resulting hierarchies lack richness, and could be seen as less expressive than those derived from individual tags. This indicates that expressivity, not usability, is the limiting factor for collective tagging approaches aimed at crowdsourcing taxonomies.
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