D. Bollen, and H. Halpin. HT '09: Proceedings of the Twentieth ACM Conference on Hypertext and Hypermedia, New York, NY, USA, ACM, (July 2009)
Most tagging systems support the user in the tag selection process by providing tag suggestions, or recommendations, based on a popularity measurement of tags other users provided when tagging the same resource. The majority of theories and mathematical models of tagging found in the literature assume that the emergence of power laws in tagging systems is mainly driven by the imitation behavior of users when observing tag suggestions provided by the user interface of the tagging system. We present experimental results that show that the power law distribution forms regardless of whether or not tag suggestions are presented to the users.