Well I’m all finished. Handed in my report, I’m pleased with all I’ve accomplished through this project.
Here is the Abstract for the report:
Through discussion and analysis of current research in collaborative tagging systems, an emerging area of research was discovered, improving accessibility and search of visual resources through tagging. Of particular interest were two tagging projects ESP Game and Steve.Museum, where users were encouraged to tag images to improve accessibility and search of images. VideoTag extends this research by harnessing the user motivations of Play and Competition to increase and improve the meta data of a selection of YouTube videos through tagging.
The VideoTag tagging experiment consisted of a one player game where users were encouraged to tag a selection of sixty carefully chosen, funny or interesting YouTube Videos. The videos were separated over five difficulty levels. Gameplay was carefully planned in order to encourage users to tag the videos more descriptively, using tags of a subordinate rather than basic cognitive level. The experiment was uncontrolled with random users being attracted to the game through promotion on various Web 2.0 sites.
Analysis of the results focused on whether a game environment is beneficial to encouraging users to tag videos. Quantitative methods of analysis found VideoTag to be successful at increasing the amount of tags per video compared to YouTube. A long tail effect was found to present in the tag data which allowed for qualitative analysis of the quality of the tags entered based on their cognitive level.
As only a small selection of videos were used, tag data generated by the VideoTag experiment is not sufficient to test whether the data can improve search for those selected videos, or create descriptions to improve accessibility for visually impaired users. Analysis and evaluation does discuss how VideoTag proves as a concept, game based tagging could be used to improve accessibility and search and there is scope for future research .
I’ve got 6 weeks till i have to hand in my project. In real terms as i don’t get all the time in the world to work that gives me 12 days. 12 days to write up 2 chapters detailing what i’ve done, describing the experiment, explaining the results, analysing the results and critical evaluation of the whole thing. On top of this i remain completly baffled by SPSS and it really is the best way to produce my longtail graphs. Although i am tempted to knock some out in excel if time runs out. To top it all off i have writers block. The chapters are running round in my head all jumbled up but i can’t get them out onto paper for some reason.
I’m also regretting ever finding facebook as it is a perfect distraction to stop me starting writing. And it turns out so is this blog as i’m writing this instead of just mind dumping on paper to get myself started!
In order to analyse the quality of the tags VideoTag is generating, i want to compare them to the existing tags for the videos in YouTube. So i set about the arduous task of collecting all these tags and entering them into my database. I checked the YouTube rss feed and no example for favourites, so i googled it and found sites that use the youTube API to let you rss feed users favourites, but you only get the 10 off the first page, which is useless for my 60 odd videos. So i resorted grudgingly to manually copying and pasting off each video. Then i had the bright idea of seeing if i could rss feed my playlist. After a quick google search i found this site:
I was kicking myself for not thinking of this sooner, it saved me lots of time, especially when after entering all the YouTube tags for my 63 videos i got this error “possible deep recursion attack” and lost them all!!
So my annoyance at not having found it earlier, changed to being thankful i’d found it at all so re entering the 63 sets of tags wouldn’t take quite so long. grrr i hate it when quick jobs to ease you into your working day take up half of it unexpectedly.
The VideoTag game is all finished, working and ready to play. I am pleased with it, i think it works well and should, providing people play it, be a useful vehicle at generating the data i want.
The all important link:
There was only one thing that i couldn’t fix and that was the onkeypress problem mentioned in the Ajax post. I couldn’t stop it refreshing the page each time a tag was submitted, so the return/enter key has been left disabled. Not the best usability, but a more desirable fix than having a new video after every tag entered.
I have definatly reached the top of the MSC hill, the downward slope being filled with evaluating results and critically evaluating the whole project. Oh an writing up what i did and how i did it and creating some extra design document that i left to the end if i had time. So not too much work then! Roll on Sept 30th, then i won’t have a clue what to do with my time and my brain will have nothing to think about! I’ll be lost.
Decided this is a good place to put notes for my final report – mostly critical evaluation, rather than a word document where i’ll never rememeber the title and end up opening a different one each time, at least here they’re in one place and i can browse through and pick bits out that might be useful.
So firstly testing – i have discovered how useful the firebug extension for firefox is. I’ve had it for ages and never used it but it’s fantastic. I found it particularly useful when developing the Ajax sections of the site as i could tell whether or not the script was making the ajax call and whether the problem was with an other area of the code. It was sometimes one or the other, but then i could fix the relevent bit instead of spending hours just messing around wondering what wasn’t working.
Secondly pitfalls – how did i create them? Basically, in most cases i entered the first tags that came to mind when i thought of the video. I figured that as this would make them the tags that took least cognitive effort to create, this would make it likely that players of the game would also think of the same tags. Some are very basic, some not so. I did watch a couple of videos and come up with tags that were based on objects or words that stood out. This was especially the case for videos in tougher levels where more pitfalls needed to be found.
What criteria did i use to select the videos? A painful process of watching clips, seeing if they made me laugh or at least smile, sometimes then having to rule them out because although the begining was funny it got a bit silly toward the end. I was also careful to avoid videos with strong language, sexual references or violence – so that ruled out half of what i had looked at. I have let the odd mild violence video through – comparable with Tom and Jerry or The Simpsons levels of violence and there is the odd isolated case of strong language. As my demographic age range is over 18’s then i reasoned that the content was suitable for the percieved audience. Some videos aren’t histerically funny, but were ‘nice’ videos, or scary or simply high rated and i was running out of time and patience so they’ve made it in there. 3 of the videos are what 3 very kind people uploaded to my youtube group. If i get more and they are suitable, i will consider adding some extra videos to the game over the next couple of months as it will keep it fresh.
I have one problem left to fix with the game points and the tags not updating from a set timeout function which is frustrating – again it’s because i’m trying to be clever and use ajax! i need to build my admin section and create a questionnairre. i think that’s it i’m so close, i reckon 3 or 4 hurdles to go to the finish line.
I promise myself i am actually going to write some thoughts regarding the research i’m doing rather than project management ramblings. My mind is all fuzzy at the minute, i have spent the week going round in circles with my research questions, i have too many. I can’t possibly expect my little MSC project to answer them all, so i am going to have to relegate some to the future work section of my report. I will however discuss them through literature review, because they came from reading papers after all. When i am clear i will write a bit in here too. But i have now managed to get one clear (ish) research question for my whole project, which is how to create incentives to encourage users to tag internet video resources more descriptively?
So literature review, i need a plan, i am procrastinating a bit on it, i keep reading and reading, falling asleep through the reading and then reading a bit more, but it’s getting me nowhere fast. I have decided to take a suggestion from my project handbook and create a taxonomy for the 15 odd v.important papers i have in order to highlight which papers need to be discussed in what section and how they can be compared and contrasted. In theory this is a great idea, in practise i need to now be clear what sections are going to go into my literature review and what questions i am expecting my literature review to raise and/or answer.
I know the knowledge is there it’s just in a massive jumble in my head and i can’t get it out clearly into structure and words. Once i do i’m actually going to write something in this blog that hopefully sounds intelligent and will give some weight to the reasons i’m doing this project and why people should help me by playing my game.
I’ve started my project, got the proposal out of the way and whilst I am waiting for it to be approved, I don’t foresee any problems, so I’m going to plod on regardless. According to my Gantt chart above I should really be doing my literature review, but I don’t want to. I’ve designed my database well ahead of schedule (because it wasn’t as tricky as I thought) and I just want to get on with building my game. So I’m going to indulge myself in this and make a start, then in a couple of weeks when it is all going wrong and I discover that the reason the database was easier to design than anticipated, is because half of the requirements are missing, I can have a break and begin writing the literature review. Whilst the literature review is a daunting prospect, I keep thinking of how satisfied I will be when it is done.