Category Archives: web2.0

Anything from my research that’s related to web 2.0 technology and current research.

MySpace Developer Platform

It had been an idea of mine to try and create a Facebook app, maybe try and create a content tagging game of sorts, but Facebook is saturated by applications and well honestly, it’s one of the many things I just probably won’t get around to doing. But I was interested to see that MySpace have launched their developer platform using Google’s Open Social technology. MySpace is more open than Facebook, profiles can be viewed by anyone unless users actively make their profiles more private, so it opens up more scope for applications that use all the social data available.

 

 

As a tagging enthusiast I’ve been thinking it’s something missing from MySpace. In Web 2.0, social networks and tagging go hand in hand. I was thinking about what apps might be possible maybe something to do with the music section, tagging bands. But then I came up with the same old problem of why would anyone bother to do it?

 

 

I started thinking about why users use MySpace and I think rather than Facebooks uses of keeping in touch with friends, MySpace is much more about showing off and self promotion. Also attracting new friends and meeting people. This ties in well with tagging motivations, with the main motivations for tagging being to refind information or self promote. It would be good to build a tool that would allow users to tag their friends, tag new MySpace profiles/blogs they find and also to tag themselves. Whilst this would hopefully be of use to users, it would also be useful to researchers. An app of this sort would generate a lot of useful data about the types of tags users use and also what they like to tag. Would more users tag themselves as self promotion, bands they like or use it to organise their friends?

 

 

I think I want to change my PhD application and do this instead!

 

All Finished

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 . 

Vander Wal, Leicester

Went to hear a talk by Thomas Vander Wal (the creator of the term folksonomy) last week at Leicester De Montfort University. It was interesting. It was good to hear his definition of what folksonomy is. And even better to realise I have been on the right track for the last 6 months! It focussed more on businesses use for folksonomy at marketing products. Using tags to gauge public opinion of products.

I particularly liked his visualisations of folksonomy which I hadn’t seen anywhere else, they showed the relationships between tags as meta data, identity as the user and object being tagged. Looking back whilst writing this it is similar to nodes in the tripartite network of a collaborative tagging system.

 

We ran out of time at the end so he never fully got to discuss what he saw as the future of tagging, which I would have liked to have got his opinion on. I gathered that clustering through co – occurrence relationships was the main development, which adds some order to the folksonomy without necessarily forcing a hierarchy. Examples of how this works on Flickr and Rawsugar showed how it is a very useful development.

 

I would have liked to have asked him some questions, but ran out of time – it is intimidating though asking a question in a group talk situation, I prefer informal workshop one on one discussions I think. I’ll have to get over that.

 

View the slides to accompany the talk here

Almost Web2.0

I thought i’d check if VideoTag was web2.0 or not http://web2.0validator.com

It checks your site against a list of rules that are created through people bookmarking the site in del.icio.us. VideoTag scored 8 out of 66, so i guess i’m not web2.0, however according to the results, i don’t use tags, mention a long tail or use Ajax, which i do, so i guess that makes me 11 out of 66 which is still pretty rubbish.

It did say i was web3.0 though, maybe VideoTag’s too ahead of the game to be web2.0!!

Maybe i’ll set up a rule – “Mentions VideoTag” score an extra point!

The results:

  • Uses python? No
  • Denies the existance of Rocky V ? No
  • Is in public beta? No
  • Rocks out to the dance noise sound of Chinese Forehead ? No
  • Uses inline AJAX ? No
  • Uses the prefix “meta” or “micro”? No
  • Mentions Tag Clouds? No
  • Is Shadows-aware ? No
  • Mentions Neowin.net ? No
  • Apperars to use moo.fx ? No
  • Appears to be non-empty ? No
  • Has a Blogline blogroll ? No
  • Uses tags ? No
  • Appears to be web 3.0 ? Yes!
  • Attempts to be XHTML Strict ? No
  • Uses Google Maps API? No
  • Has favicon ? Yes!
  • Refers to mash-ups ? No
  • Uses Cascading Style Sheets? Yes!
  • Mentions startup ? No
  • Mentions Less is More ? No
  • Received a cease-and-desist from CMP Media or Tim O’Reilly ? No
  • Uses the word meme? No
  • Appears to use AJAX ? No
  • Refers to the Web 2.0 Validator’s ruleset ? No
  • Mentions an “architecture of participation”? No
  • Appears to have a Google Sitemap ? No
  • Appears to use RSS ? No
  • Makes reference to Technorati ? No
  • Refers to Flickr ? No
  • JavaScript by Dreamweaver ? No
  • Faviconized ? Yes!
  • Refers to VCs ? No
  • Mentions The Long Tail ? No
  • Appears to be built using Django ? No
  • Links Slashdot and Digg ? No
  • Mentions Ruby? No
  • Appears to use moo.fx ? No
  • Mentions Cool Words ? No
  • Mentions Nitro ? No
  • Mentions Ruby ? No
  • Has prototype.js ? No
  • Refers to podcasting ? No
  • Mentions Wisdom Of Crowds ? No
  • Creative Commons license ? No
  • Appears to use visual effects? No
  • Appears to use MonoRail ? No
  • Refers to Rocketboom ? No
  • Uses Semantic Markup? Yes!
  • Links to validator? No
  • Refers to del.icio.us ? No
  • Mentions RDF and the Semantic Web? No
  • Actually mentions Web 2.0 ? Yes!
  • Use Catalyst ? No
  • Mentions Neurogami and Web 2.0 ? No
  • Refers to web2.0validator ? No
  • Uses microformats ? No
  • Mentions a blog ? Yes!
  • Does it use DWR Ajax Library? No
  • References Firefox? No
  • Appears to over-punctuate ? No
  • Validates as XHTML 1.1 ? No
  • References isometric.sixsided.org? No
  • Appears to have Adsense ? No
  • Uses the “blink” tag? Yes!
  • Mentions Stickbob? No

VideoTag on mashable.com

I am so chuffed, i sent an email to Mashable in my attempts to advertise VideoTag and they’ve posted a little review of it which is great. http://mashable.com/2007/08/01/videotag/

There’s another review in spanish too, i translated it and it’s positive so that’s good. the reviewer pointed out the problem of my return key being disabled, i knew that would annoy people oh well maybe i’ll discover how to fix it one day.

http://www.genbeta.com/2007/08/02-videotag-el-juego-del-etiquetado-de-videos

So what’s great is that i now have lots of data from people all over the world, which is more than i ever imagined. i also have some spanish tags, whihc i hadn’t accounted for. They could actually score very highly as the pitfalls are in english!!

VideoTag – live and ready to play

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:

http://www.videotag.co.uk

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.

Ajax GET and POST

I’m posting my GET and POST ajax code it will hopefully be useful to some people.

I searched a lot to find some simple code as i didn’t need to validate the forms. So many scripts didn’t work properly or seemed unnecesserily complicated for my requirements.

The code has been adapted from
http://www.w3schools.com/ajax/def

the GET from:
http://www.openjs.com/articles/ajax_xmlhttp_using_post.php

Hope you find this helpful!

//Set up the XMLHttpRequest

var http = createRequestObject();
function createRequestObject() {
var objAjax;
var browser = navigator.appName;
if(browser == “Microsoft Internet Explorer”){
objAjax = new ActiveXObject(“Microsoft.XMLHTTP”);
}else{
objAjax = new XMLHttpRequest();
}
return objAjax;
}

//THE GET

function getNewContent(){
http.open(‘get’,’newcontent.php’);
http.onreadystatechange = updateNewContent;
http.send(null);
return false;
}

function updateNewContent(){
if(http.readyState == 4){
document.getElementById(‘Content’).innerHTML = http.responseText;
}
}

//THE POST

function postForm() {
var url = “formentry.php”;
var formtag = document.getElementById(‘fmfield’).value;
var params = “newfield=” + formfield;
http.open(“POST”, url, true);

//Send the proper header information along with the request
http.setRequestHeader(“Content-type”, “application/x-www-form-urlencoded”);
http.setRequestHeader(“Content-length”, params.length);
http.setRequestHeader(“Connection”, “close”);

http.onreadystatechange = function() {//Call a function when the state changes.
if(http.readyState == 4 && http.status == 200) {
document.getElementById(‘fomentered’).innerHTML = http.responseText;
document.getElementById(‘fmfield’).value = “”;
}
}
http.send(params);
}

the functions are called through an onclick event
e.g.
GET <a href=”#” onclick=”getNewContent()”>New Content</a>
POST <a href=”#” onclick=”postForm()”><img src=”Submit.gif”></a>

I couldn’t get it to work properly with a button with type image and i wanted an image so i did it with an <a> tag – i think it works with a normal <input type=”button” onclick=”postForm()”> But it won’t work if you have an <input type=”submit”> button.

I am still trying to figure out how to get it to work when the user presses return or enter – it calls the postForm() but refreshes the page.

If any one can help me on this please comment!!