Contemplating the future

My first goal now that my Msc is finished is to write up the VideoTag experiment in a paper, in the hopes the research will get a bit more interest from academic circles.  My main hope is to secure funding for a PhD so i can continue researching tagging and progress VideoTag.

The main areas I next want to focus on are motivating users to tag and game motivation.  Whilst VideoTag has found that a game format can encourage users to tag, I want to find out what motivates users to play games, return to games and stay playing games for long periods.  As well as finding out more about why users tag and whether tagging behaviour is different depending on the resource.  I also want to investigate further whether blind, suggested or guided tagging generate tags of differing cognitive level and whether or not one method of tagging is more successful than another at generating more descriptive tags.  However, the VideoTag experiment highlighted that a game environment is not a good tool to use to produce the data to analyse these methods of tagging.  Therefore, a new experiment needs to be thought up – ideally analysing existing tag data, because to create a new experiment I will face the same user motivation problems.  However, it is rare for sites to use guided tagging so it could be hard to find existing data.  Things to think about.

As for VideoTag I want to redesign it give the homepage more impact, add in the golden tag idea, cut down the video length make a limit of 2 minutes.  Also maybe offer options to quit after 15 seconds and get a new video or continue watching.  It would also be good to add in a vote system at this point to rate the video boring or interesting.  I like the idea of using VideoTag data to potentially develop an interestingness filter for videos.  My long term aim with VideoTag is that by making improvements to the gameplay enough data will be generated that will then make it possible to experiment with using the data to improve accessibility and search of internet video. 

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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

<6 weeks to go

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!

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

you tube rss feeds

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:

http://www.ubeek.com/youtube/
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!!
Arghhh!!

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.

play as guest

i made my mind up and added a play as guest facility.  I decided as long as the tags were recorded it was better to have more players tagging than know their username.  However i have put limitations on the guest accounts, they cannot progress passed level 1 and can not be entered onto the leaderboard.