Tag Archives: phd

PhD Proposal

I seem to have spent the last 6 months writing proposals. In reality I have spent 6 months attempting to write them and procrastinating and putting it off until the critical moment when I have to get it finished. Some of the more productive procrastination I’ve done is a lot of literature searches and reading. Which whilst very constructive, I now have too many ideas I want to pursue and absolutely no idea how or what to focus on.

Also in the 6 months I had attempted to write a research paper of my VideoTag project, it’s still not finished (this is a worrying trend for the next 3 years!). Point being, that I realised while writing it that I never had a clear aim at the start of my MSc project, I simply had loads of ideas for investigations that could loosely be classed as objectives. I also struggled working out what my method was, I know what I did, but why did I choose to do things one way and not another?

So now as I find myself again writing a proposal (I thought this was over for a few months now I have a place!) I’m aware that I need to have a specific aim and explicit objectives, and set out a clear method of experiments that will hopefully achieve my aim. And all I have is what I had throughout my MSc, a page long list of research questions and ideas for lots of little experiments and potential tag analysis strategies, within the umbrella of a tagging system development. So I need to establish what I will achieve by answering these research questions. What purpose my tagging system will have that contributes something to what already exists. How do I turn a page of questions into a two sentence statement of a clear and focussed aim?

As always it seems recently I have about 2 weeks to make these decisions, before my self imposed deadline because I (maybe foolishly) want to get started as soon as I can.

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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.