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!
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.