Sunday, April 01, 2007

Article: One Picture, 1,000 Tags

This article from the New York Times (Mar. 28, 2007) is about the use of folksonomies in museums. There have been some interesting experiments whcih have led to the tagging project. (The steve tagging project is also mentioned is this DigiNews article.)

If museums are recognizing that their collections could be enhanced by the tags that real users apply to them, should we be thinking about the same thing? Should we be harnessing the power of our users to increase our metadata and thus increase how people can access the materials? Would this increased amount of tagging help to bring our digital collections more alive?

My students are wondering if there are any library digital collections that are experimenting with this. Surely there are, although I can't think of one at the moment. (I can think of collections that are allowing users, though, to add content like the PictureAustralia Flickr pilot.) If you know of any library digitization programs that are allowing users to add their own tags, please let me know. Thanks!

Thanks to R. R. Wente-Chaney for finding the New York Times article (another eagle-eyed student).


MsMolly said...

I just did a presentation on this at a job interview last week. The two libraries that seem to be allowing users to tag things are Penn with its PennTags and Ann Arbor District Library. The difference that the tags show in their user populations is really interesting to me.

Jill Hurst-Wahl said...

Ah, yes, Penn Tags. We were thinking of tagging digitized materials (images), so this didn't come to mind. Thanks for the reminder!