Posts Tagged ‘metadata’
You know the importance of metadata—pieces of descriptive information attached to image, audio, video, and other files that make cataloging and searching your collections easier and faster.
You may be groaning already. Creating metadata is exhaustively time consuming for individuals and smaller institutions. Even for libraries with more resources, generating metadata is a chore because it’s very difficult to do effectively by computer; everything is dependent on what’s in the audio, video, or image files.
But there’s a new way to gather metadata—by getting your patrons to help! Dartmouth College’s Tiltfactor Lab, a research laboratory that designs games to address social issues, has created a toolset for libraries and archives that uses crowdsourcing (and fun!) to gather valuable metadata tags. The lab has identified three overlapping motivations that lead people to play metadata games:
- They like to help or contribute to a good cause.
- They love a particular subject area.
- They want to compete and win.
It works like this: players participate in games like Zen Tag or Guess What? In Zen Tag, viewers are shown an image and then enter as many tags as they can come up with. There are no time limits and they earn points for each tag. In Guess What?, one player describes an image to another player across the network. The second player is shown several images and must select the correct one based on the description. (Sounds like a variation on the old “$100,000 Pyramid” show!)
The result is that players can have fun, get recognition for their contributions, feel satisfaction in knowing they have helped to improve the collection, and feel a stronger connection with their library. In turn, the library gets a bunch of useful information about its collections, new ways of engaging scholars, and a deeper bond with its patrons, which very likely leads to greater participation and more successful fundraising.
You may be thinking, “Yeah, this all sounds great, but who has the resources to install it?” Luckily, the folks at TiltFactor anticipated this concern. Metadata Games is considered Free Open Source Software, or FOSS. There are no expensive licensing fees or contracts, and anyone can install, use, and customize the games.
So put your citizen archivists to work; tell them to go play!
This past weekend, I was a noob —at BEA 2013.
I’m not new to NYC. I’ve been there. And I’m not new to trade shows. Been at that for years now. And I’ve been a reader a really long time.
But I’ve never been to this trade show, in NYC, and seen all of the wacky shenanigans the publishers come up with to get people to read the books they put out. (see photo) Mostly the publishers have their famous and not-so-famous authors in the booths, signing books that won’t be officially released for months, and people line up for sometimes hours to get these ARCS/galley copies. I met one of my favorite authors, and she gave me two books when I mentioned my mom liked her stuff, too. Now that’s classy!
Overall, the new professional topics that kept coming up among all attendees were collaboration/teamwork, books with humor, discoverability, and metadata. Of course, digital publishing and ebooks and technology were around too, but they’ve been around a while.
Speaking of which… the IDPF (International Digital Publishing Forum) Digital Book Conference took place on Wednesday and Thursday, but unfortunately I wasn’t able to attend it. I got a few details from the Publishers Weekly daily show guide, and the conference’s agenda, however.
- “The Open Web Platform and Digital Publishing” – Two tastes that taste great together. Three different keynote speeches on this topic; they also discussed discovery.
- Hybrid Authors – Different discussions throughout the two days on What Authors Want, and How authors publish in various ways today (traditional vs. self-pub)
Thursday and Friday are considered the main days for the BEA show. So there’s a lot to pack in. We – in the Bowker booth – saw a lot more traffic in the afternoons rather than the mornings. We attribute this to book people not always being morning people.
I also noted that the floor was partially broken up by the geography that the publisher covered – Saudi Arabian, Mexican and Chinese books were heavily represented.
Other highlights and snippets:
- Great quote from the PW Show Daily: “It’s the one time of year when the publishers need to hand-sell to their biggest hand-sellers.”
- The Publishing Hackathon: “Where developers, designers and entrepreneurs came together for 36 hours to experiment in book discoverability.” Another topic they presented on was How to Succeed as a Publishing Start-Up.
- “Star Wars Reads Day”: Jabba the Hutt and R2D2 appeared to help 11 different publishers release several Star Wars-themed books.
- Celebrity spottings: Grumpy Cat, Julianne Moore, Gloria Gaynor, Ann Romney, Tim Conway, Paula Deen, Jim Carrey, Mo Willems, Giada DeLaurentiis, Chris Matthews, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
Saturday was the designated Consumer Day, where the general public is allowed to hit the show floor, learn more about publishing in general, and grab up lots of free books. Upublishu, formerly the DIY Authors Conference & Marketplace, held sessions that day on marketing and publicity, discovery, building a platform, working with editors, and showed off with some success stories. Vendors who serve self-published authors lined the hall, offering help with everything from barcodes to library distribution.
But the highlight of the Upublishu was keynote speaker Neil Gaiman, who in addition to hawking his latest adult and children’s books (he has one of each), spoke on “Why Fiction is Dangerous.” I can only imagine.
Please leave your comments and impressions about this year’s BEA below. We’d love to hear how your experience compares!