We’ve just launched our collection online and now we need some help tagging, so visitors can better find objects within it. Of course, we were thinking, why does tagging have to be such work? Why not try and do something fun with it? So, Tag! You’re it!
We’ve all seen Google’s Image Labeler and it’s a really fun tagging game. Google pairs you with someone live via the web and you both tag the same image independent of each other. At the end of the timed session on that image, the “matches” are revealed and you gain points if your tagging terms match your partner’s. Google gets two things here: tags and relevance. If two people independent of each other tag the same image with the same terms, Google can establish that term with that image as more relevant when searching. Pretty cool. Alas, Google has traffic we all wish we had and it’s easy for them to match partners up on the spot. Chances are there will always be at least two people in Google’s universe who will play Image Labeler at the same time. We don’t have that kind of circumstance, so we had to re-envision our game to work in a slightly different way.
We may not have Google-like traffic, but we do have a Posse (now sortable by most recent, most active, top taggers), so why not design the game so the Posse can play against each other, but perhaps not in real time? Zing!
When Posse members login to play the game (yup, we are requiring an account for this) they tag away at objects that appear on screen. When a Posse peep tags he/she can’t see what other taggers have termed an object. [Think The Wisdom of Crowds where we know independence and minimizing influence is key.] As a Posse member tags, they move up the ‘tag-o-meter’ scale and pass other posse members in the standings. The ‘tag-o-meter’ has few surprises in store as you move up the scale—no way am I giving anything up, so you’ll have to go play for yourself to find out what I’m talking about. If you get to the top tagger position, there’s an even bigger surprise and you get the option to get an email notification if someone out-tags you from the top spot. When you’re tired of playing and want to end, we’ll show you your term matches with other Posse members (matched terms then become more relevant when visitors search our collection) and you’ll also see your standings (both for that session and overall, from the start of your Posse account).
That’s it: A simple and fun activity for the Posse which, in turn, establishes better relevance for the visitor trying to search our collection. Sweet!
Why no screenshots in this post? Go play Tag! You’re it! and see for yourself.
Shelley Bernstein is the former Vice Director of Digital Engagement & Technology at the Brooklyn Museum where she spearheaded digital projects with public participation at their center. In the most recent example—ASK Brooklyn Museum—visitors ask questions using their mobile devices and experts answer in real time. She organized three award-winning projects—Click! A Crowd-Curated Exhibition, Split Second: Indian Paintings, GO: a community-curated open studio project—which enabled the public to participate in the exhibition process.
Shelley was named one of the 40 Under 40 in Crain's New York Business and her work on the Museum's digital strategy has been featured in the New York Times.
In 2016, Shelley joined the staff at the Barnes Foundation as the Deputy Director of Digital Initiatives and Chief Experience Officer.