VideoTag, A Social Tagging Experiment – Play, Watch, Tag and Explore

This pioneering experiment, entitled VideoTag led by PhD Student, Stacey Lewis, will help to understand how useful tagging can be at describing the content of a video. It could potentially lead to discovering if descriptions are detailed enough to improve indexing and used to gauge opinion of videos.

The VideoTag experiment aims to encourage the collective tagging on YouTube. It has developed a game based tagging environment which will encourage users to tag and stimulate a rich and varied vocabulary of tags. The tags generated will facilitate research into the potential benefits of a collaborative tagging system for online video collections.

The University is looking for volunteers to watch some of the most popular YouTube videos whilst playing a game and help tag the YouTube videos.  For those not interested in gaming they can simply watch and tag.

Stacey Lewis said “If the hours of time people invest into watching YouTube or playing casual games could be combined and put towards a useful task – like labelling videos - we could easily generate enough tags to more effectively categorise YouTube videos and make them easier for everyone to find.”

Search engines know what a video is about by the text associated with that video e.g. it's title or description. This text is provided by the person who uploaded the video and sometimes it may not be entirely accurate or not detailed enough to fully describe the video.

Tagging is a useful way of gathering text that describes the content of the video. If done collectively, by multiple viewers this could potentially result in a variety of descriptive words that could be used by search engines or curators to organise online video collections and improve their findability.

At present viewers of YouTube videos cannot tag the videos they are watching, be that to label videos as they add them to their own collections or to label them for the YouTube community.

To mark the launch, VideoTag are currently running an incentive to all new users. If you sign up for a VideoTag account, you will be entered into a prize draw to win one of five $25 Amazon gift cards. 

This is the next phase of VideoTag, a research project first run in 2007. 


For more information please contact Dawn Beddard in the Media Relations Office on 01902 322736

Date Issued: 10 May 2013

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