Previous Research

Previous research investigated whether tagging can be beneficial at improving meta-data for videos through tags. VideoTag, an online tagging game was created as an experiment to prove a concept that could be used, with further investigation to assess the problems of accessibility and search of internet video.

The ESP Game inspired the idea of creating a game environment for which to tag videos sourced from YouTube. The object of the VideoTag game was to generate tags that could eventually be used as descriptions of the video files to improve accessibility and search. Analysis included comparing the tags players enter, I was interested in how and why people tag as well as the types of tag they enter. VideoTag harnesses the user motivations of Play and Competition to increase and improve the meta data of a selection of YouTube videos through tagging.

The VideoTag tagging experiment consisted of a one player game where users were encouraged to tag a selection of sixty carefully chosen, funny YouTube Videos. The videos were separated over five difficulty levels. Gameplay was carefully planned in order to encourage users to tag the videos more descriptively, using tags of a subordinate rather than basic cognitive level. The experiment was uncontrolled with random users being attracted to the game through promotion on various Web 2.0 sites.

Analysis of the results focussed on whether a game environment is beneficial to encouraging users to tag videos. Quantitative methods of analysis found VideoTag to be successful at increasing the amount of tags per video compared to YouTube. A long tail effect was found to present in the tag data which allowed for qualitative analysis of the quality of the tags entered based on their cognitive level.

A page was created to show all tags generated for all videos in VideoTag. View all VideoTag tags

Whilst VideoTag was successful at generating more tags for the videos than exist currently on YouTube, users' generally only played the game once and most only played one level. It is obvious from this that VideoTag is not fun enough to sustain play. It also highlights that VideoTag benefited from a "just trying it out" motivation, but that this is not beneficial to keep users playing longer and returning into the game.

Therefore, future research will concentrate on game motivation and tagging motivation. How can users be encouraged to tag? I had hoped a game would encourage users to tag, which it did, but not enough. Therefore, I need to find out methods of creating the element of fun that makes some games more successful than others.

VideoTag proved unsuccessful as a tool at comparing suggested vs. blind tagging as not enough users used suggestions - this could be because it was not suited to a game environment or it could be that in VideoTag guided tagging was used over straight suggestions and guided tagging requires more cognitive effort that straight suggestions.

I am continuing this research through my PhD at University of Wolverhampton.

A more detailed discussion of the findings or the VideoTag tagging experiment can be found on my blog

Play VideoTag: Tag some of's funniest videos, score points and reach the top of the leaderboard. But beware, if you tag too obviously you might find the pitfalls and loose points.