Susan Chun


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Susan Chun

  1. 1. Overheard at the Museum 2.0 <ul><li>Susan Chun </li></ul><ul><li>Founder, Steve: The Museum Social Tagging Project </li></ul><ul><li>DISH Conference, Rotterdam </li></ul><ul><li>December 8, 2009 </li></ul>
  2. 2. Judith Henry Overheard at the Museum 2000
  3. 3. I think the postcard is better than the painting. Wow! This painting is like a glass of modernist champagne. I don’t care for the haystacks and I’ve seen them all.
  4. 4. The Metropolitan Museum of Art: 2 million objects Philadelphia Museum of Art: 225,000 objects Asia Society: 300 objects
  5. 5. Collections Information Planning
  6. 6. 2004 <ul><li>(Thomas Vanderwal coins the term “folksonomy”) </li></ul>
  7. 7. Thinking about search <ul><li>What do visitors search for? </li></ul><ul><li>Are they successful? </li></ul>
  8. 8. About 30% of collection searches yielded null results.
  9. 10. <ul><li>Access points vary. </li></ul><ul><li>(Visitors and professionals use different terms to describe collections.) </li></ul>Visitors Professionals Colors Creators Emotions Technique Iconography Provenance Materials Materials Themes Dates
  10. 11. 2005 <ul><li>(steve is born) </li></ul>
  11. 13. Eleven Museums <ul><li>and other partners from throughout the community form a project with an open, collaborative philosophy. </li></ul>
  12. 14. Meeting virtually at
  13. 15. 2006-11 <ul><li>A series of research and implementation projects </li></ul><ul><li>Funded, in part, by the U.S. Institute for Museum and Library Services </li></ul>
  14. 16. Building Software <ul><li>Our toolset </li></ul>
  15. 17. The Steve Tagger: an open source, configurable tag collection environment
  16. 18. Available for download at
  17. 19. Steve Term Review: a tool for human review and annotation of tags
  18. 20. Steve Reports: used to normalize, analyze, and study terms
  19. 21. <ul><li>New interfaces for tagging </li></ul>
  20. 22. Research into automated Term Processing: Term normalization Blacklist/whitelist Simple stemming Complex stemming Vocabulary matching Thesaurus application Clustering/faceting Weighting Disambiguation Possible language identification Unique term identification/rare term identification Sentiment analysis Multi-word tag processing
  21. 23. 2008 Research Results <ul><li>Some highlights </li></ul><ul><li>(full results are available at ) </li></ul>
  22. 24. 11 Participating Museums 1,782 Works of Art in the Research 36,981 Tags collected 2,017 Users
  23. 25. <ul><li>Museum professionals found most tags “useful.” </li></ul>88% of tags were reviewed as “useful.” “ If you searched using this term, would you be surprised to find this work?”
  24. 26. <ul><li>Tags are different than museum documentation </li></ul>86% of all tags are not found in label copy (i.e. 86% of all tags are new access points) 62% of distinct tags not in AAT 85% of distinct tags not in ULAN
  25. 27. <ul><li>Tags are almost always “useful” when assigned two or more times. </li></ul>This kind of finding helps us define algorithms for processing terms.
  26. 28. <ul><li>Institutional affiliation matters: </li></ul>Users tag to help a museum or other organization with which they feel a bond Users specifically invited to tag by the Metropolitan Museum of Art were 4 times as productive as members of the public Public tagger: 22 tags/user Metropolitan Museum tagger: 84 tags/user
  27. 29. Overheard <ul><li>Some observations not in the research about what visitors say when they tag, and some thoughts about how we might hear them better </li></ul>
  28. 30. <ul><li>Tag: uncomfortable </li></ul>
  29. 31. <ul><li>The works may evoke strong emotions </li></ul>Jackson Pollock, Autumn Rhythm Tag: piece of sh*t
  30. 32. <ul><li>They make private associations (“very personal meanings”) with works. </li></ul>John Singleton Copley, Portrait of Paul Revere Tag: Jack Black
  31. 33. <ul><li>They make private associations (“very personal meanings”) with works. </li></ul>
  32. 34. <ul><li>They use tagging for personal retrieval or to organize works, sometimes across multiple tagging environments. </li></ul>Tag: Michael Museum of Art
  33. 35. <ul><li>A Tag Server </li></ul>Tag Tag Tag Tag Aggregating tags from steve installations, other online collections, and libraries to support and encourage cross-collection searching and browsing
  34. 36. <ul><li>They misunderstand works. </li></ul>Winslow Homer, The Gulf Stream Tag: dolphins, leisure
  35. 37. <ul><li>They have complex ideas to express. </li></ul>20% of all tags contributed were multi-word terms. Raghubir Singh Bazaar Through Glass Door, Bombay Tags: modern India, old meets new, red shopping bag, defining moment
  36. 38. <ul><li>They have their own stories to tell or expert knowledge to share. </li></ul>“ My wife and I lived in Baltimore from 1959 to 1964. One of her best friends' father passed away, and she gave my wife this work from his estate. We have proudly owned and displayed it in our home for the past 45 years.” “ This watercolor has been made in 1910 for the french newspaper &quot; l'Illustration &quot;. Dulac illustrated each christmas number of the Illustration between 1909 and 1913. I'm a french student (doctorat in History of Art) and wrote a monograph of Edmund Dulac when I was in Master degree.”
  37. 39. <ul><li>Expert Tagging </li></ul>
  38. 40. <ul><li>They speak many languages. </li></ul>5% of all tags submitted were non-English. Winslow Homer, The Boat Builders Tags: sailbaat, kespaiva, solntze, havet, koast
  39. 41. <ul><li>Multilingual Tagging </li></ul>
  40. 42. <ul><li>They are not malicious. </li></ul>Only 14 of all tags matched the steve “blacklist” of profane terms. Rembrandt, The Nightwatch
  41. 43. #1. “Our visitors want to produce as much as consume, to speak as much as to listen.” -Matt Adams, Blast Theory, 12/7/09 When they talk, we have the tools to hear them. #2. You cannot predict when something you do will result in a transformative policy or practice. Be vigilant, stay alert!
  42. 44. Hartelijk dank voor Uw aandacht! Share your ideas, questions, and plans for collaboration: <ul><li>Susan Chun </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>Twitter: schun </li></ul><ul><li>Steve </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Twitter: steve_museum </li></ul>