What is User-created Content? Good question, thanks for asking. Generally speaking, it can be categorised as: Available on the Internet Usually created and distributed by ordinary people – not as part of a job assignment Participation is by and large free.
Because of the ‘user’ in user-created content, this seems like a no-brainer. People bring themselves into it. Wide-spread use. Tagging: labelling something online. ‘Folksonomy’ instead of taxonomy. The value of serendipitous discovery – what others think those links might be. - Pew Internet and American Life study (2006): “28% of internet users have tagged or categorized content online such as photos, news stories or blog posts. On a typical day online, 7% of internet users say they tag or categorize online content.”
Camera brands and models. F-stop settings. Different languages. The first name of the card manufacturer’s founder.
Delicious, a bookmark-sharing service. These are only the most popular tags. Article or articles? Blog, blogging, or blogs? Book or books or ebooks? Does ‘green’ refer to the colour, or the environment? Does ‘2001’ mean the year, or the movie?
225 tags that anyone can see. Actually, 257 tags for 928 bookmarks. Even I have conflicts: ‘research’ or ‘r&d’? Tags can be organised in bundles according to topic, but the question remains: why do I have a tag called robotmonkeys under ‘culture’? Point being: based on context and relevance that only I know about. Great for personal organisation, limited value for others.
PennTags: since 2005/2006. For both Internet URLs, as well as resources within library catalogue and video library catalogue.
Find, NLNZ discovery system, has about 75 tags in it.
Trove, from National Library of Australia. Can display up to 3000 tags on this page – information overload of a different kind?
This can also be known as ‘metadata correction’, a loaded term. (Use of the term ‘enhancement’ much less problematic.)
Amazon.com: ‘Update Product Info’.
Amazon.com: ‘Update Product Info’. After submission, Amazon does fact-checking. This requires huge resource pool.
OpenLibrary is more like a wiki format – anyone can change anything, but versions are kept so entries can be rolled back if necessary. LibraryThing: ‘Edit Book Information’ is only relevant to your copy of that book; discoverability limited to your books. But that’s not what LT is about, really.
Trove OCR ‘correction’. Fixing the computer-generated text allows for more accurate discovery. For instance, in this article, I changed ‘experiment’s’ to ‘experiments’. Important to note that though Houdini is thought to be the first person to fly an aeroplane in Australia, he was definitely the first to crash. The next day, his third attempt hit the ground with the left wing: ‘Houdini was thrown out, and landed on his hands and knees.’
Digital New Zealand: ‘Suggest a location’ - ‘This approach makes no attempt to identify a &apos;correct&apos; location, but identifies possible locations. It is a way of improving the description information about the content, so more people can find it using search tools. Behind-the-scenes, the system is also generating longitude and latitude information that can power new location-based services.’ Really, the purpose of Collection-Value UCC is to help others discover more relevant collection items. This is a step in the right direction…
Dr Mark Strom, Arts of the Wise Leader
R. David Lankes, Syracuse University: Participatory Librarianship - Facilitating discussions amongst communities - Enriching discussions with deep and diverse information Remembering conversations to feed future discussions …This is where libraries should be with UCC. (Hot soup is planned for later.) It’s about collaboration. Things like discussion forums and product reviews mean better informed customers. These same sorts of things mean better informed citizens. Subject identification; providing further information; linking to other resources; correction; personal connection. - ‘Let me tell you about my grandpa: a content analysis of user annotations to online archival collections’ – Jessica Sedgwick, Archivist at Harvard Medical School.
Not just the creation of a Wikipedia entry, but the discussion around what does and doesn’t belong there.
Beyond Brown Paper: Since 2006, Plymouth State University (New Hampshire). 45,000 digitised images from the Brown Company Photographic Collection. Documents history of the Brown Company (paper production) of Berlin, New Hampshire from the late nineteenth century through the mid-1960s.
Kete Christchurch, provided by Aotearoa Peoples Network Kaharoa. Providing further information; personal connection.
Kete New Plymouth, provided by Aotearoa Peoples Network Kaharoa. Providing further information.
Kete New Plymouth, provided by Aotearoa Peoples Network Kaharoa. Providing correction.
Kete New West Coast, provided by Aotearoa Peoples Network Kaharoa. Interesting contrast: starting with a personal connection, leading back to a collection item (linking to other resources)! Go Michaela, District Librarian!
They’re volunteers. Don’t forget that. ‘Understanding and assessing the motivations of volunteers: A functional approach’ (1998) Clary, et al. Values: feeling of sharing information, altruism. Social: engage with friends, or at least like-minded individuals Understanding: to learn new things, to share knowledge Enhancement: promoting a positive self image Protective: lessening a negative self image: ‘Why am I so lucky when others are not?’ Career: may benefit due to new or enhanced skills Make it easy, make it fun. Otherwise, they’ll find someone who does. (DNZ mapping example; Trove ‘scoring’ for most number of OCR corrections.) Encourage them; encourage this. May need a policy to incorporate UCC into ‘official’ job description, but it’s worth it. May also need lots of people to help with this.
To login, or not to login? Both OpenLibrary and Trove don’t require it, but others do. Monitoring, maintaining. What responsibilities does a library have? To moderate, or not to moderate? If yes, it needs to be part of someone’s job. Pre- or post- posting? Can the community moderate? Make sure this is searchable. Or else. What about preservation of UCC, especially if you use a third party? Usage stats. If you build it, they may not come. IntenseDebate; Disqus. Future – integration with Twitter; Facebook; OpenID, OAUTH; etc. The conversation carries on away from the collection item.
LIANZA 2010 - The Value of User Created Content
The Value of
User Created Content
or, How Strangers are Communities You Haven’t Met Yet.
Manager Service Development and Support
National Library of New Zealand Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa
30 November 2010
The Personal Value of UCC
• The ‘user’ in ‘user-created content’.
• Tagging is the best example of this.
• Inherently personal;
• Sometimes not very helpful, unless
you’re the one who’s tagged the item.
• For example…
The Community Value of UCC
• Content that helps build a community of users.
• Inspired by existing items;
• Built on existing items.
• ‘I know that person…’
• ‘I was there when…’
• ‘Here’s what this means to us…’
Communication vs. Conversation
‘Communication is the sharing
of created meaning;
conversation is the creation
of shared meaning.’
How to Make it Work
• They’re volunteers. Don’t forget that.
• Make it easy; make it fun.
• Encourage them.
Things to Consider…
• To login or remain anonymous?
• To moderate or not?
• How to make user created content discoverable?
• What about preservation of user created content?
• How to monitor usage statistics?
• If you build it, they may not come.