Museums and the Web

An annual conference exploring the social, cultural, design, technological, economic, and organizational issues of culture, science and heritage on-line.

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search term analysis: percentages of term use in a hitwise report

The question of what makes a 'meaningful' number of queries of an on-line resource has been lingering in the back of my mind ever since i did the analysis of the Guggenheim Museum search logs last fall. At issue, really, is how to profile and analyse the long tail of user searching. (There was a D-Lib article about this not long ago, that talks about ways to analyse the nature of the tail.)

What brought this back to mind was a Hitwise Newsletter report that included the following analysis of terms that contain 'summer'.

Search Terms Analysis: Search Analysis- "summer" Search Term Analysis
Most popular keywords containing the term "summer" for the 4 weeks ending 05/19/07

ICHIM07: paper acceptances going out today and tomorrow

ICHIM07 header logo

We've now completed Program Committee Review, and are beginning to send out paper acceptances for the upcoming International Cultural Heritage Informatics Meeting, to be held October 24-26, 2007 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Our thanks, once again, to everyone who proposed. There are always far more good proposals than there are places on the program, and it is always a difficult decision. The input of the Program Committee is invaluable. As well as reviewing submissions, they've helped us define appropriate venues for presentations and have recommended we offer demonstration or briefing slots to some projects that have proposed papers.

tagging the Philadelphia Museum of Art Collection

tag cloud from PMA tagger

The Philadelphia Museum of Art has 'soft launched' a tagging application integrated into their on-line collections catalogue.

A tag cloud -- at -- shows tags assigned anonymously to the collection (tags don't seem to be linked to users though PMA has a My Museum / Gallery feature). Tags in the cloud are sized by frequency; the sequencing isn't immediately obvious.

Any user can add tags to a work, at the collection record. Tags can also be deleted by any user.

add tags to a work from the PMA collection

Tags are shown in the cloud immediately [presumably with some sort of filtering].


authenticity and perception -- sherry turkle in Forbes

Embedded in a piece on 'virtuality and its discontents' by sherry turkle in forbes is the following observation about a visit to the museum with her daughter:

@www2007 in Banff -- tagging workshop -- Thomas Vander Wal

Tagging today and tomorrow

Thomas Vander Wal

Pew study stats on tagging -- 7% of people in the US study daily

history of tagging in keyword description of resources has a long history (lotus notes, compuserv forums, bitsy)


  • personal free tagging of pages for one's own retrieval

object --> interest --> identity

                /                  |

[culture] [definition] [vocabulary]

@www2007 in Banff -- tagging workshop -- session 2

in the second session of the tagging workshop ...

Emerging Motivations for Tagging: Expression, Performance and Activism

Alla Zollers

@www2007 in Banff -- query log analysis workshop

Concurrent with the tagging workshop is one on query log analyis. It looks like the papers -- on-line here -- will be helpful in the log analysis work (where we look at logs as evidence of the kinds of things that users search for, so that we can assess whether tags could further support access to art museum collections on-line)


@www2007 in Banff -- tagging workshop -- poll

Frank Smadja has set up two polls about tagging:


go to the site and register your opinion. you have to register in order to vote in both polls ;(



@www2007 in Banff -- tagging workshop

banff springs hotelI'm in Banff this week, at the www2007 meeting. i'm on the program committee for the tagging workshop that is taking place today, and will stay for a bit to see what the technical side of the web is thinking. These are my notes from the things that i've attended (or wish i could attend)...


The Big Crawl: Internet Archive looks for 1 billion pages

the internet archiveFollowing up on Brewster's MW2007 keynote, the Internet Archive has planned The Big Crawl, a plan to capture 1 billon web pages in a crawl starting June 1, 2007.

To make sure that your museum site is included, enter your URL as a start page. See for details.

And don't forget to enjoy some time travel on the Wayback Machine!


ichim07 proposals due today: and they're coming in thick and fast, true to form

ichim header
Today is the last day for the submission of proposals to participate in the 2007 edition of the International Cultural Heritage Informatics Meetings, to be held October 24-26, 2007 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada and true to form, proposals are coming in thick and fast.

What is it about this community that makes us so 'just in time?'

Best of the Web 2007 -- and the award goes to ...

Every year, the community nominates sites to be considered for the Best of the Web awards. Peer nominations (and self-nominations) create a short list of sites that are reviewed by a panel of judges, and winners are chosen in a number of categories.

New York Times on Social Tagging and Art

there was an article in the New York Times this week about social tagging and art that focuses on tagging as a way to bridge the gap between museums as institutions as museum-goers as individuals. when museum professionals talk about introducing people to the collections, their thoughts turn to tours, or slide-shows, or other packaged information products that force visitors' self-identification as a 'beginner". And who wants define themselves as a newbie?

Seventy-six MW2007 papers on-line, and a few more numbers

The MW2007 papers are all on-line now, linked from the MW2007 speakers page at

The site has:

  • 76 papers
  • 739 pages
  • 1,615 files
  • 27,120 links (or thereabouts)

Something's shifting - audience, age and attraction, or "I'd like to try one of those phones"

The Museums and the Web papers are copy edited by the retired chair of a college English department (who also happens to be my mother). Her reaction to what she reads is always a bellweather to me, for she's pretty representative of one group of museum goers (and Web site users)