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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Break-down of topics for Research Forum discussion and review of research generally

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?

ICHIM07: Call for Papers

International Cultural Heritage Informatics Meetings
October 24-26, 2007
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Curating Ambiguity

In autumn 2006 the Electronic Literature Organization (ELO) released the Electronic Literature Collection Volume One, including selected works in New Media forms such as Hypertext Fiction, Kinetic Poetry, generative and combinatory forms, Network Writing, Codework, 3D, and Narrative Animations.

Call for Papers: WWW2007 Tagging Workshop

WWW2007 Workshop:

Tagging and Metadata for Social Information Organization

Tuesday May 8, 2007, Banff, Alberta, Canada

Call For Papers and Participation

automatic linguistic indexing of images, compared to user tagging / folksonomy

terms assigned by aliperI've just been playing with another experimental image indexing tool, that's using image analysis to suggest keywords for images, called ALIPR: Automatic Linguistic Indexing of Pictures. You feed it an image file, or a URL to a web accessible image, and it suggests keywords that might apply to that image. You're then prompted to correct the suggestions, and add alteratives, so the program "learns" through user feedback and prompting.

@ ASIST SIG-CR - final session

Panel 4: Conceptual Frameworks for Social Classification

An examination of authority in social classification systems [PDF]
Melanie Feinberg (University of Washington, USA)

@ ASIST SIG-CR afternoon session on visual resources

My paper led this session

Social Classification and Folksonomy in Art Museums: early data from the tagger prototype.

J. Trant (Archives & Museum informatics / University of Toronto)

@ ASIST SIG-CR: second session

Exploring characteristics of social classification
Xia Lin, Joan E. Beaudoin, Yen Bui, and Kaushal Desai (Drexel University, USA)

- reference to his sig-cr paper in 1997 that talked about distributed indexing
- paper reports on work in doctoral seminar @ Drexel
- IMLS-funded project: interdisciplinary perspectives on information organization in the digital environment
- Is there a paradigm shift from traditional information organization to digital information organization?
- contrasts traditional/thesaurus (concept-based, static, domain-specific, constructed, independent of documents) with digital/dynamic (connection-based, dynamic, social-network based [ jt-same words ≠ social network] , large-scale, integrated document and concept space)

Experiments done in class
1. compare terms w controlled vocabulary

asking : Is faceted indexing the future of social tagging?

Three answers from to Joseph's question....

From: NowNow []
Sent: Saturday, November 04, 2006 11:45 AM Eastern Standard Time
To: Chun, Susan
Subject: RE: Is faceted indexing the future of social tagging?

@ ASIST SIG-CR workshop on social cassification in Austin - opening

I'm at the SIG-CR workshop on before the ASIS&T Annual Meeting in Austin TX, listening to information scientists discuss Social Classification. Papers on-line at

Barry Wellman on the "Internet and Everyday Life": people who talk, talk!

Barry Wellman spoke last night at the University of Toronto about his ongoing research into the 'Internet in Everyday Life'. It was an interesting, but somehow dissatisfying presentation of some significant research into the role of communications technologies in maintaining social ties. If that doesn't sound like the 'Internet' to you, it's because it isn't.

Though Wellman casts his net widely, and talks about researching the Internet as a whole, his work focuses on e-mail (which when the first of these studies was conducted was the major source of traffic on the net). The most interesting set of statistics presented last night were about the inter-relationships between the use of fixed phones, mobile phones, email and SMS and how their use breaks down across type of social ties, and the distance between communicants. He found a group of people who are very heavy communicators, high users of all types of media. Communications technologies enable communication. Wow.

more steve ... tagger prototype preliminary analysis

terms from one of the test imagesI've begun working with the data from the prototype tagger, in preparation for a presentation at the ASIST SIG/CR workshop in Austin TX on November 4, 2006.The preliminary results, discussed in my paper [PDF preprint on-line] confirm the gap between terms provided by social tagging and those provided in professional museum documentation. We're seeing about 90% new terms in the top four, most-tagged works -- a number that really surprised me. (The blue terms in the charts are the ones that match museum documentation.) gets imls funding

The IMLS announced today that the application to the National Leadership Grants was successful. We'll be exploring whether social tagging and folksonomy can improve access to art museum collections on-line.

We're excited!


Researching Social Tagging and Folksonomy in Art Museums

Can social tagging and folksonomy improve access to art museum collections on-line? Our two-year research project (October 2006–September 2008) is designed to answer this question.

There are now millions of works of art from museums on the Web.

Research work in progress/ welcome opinions/ discussion

Our research work in progress deals with augmented reality in museum collections. The example of the decorative arts collection of the Museo nacional de Colombia. Would like feedback opinions and coments. (attached we include a recently edited article on our works progress) - a web page on museum's stories and web issues

this is an invitation to have a look at a page, an upcoming resource on museums and the web, that is still developing. You can post your museum exhibition experiences here: The straight adress is: