Moving Image Social Tagging Professional vs. Amateur Production Comparison

Edward Benoit, III


The variability of moving image records and their dynamic nature create many unique description and access challenges for archivists. Social tagging could provide solutions to these issues, and research on the associated variables, such as video length and genre, would focus archivists’ use of tagging to the most beneficial environments. As such, an initial research study analyzed the effect of digital video length on the type and amount of tags created for professionally produced video. The findings recommend the use of shorter videos for highest tag generation (quantity and quality). These findings were presented at the Association of Moving Image Archivists (AMIA), the Midwest Archives Conference (MAC) and the Society of American Archivists (SAA).
This project continues the research through comparing the user generated tags of amateur and professional video, and addressing the following research question: What are the similarities and differences between user-generated description of amateur and professionally produced videos?

Five hundred participants viewed and created tags for a short (5 minute) online video. Participants were randomly divided between amateur and professional videos. Both the amateur and professional videos contained similar variables, such as sound, narration, and subject matter. The high number of participants produced a large population of tags whose subsequent analysis identified the strengths and limitations of moving image tagging through open-coding analysis and descriptive statistics. Subsequent comparison with previous tagging studies of photographs and textual documents further differentiates the findings.

This study is funded by a grant from the Society of American Archivists Foundation.


Edward Benoit, III is an Assistant Professor and coordinator of both the Archival Studies and Cultural Heritage Resource Management programs in the School of Library and Information Science at Louisiana State University. He has a Ph.D. in Information Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (2014) as well as a MLIS and MA in History (2009). His research focuses on participatory and community archives, nontraditional archival materials, and archival education. His dissertation analyzed social tags generated by domain experts and novices in a minimally processed digital archive. His current research continues exploring social tagging and crowdsourced description particular with a particular focus on audiovisual materials. He is also the lead researcher for the Virtual Footlocker Project, examining personal archiving habits of the 21st century soldier in an effort to develop new digital capture and preservation technologies to support their needs. As an educator, he integrates emerging technology into online courses blending practical applications and theory built upon constructivist and apprenticeship learning styles. In addition to archival courses, he also teaches an undergraduate general education course on Information & Society.