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Author Topic: Listen to Clay Shirky  (Read 5929 times)

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MauMau

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Listen to Clay Shirky
« on: July 18, 2005, 09:52:46 am »

This may sound like a stupid feature request. But Coppermine would really benefit from the insights provided by Clay Shirky in
http://shirky.com/writings/ontology_overrated.html

It's a very long essay, but it's brilliant.

Having read it, I, the stupid non-developer, will try to appy it to Coppermine.

Basically Coppermine should learn from Picasa and Flickr.

Here's the Coppermine workflow I envison:

1. You upload a picture (or, more commonly, a batch of pictures)

2. You decide who can view them using checkboxes and user groups. There is a check all function.

3. You add keywords to the picture or the batch of pictures ("Holiday in Greece march 2005",
"John", "Cars")

4. There is no such thing as an album. An album is just the command
"show all pics with the keyword "Holiday in Greece march 2005""
One group (i.e. "prudish family") will get to see 50 pics when they request "Holiday in Greece march 2005". Another group (i.e. "openminded friends") will get to see 60 pics when they request "Holiday in Greece march 2005".

This is much faster than making two Śprivate albums with nearly the same pics.

Read all about it in http://shirky.com/writings/ontology_overrated.html
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donnoman

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Re: Listen to Clay Shirky
« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2005, 04:25:26 am »

A very well written article. I had come to mutch the same conclusions as I've been dealing with image galleries.  I came to that conclusion after using google, and gmail really sunk the idea home.

But I don't think Shirky has the entire right of it when he talks about the value of categorization.  When I think about a Coppermine without any categories and albums, no matter how you want to slice and dice it, it no longer becomes a gallery.

Eliminating categorization when you have a job to do and you have an inkling of what you are seeking is one thing, ie: I need to find images that are based in red and show sports being played. Thats something searchable. What about things that aren't so tangable or searchable. 

I often go to users galleries, not because I know they have something I want to see, rather I just want to see what they are showing. I have no agenda other than to find out if I like what they are showing. If I don't like what they are showing I move on, If I like it, I may poke around a bit more.

First you have to define ... what is this gallery, why did I choose to create this gallery, how will my users USE this gallery.

If you go across the population of users of coppermine you will find many different uses.  I know of sites that show trains and planes for categorization, technical reasons why they might want a photo of a SPECIFIC train or plane.  You have galleries used to show products, you have galleries to show production quality photos that the artist has taken himself/herself.

So a gallery may be used as a repository, reference, advertising, entertainment, the foundation of Coppermin can support almost any use.

The point I'm trying to make is that the value of the gallery as a whole which includes how the author has categorized the items has inherent value. A site categorized well will do better than a site on the same subject with the same goal and same content categorized poorly. (Even though both galleries have the same capability to search)

Think of it another set of terms. When does google fail you?  It fails you when you don't know what to look for. What do you do when you have a desire to look at something but don't know how to find it? You go to a different source, such as a magazine (isn't that a category essentially? you wouldn't go to a Lowrider magazine to find out about playing the piano), or maybe even yahoo's categories. You search categories a little more until you come up with some specific terms, THEN you go to google and now you find success.

For example, If I wanted to buy a computer case, I could go to google and type "computer case", but I doubt I would be very successful.

What I personally would do is go to yahoo categories and look at "computer case manufacturers", I would then sample the main manufacturers websites, when I found something I liked I would then go to google and type in "ASUS T10" and I think I would be very succesful in finding a vendor for that case.  Two different tools for two different purposes, but one deliverable: "I wanted to buy a computer case that I liked".

There's a reason it's easy to call a gallery owner an "author", because you give 10 people the same 1000 images, you will likely get 10 different galleries. The most successful gallery will be the one that categorizes the content specific to thier targeted audience that makes the users experience most pleasing.

Viewing a gallery is just like real art. Would you go to the smithsonian and ask the steward,"Um yes, I would only like to see the art that has red in it, and has people playing sports".  Only if you had a job to do. Otherwise you pick the area that most pleases you and you would start browsing.  A curator has the same job a gallery author has.  Perhaps we should call them gallery curators instead.

The bottom line is that I believe that a gallery is more than the sum of it's parts. Your ability to search, categorization for its targeted users and quality content all work together to make a succesful gallery. If you are missing any of the ingredients you will have a lackluster gallery.

In future versions you will see us refine both the categorization methods as well as the search methods, but I can't see Coppermine eliminating either no matter what happens.
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Tranz

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Re: Listen to Clay Shirky
« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2005, 06:57:21 am »

CPG v. 1.4 allows for multiple instances of a file using keywords.
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MauMau

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Re: Listen to Clay Shirky
« Reply #3 on: August 19, 2005, 12:13:18 pm »

The bottom line is that I believe that a gallery is more than the sum of it's parts. Your ability to search, categorization for its targeted users and quality content all work together to make a succesful gallery. If you are missing any of the ingredients you will have a lackluster gallery.

In future versions you will see us refine both the categorization methods as well as the search methods, but I can't see Coppermine eliminating either no matter what happens.

Yes. I can see much improvement in the user interface already in 1.4
http://forum.coppermine-gallery.net/index.php?topic=16411.0
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artistsinhawaii

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Re: Listen to Clay Shirky
« Reply #4 on: August 25, 2005, 09:59:08 pm »

I would have to agree with Donnoman.  I couldn't word it better.

I suppose though, you could do a database generated set up like Shirky suggests, with the first keyword creating a category, the second -- sub-category - third album, etc.  But I think you'd end up with more fixing and troubleshooting due to typos.  I don't know if it really would be a time saver in the end.

With 1.4x, even if I make a typo in the keywords description field, I know that the picture is at least in the parent album that I wanted it to be in.

Dennis
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MauMau

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Re: Listen to Clay Shirky
« Reply #5 on: September 12, 2005, 10:39:37 pm »

Yes. I can see much improvement in the user interface already in 1.4
http://forum.coppermine-gallery.net/index.php?topic=16411.0

Actually looking at Flickr is like looking at an improved Coppermine. Here's what they say about their features:
    * You will have your own page to show off your photos
    * People can leave comments on every photo
    * Makes many photo sizes, such as thumbnail, medium and large
    * Rotate photos easily
    * Set privacy levels on each photo and decide who can see them and comment on them
    * Upload photos by email or from your cameraphone
    * Post photos to just about any blog (LiveJournal, Blogger, Moveable Type, Typepad, Manila, you name it!)
    *  Full RSS and Atom support
    * Easy uploading tools to make it easy to upload big batches of photos from Windows and Macintosh, complete with tags and privacy settings!
    * A mobile version of the website so you can see the latest photos on your web-enabled cell phone or PDA
    * Group photo pools, so everyone at a wedding, for example, can put their photos in one place.
    * ...and more!

So why am I using Coppermine instead of Flickr? Because I'm making an album that's supposed to work easily and freely fro the next 10 years. I don't expect Flickr to behave as well.
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