In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

  • Exploring Naming Behavior in Personal Digital Image CollectionsThe Iconology and Language Games of Pinterest
  • Tami Sutcliffe

More than 70 million independent user-curators have annotated their personal image collections on Pinterest since 2010. This translates into enormous numbers of individuals developing particular sense-making behaviors within the big, messy, organic datasets of Pinterest.

Naming in Pinterest is a collaborative expressive exercise as well as a private creative outlet. To capture the richness of the activities involved, a range of Wittgenstein’s language game constructions was overlaid on a sample of 700 individual pin image names, using a matrix composed of Panofsky’s subject matter strata, Rosch’s levels of categorical abstraction and Shatford Layne’s image attributes.

The intricacy of the examined surface grammar suggests Pinterest user-curators in this sample invested time and creativity in naming their collections, embracing name creation as a central aspect of the collecting process. User-curators volunteered names with a relative depth of personal meaning, contributing this personalized language across all content complexity levels of the associated images.

The relatively unrestricted naming activity visible in self-curated image collections like Pinterest offers a glimpse of both the strengths and weaknesses of a user-driven naming system. Exploring the language choices that user-curators make as they adapt individualized curating vocabularies identifies underlying user needs not apparent in traditionally curated collections restricted to standardized naming conventions. Witnessing the way images are named by engaged user-curators may assist architects of other virtual image collections to reduce factors that may have previously discouraged user name contributions.


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Tami Sutcliffe, Iconology of Pinterest, final dataset screenshot, 2015.

(© Tami Sutcliffe)

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Tami Sutcliffe
<tami.sutcliffe@gmail.com>. PhD diss., University of North Texas, U.S.A., 2014.
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Additional Information

ISSN
1530-9282
Print ISSN
0024-094X
Pages
p. 462
Launched on MUSE
2016-10-14
Open Access
No
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