We have this assignment in Visual Communications to write a journal entry approximately once a week. We can do it however we want, so why not use this motivation to get the ball rolling on Fyfeblawg once again? Who knows, I might even pick up writing Album of the Week posts too!
Journal entry 1:
So, meta-tagging. Google Image Search. What do we think?
Personally, I think it does two things really well:
First, it gives you a complete look at whatever you search. Nothing is left out. For example, if you search “True Grit”, it doesn’t flood the page with posters from the Coen Brothers latest release. It mixes in posters and screenshots of the 1969 version. A fully developed opinion can be made of the search topic, one that is in no way narrow-minded or ignorant.
The second thing it does really well is convey a unified idea about the search. “True Grit” comes back with a collage of very similar looking pictures. The search returns of screenshots and posters of Jeff Bridges/John Wayne in a cowboy hat, holding a gun, on a horse, with a little girl standing beside them. 0.14 seconds, and I already have a decent what the story is about, and I didn’t have to read a word.
That being said, meta-tagging does have a weakness: misinformation.
The chicken in this post is pure misinformation. Someone is going to search ‘visual communication’ and because I’ve tagged it with such words as ‘Visual communication,” “Meta-tagging” and “Journal Entry,” and it is in a post named “Meta-Tagging,” a picture of a chicken is going to be returned in their search.
“Nonsense! Why would a chicken show up?” they will say. “Maybe a chicken has some deeper meaning in Visual Communication methods”
But it doesn’t. I’ve led them down the wrong path. Because I’ve taken this image and labeled it differently than it is.
Ok, so we’ve established all that. But for what? Why do we care about how pictures are tagged, and so what if a random chicken pops up in an unrelated Google image search.
The reason is reliance and trust. We rely on the worldwide community to give us truthful information. We no longer have to trust a single source, like a book in a library, to tell us what we want to know. If we look in a textbook written in 2005, it will tell you True Grit was a 1969 John Wayne movie, but according to popular opinion in today’s world, it is a movie actually written by the Coen Brothers, and it stars Jeff Bridges and Matt Damon.
We have access to hundreds of opinions in fractions of a second. With the click of a mouse, we can look up ‘Visual Communication” and 99.99% of the opinions are going to say it means fancy logo’s or Photoshop designs and pieces of art, but somewhere out there, there is also a crazy opinion that says Visual Communication = a chicken. Likewise, 99.9% of the results are going to tell you that True Grit is a recent Hollywood remake, but someone out there is going to tell you that it’s a ‘gain overdrive device’:
Luckily there is power in numbers. Misinformation is, in most cases, smothered by truth, and meta-tagging is successful in telling me that True Grit is in fact a movie, and Visual Communication has nothing to do with chickens.