The Practical Keyworder - Let's Play a Game!

Two brothers playing computer games

The Practical Keyworder - Let's Play a Game!

We talked earlier about how there is no one "correct" way of keywording (The Practical Keyworder - The Mind of the User). There is a wrong way to keyword of course - using lots of irrelevant and spammy keywords is not only wrong, but it hurts the person who is doing it and it hurts the community as well (which will actually hurt an individual contributor's sales - it's a vicious cycle - so don't do it!)

But many people believe that using the most "correct" terms and describing the literal aspects of an image is the most effective type of keywording. Well, as usual, it is much more complicated than that….

The best and most correct keywording terms are the ones that generate the most sales for you - and for Dreamstime! These terms may not always be the most obvious - but they are the terms that most effectively connect the user to an image (remember the principal "every book has its reader and for every reader, a book", or image in this case).

So, how do you discover how *most* users think of an image - and what terms *most* users are using? Well, there are some tools.

There are two online games that help you practice tapping into the collective mind to see how the majority of people would keyword an image if given the chance. One of them is called IMAGE LABELER. Here are the rules: everyone plays with a partner who views the same set of images. Players put as many keywords on an image as they can and they receive points when their keyword matches a partner's keyword. The number of points will depend on how specific your keyword is.

The idea is that you receive points when your keyword is *more* likely to be used rather than less likely. How does this help you as a contributor and keyworder of your own images? It helps you learn what the most common and frequently used and even the most "impressionistic" and conceptual terms are for a particular image.

This is much more useful than simply trying to put the most technically "correct" dictionary definitions on your images. And it is

also excellent practice for people for whom English is a second language.

Another, similar game is called TAGR. It works on a the same principal - the more common and frequently used a term is, the more points you get. Try it!

Have fun and as usual...

Good Luck!

Photo credits: Edward J Bock 111.
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April 22, 2011

Does Dreamstime have category and keyword search stats available? Like the Google keyword tool? It would be helpful to be able to see the number of categories and keywords actually used on Dreamweaver to help photographers imagine what key words actually get looked for.


July 26, 2010

thanks for original keywording game - hope it may be helpful for many distributors ;-)


July 23, 2010

No, I don't think that dreamstime supports plurals. Try doing a search using identical terms - one singular and one plural - and you get completely different results. I just tried "game" and "games" and got totally different results. I tried "airport" and "airports" and did *not* click on results, I just looked at the numbers that appear below the search box - thousands for airport and only hundreds for airports. So it's best to include both singular and plural.
Also, as I pointed out in an ealier post - using plurals is a great way for both keyworders and searchers to "disambiguate" the image. Because multiword terms get split up, a plural term will be less confusing and more specific (see the post "babies and bay tomatoes") and you will get more relevant results...


July 23, 2010

Some search engines will look at the root of a word to find results, i.e. mirror making it unnecessary to include "mirrors" since typing in "mirrors" will also get you results on "mirror". Is Dreamstime like that? I noticed on your images you add the plural for certain words. I don't. Perhaps I should.


July 22, 2010

I looked TAGR,but it is not for my Mac. Does are there any for a Mac?


July 22, 2010

With 500 images or so and 5000 sales you clearly know precisely what you are talking about. Thanks for this suggestion. David.


July 22, 2010

How can anybody exploit this game and make the players keyword the images you are interested in rather than random images?
Or maybe these games are used to improve the keywords for the images of the game authors. Are the players just suckers?


July 22, 2010

I'll try! Thanks for sharing!