Purposeful tagging

As I focus on festival research as a case study in successful research publication to the creative industries, I have decided to explore current publication strategies in this field. In this blog post I will highlight a few of my findings.

A case study in searching and finding articles

Researchers Rogier Brussee, Michiel Rovers, Harry van Vliet, Dick Swart and Erik Hekman of the Crossmedialab at the Hogeschool Utrecht (HU) wrote an article about crowdsourcing in 2013. A quick Google search of the article and/or its derivatives shows that it is (most easily) available in the following archives:

These are all openly accessible archives, and the article is freely downloadable, but who will find it? The answer to this question is: mostly researchers that know about the HU’s lab or have actively searched for information on crowdsourcing, especially in (semi) academic knowledge resources.

Tagging and questions

The article is tagged across different archives with these terms:

crowdsourcing, categorisation, costs, benefits, recommendations, examples, web 2.0, social innovation, cocreation, social media

These tags do describe the content of the article, but do they make the article more findable, especially when considering a (festival) professional’s search strategy?

To find out what route a professional might (must?) take to reach this article if it is relevant to them you must start to think from their perspective. This means leaving the research question or aim of writing the article for what it is and focussing instead on what question(s) a professional might have that are answered in this article.


Placing myself in the shoes of a festival professional, I have sketched out the process of getting to the article and highlighted which gaps exist in this process in the current situation. For this purpose, the professional is a professional working for an Amsterdam music festival, with a low level of familiarity with research, who wants to get a quick overview of options relating to economising the festival organisation OR how to build a sustainable relationship with a core audience. Their questions might be:

  • How can I save money while organising my festival?
  • How can I build a sustainable relationship with an engaged audience for my festival
  • What (alternative) marketing methods can I use?

Following from these questions, you might come up with a totally different set of tags for the same article:

finances, budget, saving money, economise, alternative marketing, audience building, engagement, community, visitors

The diagram below shows this process. Additionally, it suggests the type of information that is currently hidden in the longer text of the article, that would be useful as direct access points for the professional.



Another case study

A report on Open Monumentendag in Utrecht (by Michiel Rovers) is findable here:

with the following tags:

cultureel erfgoed; beleving; social media; kwantitatief onderzoek, festivals, user experience (beleving)

Questions that a fellow Open Monumentendag organiser in Amsterdam interested in the type of people and media usage that the event attracts might have the following questions:

  • What type of audience can I expect at the Amsterdam Open Monumentendag?
  • Which marketing and media tools are effective in reaching the monumentendag audience?

From these questions follow the following tags:

demographics, audience, monumentendag, marketing, media, communication

And the following diagram:




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