Hulu took a step toward crowdsourcing its classification and discovery capabilities this morning, adding the ability for users to add tags to videos.
The online video site added a “Tags” tab alongside its “Reviews” and “Discussion” sections, which will allow users to classify video clips by checking a box next to any existing tag, or they can add their own tags through the “Add Tags” box. People who have added tags will be able to edit or update them at any time, through the Tags tab in their profile pages.
Perhaps more importantly, users can search Hulu’s video catalog based on tags that have been added by other people, which could enable more relevant results than what the site’s search engine provides. By crowdsourcing this information, the site is relying on users to fill in information where the metadata provided by its content partners falls short.
Hulu isn’t the only video aggregator to attempt to solve its search and classification system this way; Metacafe has long relied on its user base to classify, rate and determine whether videos are appropriate for the site. Metacafe is also crowdsourcing the way it sells ads, by enabling users to place videos into different categories that advertisers can then target.
While sites like Hulu and Metacafe are relying on their user base to solve a search and discovery problem based on incomplete or just plain bad metadata, others are relying on technology from companies like Digitalsmiths to create more relevant classifications of video content.