The Brooklyn Museum has jumped right into the "community pool" They're working with most of the tools available: collecting members for their "Posse", utilizing Flickr & Twitter, publishing member blog posts to the site, soliciting and posting member videos and what I'm looking at today, they have implemented a community tagging program on their site. Art is the perfect candidate for this type of cataloging. Imagine all the many descriptive words you could come up with for this this photograph.

Now think of the words your father or grandfather might use to describe it, today or 30 years ago. The potential value of a cataloging public perception of art over time is extremely exciting too me.

Here's how they are doing it and using it.

click to enlarge

Logged in "Posse" members can add tags to the full catalog of images. Tags can be added and removed. This removal function moves the tag into a state of limbo where the community can "play the game to decide the tag's fate"

"Here's how this works: you'll be presented with tags that have been flagged for removal by other posse members and your job is to provide a second opinion about the relevance of the tag. Consider these examples as guides: What I think is really successful about this is the tone, it's positive and productive. It empowers the users without creating a climate of competition or negativity.

Users also receive points for participating and are rewarded with special views of art not available to everyone else. I love these very appropriate awards, organization and companies should take a look at why their users are participating and find ways to strength this reason. In the case of the museum rewarding with more exposure to what the users love is brilliant. Although it may seem obvious many site might have given a t-shirt or points towards partner products instead of what the users really want.

In addition to viewing all of the tags associated with a piece you can also see who contributed to the tags. Great for helping you explore other pieces that are related by a particular users taste.

The museum also does a bit of curating, as you would expect. It pulls out a few specific tags and links to other works tagged the same. It appears that these tags aren't necessarily included in the community tags and are more similar to a standard controlled vocabulary system.

Users can also comment and indicate that a piece is a favorite.

There's a lot going on here, I think I'll explore some more and continue to come back to see the growth of the community and the health of this community tagging program over time. Over all you guys at the Brooklyn Museum are doing a really nice job:) and are an example for other organizations to watch.