Tag Your Records: some tips

By Marie_Bee

Hello, dear RECorders!

Since I've started curating, I've been browsing through more RECords than I ever have before. I just wanted to put out another friendly reminder to tag your records! I also though it might be helpful, at least to some of you, if I shared some tips on how and what to tag. It makes me sad when I happen upon awesome videos/photos/texts/etc that have been overlooked in searches, because there are no tags. (Then of course I thank my lucky stars that I found a hidden gem.)

There are a ton of users on the site now, and with show production, it is easy for things to get buried. People here love to REmix. For example, when I have an idea for a video REmix, I start with a list of shots/scenes I'd like to collect. Before I resort to searching the public domain, I try to find as much as I can on the site. The search box is our friend, and the search box is only useful if you tag!

First, I go through the drop-down menu, and fill in as many of the pre-set tags that apply. if I'm releasing a video or image, I go through the prominent colors. If there are shapes, or patterns, tag them. If there are sounds or background noises that might be useful, tag them.

Use nouns. Use adjectives. Often, if I'm releasing anything that has to do with Ephraim, I always use terms like child, toddler, little boy. Then I move on to little details that might be important down the road for someone. If he's wearing his yellow boots, I tag 'yellow boots'. If he's wearing a cape, I tag 'red cape'. If he's running, I tag 'child running', sometimes I'll also add 'kid running, boy running' etc. Sometimes I even tag the color of his hair, because I think I remember the good CaptClare mentioning that one a while back. You could get super specific and tag eye color, or a freckled face, or texture of hair. You just never know what someone may be looking for, especially for particular people like myself!

Describe the scenery, the setting, the city, the era, any movement happening in brief, concise phrases - I always just try to think the same way I've searched before. When I was working on Night Violet, I really really wanted some footage of a couple holding hands. I searched 'holding hands' - I could not find anything. I still believe that somwhere on the site there is at least one video record containing 2 people holding hands. They just weren't tagged. And I wound up scrapping that idea. Try to think of other ways to describe - I have a lot of image/video records of Lake Michigan. I not only tag the obvious 'lake', but I always add 'waves', 'water', and the color the water is that day.

Of course, the same descriptive way of thinking should also be applied to audio and text records. I'm just using visual records as an example here.

Lastly, after I've gone through the obvious physical descriptions, I might add a mood tag. If the record gives off a definite vibe, atmosphere, feeling - things like 'sexy, mysterious, romantic, whimsical, childlike, longing, melancholy, pensive' and on and on.

In short - try to be as descriptive as possible, without reaching too far. Tags are so important, but you also don't want to go overboard and drift into the world of spam, where you are tagging terms that have absolutely nothing to do with your record. (This should go to what you add to collabs, too - make sure it's relevant to the request!)

The more tags on the site, the easier it is to find your RECords, and I just know there are so many hidden treasures out there wating to be discovered! 


PS: Check out CaptClare's PSA on tagging here: http://www.hitrecord.org/records/1354886

And I thought I'd share this collab that I was recently introduced to - add or search for stock/raw footage clips here:


Tag Your Records: some tips

Created: Aug 08, 2013

Tags: marie bee, non-fiction, tag, how to, tagging records, essay, tips, tutorial, records, description

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