Part 1: User Manual
This section provides an overview of the site’s technical architecture and functionality.
- What is the Photoshop Inscriptions [PI] project?
- What is a Video Profile?
- Browsing PI
- Searching PI
What is Photoshop Inscriptions?
The Photoshop Inscriptions project is a web-based tool for aggregating metadata and analytical information for a test set of YouTube videos that culturally inscribe Photoshop and Photoshopping. The set of videos were compiled by Dr. Frédérik Lesage on 4 April 2017, according to four sorting criteria: view count, relevance, rating and date. The goal of the project is to create profiles for each video based on their captions, keywords, and the videos themselves, identifying their purpose (why), content (what), form (how), audience (who), time (when), and place (where). The researchers then extrapolated how the videos shared certain generic tendencies by analyzing their profiles in aggregate.
What is a Video Profile?
A video profile collects information about a YouTube video, linking metadata generated from YouTube’s API with an analytical profile. A Video Profile contains the following elements:
The primary page for a video profile displays the following metadata fields:
Video: An embedded video generated by a link to the video on YouTube.
YouTube URL: The video’s URL on YouTube.
Description: The description that accompanied the video on YouTube.
Date and time: The date and time the video was uploaded to YouTube.
Captions available: Indicates whether captions have been provided for this video on YouTube.
Captions downloadable: Indicates whether the captions have been made publicly available by the uploader.
Playlists: Indicates which playlist(s) the video is from. Note that a video may belong to more than one playlist.
Duration: The video’s duration in hours, minutes and seconds (00:00:00).
Definition: Indicates the video definition (i.e. Standard, HD, etc.)
Keywords: A list of keywords that were provided for the video on YouTube. Keywords are used to index the videos on the site: clicking a keyword will pull up a list of all the videos that have been tagged with that keyword.
License: Indicates the license-holder for the video (i.e. YouTube)
Embeddable: Indicates whether the uploader has given permission for the video to be embedded in other sites.
Clicking on “Profile” button on the top right-hand corner of the video profile will pull up its profile page. A video’s profile page lists the following information.
The team drew heavily on Yates and Orlikowski’s work on genre of communicative practice (1992; 2002; 2007) to identify the key aspects of each video.
- Purpose: These are categories related to the stated purpose of the video.
- Form: These are categories related to the formal qualities in which the video is presented (combination of graphics, pacing, presentation, etc.)
- Participants: Yates and Orlikowski leave this element considerably underdeveloped for what it’s worth, focusing exclusively on ‘who initiates which genres and to whom such genres are addressed’ (Yates & Orlikowski 2002: p.16). In this case, we supplement the definition of ‘participants’ and make it more inclusive in the sense of a type of actor figured in the video whose qualities are 1) manifested across more than one video and 2) not exclusively embodied within a single individual.
- Content: To designate content in this case is tricky because at some level the content is “Photoshop” since the videos, for the most part, are discussing Photoshop or photoshopping. This is, however, not a very helpful insight. We have therefore interpreted the category of content as being focused on what kind of image is being treated or talked about. In a very ‘McLuhanist’ sense, the content of the video is the form of the image(s) presented in the videos.
- Time: This element refers to temporal expectations made on the creator or the audience.
- Place: This element refers to expectations about the filming and viewing locations/places (be they physical or digital).
Created: Date that the profile was created.
Updated: Date that the profile was last updated.
The main menu on the home page has a drop-down “Browse” menu, which lists four options:
Displays a list of playlists according to the different sorting criteria: view count, relevance, rating, and upload date. Each sorting criteria has two playlists, one with that lists only videos captions and another that lists videos with or without captions. Clicking on a playlist will show all the videos in the playlist.
Displays a list of all videos belonging to one or more playlist. You can sort the videos according to ID, date published, or title (alphabetical) by clicking on the links next to “Sort by” at the top of the Video List page. Videos are listed in teaser format, showing a thumbnail of the video, its title, an excerpt of its description, and the date and time it was published. Clicking on the video’s title will open its full profile. Each video has its own unique ID number, which is visible in the URL.
Displays a list of all the channels that host the YouTube videos in the set. Note that YouTube doesn’t have a “user” category, but a channel functions as a user profile. Entries are listed 25 at a time, by their unique ID. When you click on the channel you will see the videos that are associated to that channel.
Displays a list of all videos with captions and information about the kind of captions and their language. Videos with captions are listed by title 25 at a time, and clicking on the title will open the video profile.
Part 2: Administrator Manual
This section provides an overview of the site’s back end, and protocol for coding profile elements.
- Logging in
- Administrative elements: Video Keywords, Profile Elements, Profile Keywords, and Video Profiles
- Workflow for coding profiles
Administrators can log in to the site by clicking the “log in” link in the top right-hand corner of the home page. This will direct the user to a page where they can enter their credentials. To acquire login credentials, please contact Dr. Lesage (email@example.com).
Once a user has logged in, they will have access to more elements in the drop-down “Browse” menu:
Video Keywords: A list of keywords generated from all video profiles. The keywords are sorted according to the date and time they were created and updated on the PI platform. The information given for a keyword is its name, label (how it appears on PI – usually the same as the name), the date that the keyword was created, and the date that it was last updated. Note that the keywords are a taxonomy that indexes the videos: clicking on a keyword name will pull up a list of videos that are tagged with that keyword.
Profile Elements: A list of the different profile elements that can be filled in by a user when they code the video. Profile elements are static categories that are used to describe attributes of every video. For example, profile elements might include purpose (why), form (how) and audience (who).
Profile Keywords: An open taxonomy of terms that can be applied to the different profile elements, which describe different aspects of the video. Note that profile keywords are generated by PI users and are not taken from the original YouTube posting. For example, profile keywords that could be applied to the “Purpose” element include “Tutorial,” “Photoshop Fail” or “Geeking out and messing around”. The information given for a profile keyword is its name, the profile element with which it is associated, the date that the profile keyword was created, and the date that it was last updated.
Video Profiles: A list of video profiles that were created by the logged-in user. The information given for a video profile is the video’s name, the date that the video profile was created, and the date that it was last updated.
Workflow for coding profiles
Primary coding phase
The project has three coding phases, each with a different approach to the video, with the aim of getting the fullest sense of its genre elements. The objective in this first phase is to begin to heuristically develop a series of coding categories related to genres of Photoshop-related YouTube videos using the typology in part developed by Yates and Orlikowski using the captions texts collected from a sub-sample of videos from a larger sample of YouTube videos collected for the Photoshop Inscriptions project. These videos included captions in one form or another but it is unclear to what extent they are representative of the larger sample. Nevertheless, the hope is that this pilot will produce a sturdy enough set of coding categories to be able to apply to the larger sample in Phase 2 that will involve a second coding pass that involves watching the videos.
For this first phase of coding you will need:
1) The zip file containing all video captions as .txt files / access to full set of captions on NVivo.
2) The Excel spreadsheet for organizing notes and keeping track of the videos you’ve coded.
3) Access to the PI site.
Coding a Video
1) Choose a video from the .txt file list that has Standard captions in English.
2) Open that video’s profile on the site by typing /video/# at the end of the URL (i.e. https://dhil.lib.sfu.ca/pi/video/230)
3) Read the captions and try to determine the video’s purpose, form, participants, content, time and place using the profile keywords below.
Once you’ve determined a profile keyword, you can add it to the video profile by navigating to the profile page and clicking “edit” in the top right-hand corner. This will display writeable fields for all the profile elements.
You can choose an extant profile keyword from the drop-down list that appears when you click on the writeable field; or, you can start typing and the site will pull up matching terms. Try to choose the term that best describes the video; if there is no appropriate term, you can add a new profile keyword by typing it in the text field and pressing enter.
4) Fill in the fields in the Excel spreadsheet. If there’s a particular line or two that summarizes the video’s purpose, you can copy it and add it to the Excel spreadsheet in the “[Caption]” column. If there are any notes about the video – for example that the captions are not in English, or [other examples], these can added to the “notes” column.
Profile keywords by category:
A. Purpose (why)
These are categories related to the stated purpose of the video.
A 1. Tutorial (why)
The purpose of this video is to provide step-by-step instruction for how to achieve a certain effect or produce a certain results with Photoshop.
A 2. Review
The purpose of this video is to assess, review, or critique a product or service of some kind. (This might involve using Photoshop or reviewing Photoshop or Photoshop-related product or service).
A 3. Photoshop fail/Photoshop effect
The purpose of this video is to identify and/or criticize how Photoshop is applied to an image. This includes cases in which the purpose of this video is to respond (most likely critically) to the adjustment, correction or outright manipulation of digital photographic images using Photoshop or related software packages. (see keywords in journalism P. 113)
A 4. Geeking out and messing around
“Geek cred involves learning to navigate esoteric domains of knowledge and practice and being able to participate in communities that traffic in these forms of expertise.” (Horst et al., 2010, p.67)
The purpose of the video is to entertain in the sense that it emphasizes comedy or story… that being said, there remains an emphasis of technical dexterity.
A 5. Documentary
The purpose of this video is to provide a historical account of Photoshop’s development and impact on culture.
B. Form (how)
These are categories related to the formal qualities in which the video is presented (combination of graphics, pacing, presentation, etc.)
B 1. Tutorial (how)
One of the main ways in which the video is formally constructed is to use step-by-step, on-screen demonstration of technical effects that produce a certain results with Photoshop. Although in many cases A1 and B1 will overlap, in some cases instructions may be used as a formal approach for a different purpose (ex. 122 as part of a product review).
B 2. Mid shot
The mid shot refers to a shot of one or more people who are speaking either to each other or to the camera. The mid shot is different from the close up (see B3.) in that the background or general context in which the people are speaking is visible.
B 3. Close up
The close up refers to a shot of one person. This person can be not speaking, speaking to the camera or speaking to someone off camera. The close up is different from the mid shot (see B2.) in that the background or general context surrounding the person is not visible.
B 4. Screen grab
The video includes a screen shot of something.
B 5. Split Screen
The video includes 2 or more windows on the screen at any time throughout the video i.e. multitasking.
B 6. Music
Music is an important/significant component such as when the background music plays an important role. (Example: a commercial in which music is being played throughout the video.)
C. Participants (who)
Yates and Orlikowski leave this element considerably underdeveloped for what it’s worth, focusing exclusively on ‘who initiates which genres and to whom such genres are addressed’ (Yates & Orlikowski 2002: p.16). In this case, we will use figurations to supplement the definition of ‘participants’ and make it more inclusive. Ie. ‘figure’ in the sense of an subject whose qualities are distinguished from .
Each of the figures below can also be coded for gender by adding (m) or (f) (ex: Photoshop (m) geek; Photoshop (f) geek; Celebrity (f); Celebrity (m); nameless (m) model; nameless (f) model. In cases where gender cannot be determined, leave blank (Photoshop geek; Celebrity; nameless model)
C.1 The Photoshop geek
This figure manifests itself when a person exhibits knowledge about and/or performs skills related to using Photoshop.
C.2 The Celebrity
This figure manifests itself in reference to someone who is a named person (to the point where their name or face is presented as someone recognizable to the viewer). This includes named people where a speaker refers to the figure using a proper noun. For example, where a Photoshop geek is editing him/herself, this counts as ‘celebrity’. Another example is in cases where the figure is itself remediated from another medium (ex. Represented as a still from a named film or their image is printed on a published magazine cover). An additional clue for identifying the celebrity is to examine whether the name appears as a keyword in the video’s metadata. Include (F) or (M) for cases in which gender is explicit.
C.3 The nameless model
This figure takes shape in reference to a human whose presence in the video is primarily for their physical appearance as subject to Photoshopping and whose personal traits remain generic. Include (F) or (M) for cases in which gender is explicit.
A figure that is not human but animal in some form or other. (ex. Dog, cat, or cartoon dog, cat.)
D. Content (what)
To designate content in this case is tricky because at some level the content is “Photoshop” since the videos, for the most part, are discussing Photoshop or photoshopping. This is, however, not a very helpful insight. We have therefore interpreted the category of content as being focused on what kind of image is being treated or talked about In a very McLuhan sense, the content of the video is the form of the image(s) presented in the videos.
The content being edited in Photoshop (or the Photoshopped content) is a picture of one person/animal to three people or animals.
The content being edited in Photoshop (or the Photoshopped content) is a picture of a scene or building. A scene could include more than three people.
The content being edited in Photoshop (or the Photoshopped content) is text.
The content being edited in Photoshop (or the Photoshopped content) is an object that is distinct from its background.
No content is edited in Photoshop.
E. Time (when)
This element refers to temporal expectations made on the creator or the audience.
E.1 Very short
Video is 2 minutes or less.
Video is more than 2 minutes to 4 minutes
Video is more than 4 minutes to 10 minutes
Video is more than 10 minutes to 20 minutes
Video is more than 20 minutes
F. Place (where)
This element refers to expectations about the filming and viewing locations/places (be they physical or digital).
This place category appears when the graphical user interface, ex. the desktop or Photoshop interface, is a key location in which actions unfold.
This place category appears when a domestic space of any kind (kitchen, living room, bedroom) is a key location in which actions unfold.
This place category appears when a workplace of any kind (office or studio) is a key location in which actions unfold.
This place category appears when the setting is designed as a presentation space of any kind (green screen background, presentation setting, blank/white background, decorative set) is a key location in which actions unfold.
In cases where a space that we can’t categorize.
Yates, J., & Orlikowski, W. (1992). Genres of Organizational Communication: A Structurational Approach to Studying Communication and Media. The Academy of Management Review, 17(2), 299–326.
Yates, J., & Orlikowski, W. (2002). Genre Systems: Structuring Interaction through Communicative Norms. Journal of Business Communication, 39(1), 13–35.
Yates, J., & Orlikowski, W. (2007). The PowerPoint presentation and its corollaries: how genres shape communicative action in organizations. In M. Zachry & C. Thralls (Eds.), Communicative practices in workplaces and the professions: cultural perspectives on the regulation of discourse and organizations (pp. 67–91). Amityville, NY: Baywood Pub. Co.