Mediate is a collaborative time-based media annotation tool developed by River Campus Libraries and Joel Burges, Associate Professor, Department of English, Film and Media Studies, Digital Media Studies, and Director of the Graduate Program in Visual and Cultural Studies at University of Rochester.
Media literacy is one of the most pressing concerns for research and teaching due to the centrality of multi-modal content—images, sounds, and text—in our culture. From film and television to video games, music videos, social media, music, and podcasts, multimodal content is ubiquitous in our everyday lives. Yet education still focuses primarily on text-based literacies. Mediate, a web-based platform that allows users to annotate multimedia content, tackles this problem by providing a means for individual or collective inquiry into time-based media. Users can to upload video or audio, generate automated markers, annotate their content on the basis of customizable schema, produce real-time notes, and export their data to generate visualizations.
Once the annotation process is finished, users have a wealth of preserved data and observations about the media. Past students have used that data to create visualizations based on their observations, using the visualizations to test hypotheses and produce interpretations of multimodal content. The utility of Mediate ranges from students learning to close-read time-based media narratively, visually, and sonically to scholars working individually or collectively to reevaluate central questions in the history of moving images or sound recording at both microscopic and macroscopic scales.
Sample Use Cases
Introduction to Media Studies
Linguistics and Advertising
Poetics of Television
Music and Digital Culture
Mediate has entered the second phase of development. Based on student feedback, Josh Romphf has made substantial changes to the user interface. In spring 2019, we ran student focus groups on Mediate in order to gain further insight to help prioritize future features. In the coming months, we look forward to working with Sean Morris to develop a more user friendly admin interface. In fall of 2019, undergraduate researcher assistant Tiamat Fox will work with the project team to develop more robust documentation and synthesize feedback from the expanded use cases.
Sign-up to receive updates about Mediate. In the coming year, we will reach out to colleagues at other institutions to test the new administrative interface and possibly see if there is interest from the community in using Mediate in a research project or course.
- Joel Burges, Principal Investigator, Associate Professor, Department of English, Film and Media Studies, Digital Media Studies, and Director of the Graduate Program in Visual and Cultural Studies, College of Arts, Sciences, and Engineering
- Josh Romphf, Lead Designer and Developer, Digital Scholarship Programmer, Digital Scholarship Lab, River Campus Libraries
- Emily Sherwood, Project Manager, Director, Digital Scholarship Lab, River Campus Libraries
- Sean Morris, Interface Designer, Information Discovery Team, River Campus Libraries
- Nathan Sarr, Web Applications Programmer, Information Discovery Team, River Campus Libraries
- Ralph Arbelo, Library Network Systems Administrator, Library IT Services, River Campus Libraries
- Stephen Alexander, Library Network Systems Administrator, Library IT Services, River Campus Libraries
- Maurini Strub, Director of Assessment, River Campus Libraries
- Darren Mueller, Assistant Professor, Musicology, Eastman School of Music
- Solveiga Armoskaite, Assistant Professor, Linguistics, College of Arts, Sciences, and Engineering
- Patrick Sullivan, Doctoral Candidate, Visual and Cultural Studies, College of Arts, Sciences, and Engineering
- Tiamat Fox, Undergraduate Research Assistant, College of Arts, Sciences, and Engineering
The project team owes a debt to those who worked on the early stages of development, including:
- Nora Dimmock, former Project Manager and Assistant Dean, River Campus Libraries; currently, Deputy University Librarian, Brown University
- Tom Downey, former Library Network Systems Administrator, Library IT Services, River Campus Libraries; currently, Infrastructure Engineer, Springshare