This week, my article called “‘The most passionate cover I’ve seen’: Emotional information in fan-created U2 music videos” was published in the Journal of Documentation.
At the time of acceptance, I had to notify the university so they could document it in the institutional repository (it’s required). Shortly after, someone in Strathclyde’s communications office contacted me for an interview about the research. He said it would likely have broad public appeal, so he wanted to write a press release about it. He interviewed me and wrote the press release right away, but he wasn’t allowed to send it out until the article was published. The press release went out yesterday morning.
So I knew that was going to happen, but what I didn’t expect was all the other outlets that picked it up. It might be out on other places, but the communications office found it on the Irish Examiner, Yahoo!, Glasgow Live, and The National. They also found it on the live feed of BBC Scotland. @U2BreakingNews linked to the Glasgow Live and Irish Examiner stories as well as on phys.org and rte.ie. Other stories can be found on BT, Times of Malta, Science Daily, Crazy Engineers, rockol.it (in Italian – here is the translation), Big News Network, The Hans India, and Inverse.
All this media attention is very exciting (if a bit overwhelming!) But I would like to clarify that I am the sole researcher responsible for this work. Depending on the outlet, I have been called “a group of students” and “a team of researchers”. I was also called “Ms Pennington” by one source, although it’s clear from the press release that I am “Dr Pennington”. I would like to thank William Hoffman, the Inverse writer, for taking the time to interview me on Google Hangouts last night to ensure he got all the facts correct and to gain a bit more insight into the research and my motivations for doing it.
I wonder where this will go? I will definitely continue this line of research. I have been working with Emotional Information Retrieval (EmIR) for a few years, and non-text indexing and retrieval for even longer; I just get more and more excited about them over time. Text search and retrieval is about as good as we can get it for now, but we have so much more work to do on how we find pictures, music, and videos online. Many of our searches for non-text items online are emotionally driven; for example, you might want to hear a happy song because it’s Friday afternoon, or a song that mellows you out because you need to focus on a task.
For now, I’ll just continue to enjoy my 15 minutes of fame, which is probably about over, even though my friends are calling me a “celebrity” on my related Facebook posts. Besides, as Bono sings in the brilliantly beautiful song “Original of the Species”:
Some things you shouldn’t get too good at
Like smiling, crying, and celebrity
Some people got way too much confidence baby
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