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Creative Funding for Text-Mining and Visualization Project

The Hip-Hop word count project [1] on Kickstarter.com [2] caught my eye because it seems to be a really interesting new model for funding a digital humanities project. You can watch the video below – but the core of the project tackles assorted metadata from 40,000 rap songs from 1979 to the present including stats about each song (word count, syllables, education level, etc), individual words, artist location and date. This information aims to become a public online almanac fueled by visualizations.

I am a backer of this project, and you can be too. As of the original writing of this post, they are currently 47% funded twenty-eight days out from their deadline. For those of you not familiar with Kickstarter [2], people can post creative projects [3] and provide rewards for their funders. The funding only goes through if they reach their goal within the time limit – otherwise nothing happens, a model they call ‘all-or-nothing funding’.

What will the money be spent on?

They aim for a five month time-line to move from their existing functional prototype to something viable to release to the public.

I am also intrigued by ways that the work on this project might be leveraged in the future to support similar text-mining projects that tie in location and date. How about doing the same thing with civil war letters? How about mining the lyrics from Broadway musical songs?

If this all sounds interesting, take a look at the video below and read more on the Hip-Hop Word Count Kickstarter home page [1]. If half the people who follow my RSS feed pitch in $10, this project would be funded. Take a look and consider pitching in. If this project doesn’t speak to you – take a look around Kickstarter [2] for something else you might want to support.

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#1 Comment By Eira On January 27, 2011 @ 6:48 pm

What a great project! Thanks for the link, I’ve made a pledge.

#2 Pingback By Modi innovativi di fare ricerche fra i testi e di presentare i dati « Archeologiattiva blog On November 5, 2011 @ 6:37 pm

[…] Guardate qui che cosa si è inventato Tahir Hemphill, creatore della Hip-Hop World Count, una sorta di almanacco del rap consultabile. E’ possibile analizzare i testi di oltre 40’000 canzoni rap dal 1979 al presente, permettendo di rispondere a domande come “chi era il più grande rapper di tutti i tempi”?, o “qual era lo champagne più popolare nel rap fra il 1999 e il 2003″? In realtà, dietro delle semplici curiosità c’è un lavoro di studio approfondito che trasforma un semplice database testuale in uno strumento di data mining, ovvero come estrapolare informazioni utili da un insieme eterogeneo di dati. […]