HS Talkoot: Microtask to the rescue of Finnish media history

September 5th, 2011 by

microtask_hs_takootHi there, friends of Microtask! We are pleased to announce the debut of a new Microtask-powered service: HS Talkoot.

Created for Helsingin Sanomat in collaboration with the National Library of Finland, the goal of HS Talkoot is to engage readers and allow them to help with the digital editing of old issues of Päivälehti, the predecessor of Helsingin Sanomat. The material in need of revision includes the whole first month of the historical newspaper (December 1889 – January 1890). All pages have been digitized in advance through automatic text recognition. Unfortunately, OCR software makes lots of mistakes when reading text that has deteriorated or is typed in old fonts. This is where human intelligence (especially our innate ability to understand signs) is needed to set the record straight.

Gamifying media
If this sounds noble but boring, don’t panic. That’s not how we run things. HS Talkoot is structured as an online game. Once you’ve logged in using your Facebook account or email address, you can challenge friends and other players for the highest score in a game against time. Along with a fun game involving the construction of life-saving bridges, it’s your chance to achieve eternal glory, top placement in the charts and the satisfaction of preserving Finnish media history.

HS Talkoot will be open until the end of October. Each week the best player will get a free 6 month subscription to the digital edition of Helsingin Sanomat. Put yourself to the test, for something noble…and fun!

More information on the project is available directly on the HS Talkoot webpage.

Oops, we did it again!
HS Talkoot is our second project correcting digitized old newspapers. Digitalkoot, another gamified project run in collaboration with the National Library of Finland, involved more than 75,000 volunteers over eight months. Overall, 240,000 minutes of non-stop typing (or 5 million microtasks) have been donated for the digitization of old issues of Aamulehti, a popular Finnish newspaper.