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Re: Audience and suggestedMaxAge property

From: Dawson, Laura <Laura.Dawson@bowker.com>
Date: Tue, 18 Dec 2012 13:00:03 -0500
To: Phil Archer <phila@w3.org>, "public-vocabs@w3.org" <public-vocabs@w3.org>
Message-ID: <CCF61914.18251%laura.dawson@bowker.com>
Phil, agreed! It's so easy to go down the rathole on issues like this!

On 12/18/12 12:53 PM, "Phil Archer" <phila@w3.org> wrote:

>No disagreement from me here on anything said. Age ranges (with upper
>and lower boundaries) are certainly useful for parents, educators and
>anyone making a selection for another person. And, as you have pointed
>out wisely to me for many years, Dan, you can't make people use a
>technology in the desired way.
>Going back about a decade I was involved in the creation of a set of
>'neutral and objective' descriptors for online content for the purposes
>of online safety. My sensitivity to things like maxAge comes from that
>time. There's no such thing as a neutral set of descriptors (schema
>terms) because the choice to include or exclude a term is itself a
>subjective decision. If we'd included, say, a 'gay' descriptor, then
>that of itself would suggest that we thought that whether a particular
>bit of content/data reflected hetero- or homosexual values was an issue
>(we left that one out btw). That's why I pull back a little from
>something that might be used to say "you're too old for this" or "you're
>a boy and this is for girls" - but, OK, I'm pretending that any bit of
>metadata would ever actually be seen in that light and I should perhaps
>get over myself sometimes :-)
>On 13/12/2012 20:00, Phil Barker wrote:
>> On 13/12/12 19:29, Karen Coyle wrote:
>>> Just to add a similar usage, materials aimed at K-12 students and
>>> teachers often include a grade range ("grades 3-6") which is a
>>> suggested minimum/maximum. It doesn't look to me that the educational
>>> community has yet added its view to schema.org, but age and/or grade
>>> and/or skills level will naturally be a part of that.
>> Karen, the Learning Resource Metadata Initiative has made a proposal for
>> properties to be added for the description of educational materials.
>> Mapping to age and "educational frameworks" are in there, where an
>> educational framework can be something like a grade level in given
>> educational system (e.g. US K-12)
>> LRMI: http://www.lrmi.net/
>> The proposed properties:
>> http://www.w3.org/wiki/WebSchemas/LearningResources
>> Phil
>>> The GEM vocabulary [1] includes grade, level and age, and those can be
>>> ranges. They aren't meant to exclude, they are information for
>>> educators (or parents) who are seeking appropriate materials. I think
>>> of it as a "clue" rather than a "rule."
>>> kc
>>> [1] http://dublincore.org/groups/education/GEM-Study.html
>>> On 12/13/12 11:06 AM, Dan Brickley wrote:
>>>> (top posting, but leaving some context below)
>>>> Phil,
>>>> We've discussed this (and your points below) amongst the schema.org
>>>> partners. Here is a sketch of a compromise approach.
>>>> 1. First, we acknowledge that schemas are useful when they reflect the
>>>> complexity of real life rather than codifying over-stereotypical or
>>>> cartoon views of the world, even though schemas by definition are
>>>> always to some extent simplified descriptions. For example, schemas
>>>> that describe people and model gender as a static binary property are
>>>> over-simplifying the lives of many people, and can casually cause
>>>> entirely avoidable offense. Although lots of Web sites do simplify in
>>>> this way, it is probably not a good idea to have binary 'gender'
>>>> properties in Web schemas, since sites that offer a more realistic
>>>> nuanced view of the world shouldn't be forced to adopt the simplified
>>>> view.
>>>> 2. Generally sites have an incentive not to arbitrarily exclude
>>>> potential audiences from their materials and offers; suggestedMaxAge
>>>> is therefore probably of modest interest to most publishers.
>>>> 3. There are some reasonable use cases for targeting content and
>>>> offers by gender (e.g. health), and age (e.g. mortgage policies). Any
>>>> reasonably expressive descriptive schema can be used to say
>>>> ill-advised things. While there are unreasonable or foolish or
>>>> tasteless or thoughtless potential uses of such vocabulary; it is not
>>>> clear that restricting schema.org's vocabulary will help discourage
>>>> sites from saying those things in natural language. It is hard to make
>>>> general schema design policies in this area, and perhaps better to
>>>> consider terms case by case. In this particular case, sites that
>>>> needlessly exclude audiences may well be nudged more by common sense
>>>> (why exclude potential customers?) than by the decisions of schema
>>>> designers.
>>>> 4. Schema.org provides a dictionary of terms; it leaves open the
>>>> possibility of very different uses being made of those terms. You
>>>> could use it to make a search system that excluded sites it deemed
>>>> sexist or ageist or otherwise socially regressive. Or you could use it
>>>> quite opposite ways. Neither usage scenario would be dictated by the
>>>> definition of 'suggestedMaxAge'; the property would just make the
>>>> statements from publishers easier to compute with.
>>>> My sense is that there is enough reason to add such a property, but
>>>> that it is worth documenting the fact that it is generally less useful
>>>> than the suggested*Minimum*Age property. Speaking personally, although
>>>> I do feel the Guardian-reading liberal urge to try to reform the world
>>>> through schema design, I think that impulse should generally be
>>>> restricted to avoiding patterns (eg. the gender example given earlier)
>>>> whose every use is somehow problematic.
>>>> Thanks for any further thoughts on this,
>>>> cheers,
>>>> Dan
>>>> On 10 December 2012 18:10, Egor Antonov <elderos@yandex-team.ru>
>>>>> Hi Phil,
>>>>> thanks for the review.
>>>>> Let me emphasize, that these properties are not restrictive (at the
>>>>> last
>>>>> schema.org talk we decided to rename them to suggestedMinAge etc to
>>>>> make it
>>>>> more clear).
>>>>> It's just a hint for personalization issues, pointing at the
>>>>> nucleous of
>>>>> people, who maybe want to view/buy/use some content.
>>>>> If somebody searches for films, he/she probably wants to see that
>>>>> which are intended for his/her age (and gender, too).
>>>>> Also, there can be non-matching correlation between user and intended
>>>>> audience.
>>>>> We can understand, that somebody likes non-typical (for his
>>>>> things and suggest those things he/she likes.
>>>>> There are many websites with products, services and  creative works,
>>>>> which
>>>>> explicitly mark their audience:
>>>>> Games (5-12 years old):
>>>>> http://www.mosigra.ru/Face/Show/detskie_detektivi_5_12/
>>>>> Sport classes (mostly constrained by age in Russia):
>>>>> Music courses (also russian): http://www.muz-school.ru/courses/deti
>>>>> http://www.games14.co/
>>>>> (see categories)
>>>>> (I skip huge amount of woman clothes)
>>>>>   2. The Audience proposal; based on the RDFa schema in
>>>>>   https://bitbucket.org/elderos/schemaorg/src I've built a test
>>>>>   of the schema.org site that includes the Audience proposal (see
>>>>>   http://www.w3.org/wiki/WebSchemas/Audience ). The draft site is at
>>>>>   http://sdo99a.appspot.com e.g. see
>>>>> [..]
>>>>>   From a technical point of view, this is fine of course. From an
>>>>> ethical
>>>>> one, there are aspects I find seriously worrying if not potentially
>>>>> offensive.
>>>>> Why does anyone need to define the maximum age of an audience? An
>>>>> friend of mine is not a strong reader. He reads books targeted at 11
>>>>> year olds - and enjoys them. Why put it in his face that he's reading
>>>>> children's books?
>>>>> Minimum age - fine. We understand that. But you won't ever see a
>>>>> maximum
>>>>> age on a film or game.
>>>>> Daft. Drop it.
>>>>> Gender? For a target audience? What? OK, so I'm a wishy washy
>>>>> wet liberal but if a girl wants to play with "boys' toys" or a boy
>>>>> wants
>>>>> to read "chick lit" - why not? I think the content should speak for
>>>>> itself and the potential consumer decide whether he/she wants it. The
>>>>> Twilight saga is basically aimed at teenage girls, yes? I know at
>>>>> one teenage boy that read the whole series and many post-teenage
>>>>> who enjoyed it too.
>>>>> Of course content *is* targeted at gender, but I don't think it
>>>>> be part of the data.
>>>>> Drop it.
>>>>> The parental ones - i.e. this is for parents of children aged x - y
>>>>> does
>>>>> make sense. That's potentially useful for parents.
>Phil Archer
>W3C eGovernment
>See you at the Transatlantic Research on Policy Modelling Workshop
>January 28 - 29 2013, Washington DC
>Details at http://www.crossover-project.eu/workshop.aspx
>+44 (0)7887 767755
Received on Tuesday, 18 December 2012 18:00:39 UTC

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