Here’s the schedule for tonight’s open house. Please plan to bring your laptop, log in to your site so that everyone can see any private items, and prepare to answer questions about your project.
Again, remember that everyone in a particular time slot will be presenting at the same time — the rest of us will be circulating. I’ll have comment sheets for you, and I’d like everyone to fill out at least 3 comment sheets on other projects.
Here’s a link to a page that explains how to write an HTML page you can put in your root directory (which, on Dreamhost, is the folder that has the same name as your domain name, e.g., amandafrench.net) to redirect visitors to your “project” folder: http://www.instant-web-site-tools.com/html-redirect.html
Also, here’s a link to a really great site that a Digital Libraries course at Simmons built with Omeka: http://alanis.simmons.edu/daisie/ They worked as a group, in committees, rather than individually, as explained on their “About this project” page: http://alanis.simmons.edu/daisie/exhibits/show/about/site — I’d actually be interested to know whether you think that’d be a good model for this course, though the pedagogical goals for this course are perhaps somewhat different than they are for that course.
Wanted to give you a bit more information about Google Analytics (plus the link). To implement Google Analytics for your site, you’ll sign up for the service: when you’ve finished signing up, Google will give you some code to paste into your website, as described on the page “How do I add tracking code to my website?” (The process is similar to the process for embedding videos and Google Maps.)
For your particular Omeka sites, you’ll want to add the tracking code into the footer. In your FTP program, navigate to the “themes” folder. Within the theme you’re using, navigate to the folder “common” and download the file “footer.php”. Open that file with a text editor and paste the tracking code that Google Analytics gave you just above the </body> tag. Be sure the Google Analytics code includes your Google Analytics account number, which was given to you during the signup process. Save the file and upload it to the server, overwriting the previous file. Naturally you’ll need to wait a day or so to start seeing any statistics; you’ll visit your Google Analytics account on the web to see the statistics. You can set your Analytics account to e-mail you a stats report regularly, if you like — that’s what we do for http://aphdigital.org. Here’s a sample report in PDF form: Analytics_aphdigital.org_20091009-20091108
See also the Omeka screencasts at http://omeka.org/codex/Screencasts — the two on Modifiying Themes: Navigation and Header and Basic PHP will help (modifying the footer is pretty much the same as modifying the header).
Just wanted to follow up on something we touched on in class — Michael Lascarides of the New York Public Library recently tweeted that “NYPL.org visits from mobile phones are skyrocketing! Up 7x in last 18 months.” It’s definitely a trend to watch; more and more people have smart phones that let them browse the web. Designing websites for mobile phones is a whole art in itself, and it takes time and labor to make a site mobile-friendly (sigh). Personally, I think that while people will definitely want to access basic information such as hours of operation from their phones, they won’t necessarily want or need to do real research or visit online exhibits on their phone — but that’s just a theory. I think we can wait awhile to worry about making special mobile-phone-friendly online finding aids, for instance!
Web Statistics Exercise:
Break up into pairs and look through these web statistics for Fales Library & Special Collections’s finding aids: http://dlibdev.nyu.edu/awstats/awstats.pl?config=fales-findingaids. Answer these two questions:
1) What is the most interesting statistic for you, and why?
2) Based on these statistics, can you come up with an idea that Fales might adopt to better serve its audience? (This can be a change to their site, to their finding aids, or to their in-person service, or anything you like.)
One useful tool is the Whois.net IP Lookup tool at http://tools.whois.net/whoisbyip/ .
Note too that Fales’s statistics increased fourfold after Kelsi Evans added links to Fales finding aids in relevant Wikipedia articles. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Beetstra/Archivists and http://lib.byu.edu/sites/interactivearchivist/case-studies/wikipedia-at-uw/ for some discussion of this practice.
Many of you are working laudably hard to customize your websites, and I wanted to post some links that will help.
Gmail — all e-mails (leave it up to individuals) / Public figures’ e-mails
The Huffington Post
The New York Times website http://nytimes.com
Gawker — both what’s posted & the comments
Flickr — all of Flickr? Snapshots of Flickr?
NYPL digital collections (also, just throw s**t out!)
Google search keywords & rankings
The Wired Magazine website
Obama’s text messages
NPR’s website & blogs
NY Times comments
Digital photographs — but how would you archive all of Flickr?
A sampling of personal and professional blogs
Presidential e-mails with heads of state
Personal e-mails — AOL will delete e-mails for you without asking, defaults to deleting+++
Does Google “own” its e-mails?
Forwarded e-mails — “memes”
Save all links
Local newspapers — Rocky Mountain News
Facebook — both personal and institutional accounts
Napster files, music files
Craigslist — missed connections!
Proquest Historical Newspapers
Funny or Die
eBay — random snapshots
Dating websites — Match.com
Livejournal, personal diaries
AIM, chatroom, MySpace, AOL chatrooms & communities
Take five minutes and list some websites or other “born-digital” resources that you personally would like to make sure exist in a hundred years. What are the most important ones, do you think? Why? Who, if anyone, is taking steps to preserve these now?
Take 20-30 minutes and begin to create an exhibit with one or more items in your archive. Publish the exhibit. Then break up into groups of three and comment on each others’ work — we’ll then get back together and discuss.
Note: no class next week. See you in a fortnight!
First, a disclaimer: I have no professional training in description or cataloging. I’m terrified of the archivists and librarians I’ve invited to our last class session, because I know that they’ll critique the way I’ve “taught” (or rather, have not taught) you to properly describe your items. If you’re on the Archives track in the program, you’ll take the Advanced Archival Description course, where you’ll learn some proper ways of doing things. When you get a position at a museum, they’ll teach you (if necessary) their local ways of describing their collections.
These are my beliefs about description:
It’s also the case that in the digital realm, users assume that if there’s metadata and description, it’ll be attached to an item, not a collection, and that the item itself will be digitally available. For organizations that have crates of analog stuff sitting around, that’s a very difficult expectation to live up to.
Meanwhile, here are some resources to explore:
Hey all, first wanted to let you know that I did manage to get the OAI-PMH plugin working, and I quickly and succesfully imported (or “ingested,” as we like to say) all 480 metadata records for the Library of Congress’s American Memory collection, “African American Photographs Assembled for 1900 Paris Exhibition.” You can browse through the metadata (though not see the pictures, unfortunately — they sound fascinating) here: http://aphdigital.org/omeka/collections/show/2
Should you wish to try this out yourself (though you probably won’t need to), the trick is to go to the Plugins page, click “configure” for the plugin, and put in this: /usr/local/php5/bin/php (I forgot that I didn’t change that when I upgraded our installation to 1.1).
As for the OAIster database, I sure planned exactly the wrong day to demonstrate it! Even last week it was still available. They have indeed smushed it into WorldCat.org, and they report in the news release that “OCLC plans to release a freely accessible, discrete view of the OAIster records in January 2010 through a URL specific to OAIster.” Sorry, guys.
I did find the item in WorldCat related to Tracie’s project that I remembered finding in OAIster, however: http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/284348205 She has doubtless already found that particular item via the Lousiana State Museum, of course. All or most of this digital archival stuff is already online, so if you’ve done a reasonable amount of web searching, you’re likely to have discovered it already — but it’s worth running another few searches in WorldCat: try limiting to “Internet Resource” and “Computer File” and see what you get. “OAIster” doesn’t work as a keyword. If you do find material whose metadata you’re interested in harvesting, you’ll need to go to the list at http://www.openarchives.org/Register/BrowseSites to get the “base URL” to put into the Omeka plugin.
Just to reiterate: this is *probably* not useful to you for this project, but I did want to teach you about this initiative to make archival metadata shareable and interoperable.