This is the second time I’ve used the Clio app, and I’m still in that enthralled new user stage. The mobile app is easy to use and read.
The incorporation of Google Maps and the option to lock or unlock the maps is invaluable as is the link to getting directions. Granted, if I wanted to use a different GPS app like Waze this option would not be as convenient. However, the app provides a street address that can be copied and pasted into another GPS app. Plus, there is the added bonus that it tells you how many miles away the site is from your current location (which can be easily updated). Seeing this mapping in action reaffirms my desire to include the map plugin in Omeka. Geography/location is an important component for the project and many of the individual items. Plus it is an engaging, interactive, and visual tool.
One thing I looked for in the entries was the source of the information. Each entry notes the user that uploaded and/or updated the entry. I was a little concerned when I noticed that the same person wrote multiple entries, thinking her personal bias might become a factor. However, I was able to find several entries by other users after additional searching. As a librarian who teaches students about citing reliable sources, I was impressed that many of the entries included a “works cited” type feature. While may of these sources include the site’s own website pages, there are often other information sources included such as county websites and local publications. It creates a better balance of information. However, referencing the site’s own website is not necessarily a bad thing.
I encountered a couple entries that had trouble loading the full page, and I couldn’t get a readable file when using their share feature. However, I was impressed overall by the app’s capabilities. I will definitely use this app when traveling to new places. However, I’m inclined to use the app in Charlotte since I am still new to the area.
I am in the process of trying to decide what exhibits to include on my site. I currently have the exhibit DC 2016, which includes a variety of materials all related to the festival in the DC Metro Area last year. This exhibit includes artists’ books that were shown in participating libraries and galleries, announcements for events and exhibits, and videos of poetry readings and interviews. These materials naturally lent themselves to an exhibit, and they come from a variety of collections that I have set up (artists’ books, ephemera, poetry readings, etc.). The exhibit builder plugin allows me to bring all of these materials together under a common theme.
However, I am not trying to decide what other exhibits might be beneficial. I do not want to create exhibits without a purpose which could become redundant compared to the collections. One idea is to highlights the artists’ books and broadsides created for the Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here project that I then purchased for the George Mason University Libraries collection. I have several photographs of many of the works, including photos from different angles. However, I would need to expand on the metadata to describe the materials and techniques used to create the works. There are a couple broadsides that did not appear in the DC 2016 exhibit so there would be some unique titles. This approach would also allow me to explain how these titles were added to the collection. Perhaps this background information would justify creating a separate exhibit apart from the DC 2016 exhibit and the Artists’ Books Collection.
The selection of readings of Module 8 confirmed that the I really want to attend the Museums and the Web conference. It also reinforced that I should have attended the 2003 conference in Charlotte when I was in graduate school at UNC-Chapel Hill. Lessons learned!
The presentation “Beyond the Screen: Creating interactives that are location, time, preference, and skill responsive” by Baer, Fry, and Davis brought up an interesting point that reminded me of Nicholas Carr’s article “Is Google Making Us Stupid?” and his argument that Google is changing the way are brains work. The 2014 presentation points out that the average attention span at the time was estimated to be five seconds, a significant drop from twelve seconds tens years earlier. Cultural institutions like museums, universities, and libraries are trying to adapt to this change to change and maintain people’s attention as long as possible. Carr contends that the overwhelming information provided by Google and easy access to this information had negatively affected how we write and read. Nicholas Carr goes into detail on how he struggles to stay on topic. He explains how he feels that he is always dragging his attention back to the text. Carr blames the internet for his lack of focus.
The article “Listening to the City: Oral History and Place in the Digital Era” by Mark Tebeau reminds me of a conversion with a library colleague last year. She mentioned a study that showed that most college students were doing the bulk of their work on their smart phones. This included more casual reasons like social media and shopping, but it also included research (e.g. reading books online to searching library databases to find articles). This transition has changed how academic libraries market and deliver their resources. While e-books are still bought for content and how it benefits academic departments, the online platform is an important consideration because students are reading them on their phones and not just laptops/desktops. This change has also affected cultural organizations like museums, archives, and historical societies. While creating websites and web-based tools for smart phones opens up this information to a much broader audience and even helps with the economic disparity gap, it also creates a new set of challenges. Tebeau points out that oral histories no longer have the safe distance created by transcriptions or interpretations. Oral histories are easier to edit, but they now have a raw quality.
Reading the articles for this module, reinforces that I need to include strong, attention-grabbing visuals to catch people’s attention. However, the question then becomes keeping their attention for as along as possible. I need to make sure that the text is clean and readable and that there are enough interactive components to involved to engage viewers.
I have enjoyed the ease of the YouTube Import Plugin until recently. However, I ran into an issue trying to upload this video from Soutuna, the global initiative of Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here. Perhaps because the video and its alternate title are in Arabic, I was unable to easily bring in the video from YouTube. I think language may be the issue here. I kept getting the error message “Incorrect string value: ‘\xD9’ for column ‘name’ at row 1” every time I tried copying and pasting the URL from YouTube. However, I didn’t notice the error message the first time I tried using the plugin for this video. After seeing that there was little to no metadata brought in for the item and no video, I was forced to take a closer look at the metadata. I was able to pick up most of the metadata I needed from the YouTube site (e.g. date uploaded and video duration), but I had to refer to successful imports to copy and past information like rights and license. I was finally able to embed the video using the player option available through the Item Type Metadata category. However, this has made me think more critically about the information automatically coming through the YouTube Import plugin and if I need to supplement this metadata by looking closer at the videos themselves.