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The Public Humanities Toolbox: Engaging Communities Online
Leah Nahmias & Al Lees Mass Humanities History Conference June 2009
Introductions What is the Public Humanities Toolbox? Goals & Strategy Tool Overview Toolbox 1.0, 1.5, 2.0 Break Demonstrations Quiz & Brainstorm
What is The Public Humanities Toolbox?
A framework (or toolbox) of free or inexpensive Web 2.0 applications to build a more engaging web presence Designed for small cultural heritage organizations with limited budgets, staff, and expertise Explains uses and “how-tos” for blogs, wikis, Google Maps, Flickr (photographs), Scribd (documents), Facebook, Twitter, podcasting, and more http://publichumanitiestoolbox.wordpress.com
Download the complete handbook for free Find examples of tools in use Download this entire presentation starting this evening
The types of … INTERACTIVE (tag, comment, respond, favorite) COLLABORATIVE (many people editing, adding content from different places) INTEROPERABLE (all the parts work together—embedded—to create one seamless whole) web applications developed after the dot com bust of 2000-2001 The ways users interact with each other and with content enabled by these applications Characterized by the ease with which non-expert—That’s us! That’s you!—can add content to
Blog Interoperability Tagging Metadata
What do we mean by “framework” Start with a blog as your website’s base (the
the blog with pages for different aspects of the organization (or project)
About, Collections, Educators Resources, Public Programs, Hours & Directions
other applications into your blog depending on what you want to share— photos, maps, videos, documents other social media tools to help you reach new audiences, network with other professionals, build meaningful and rich relationships
relationships with existing supporters? the needs of changing demographics in your community? and collect stories of underrepresented people and events? and collect recent history? else?
Document Document What
Your goals for today?
you have a specific project in mind?
to build a website? For the organization and/or for a specific project (exhibit, program, partnership, etc.) to re-do your current website? to find out what others are doing?
Our goals? The workshop and beyond
Above all: it’s possible! What are the opportunities? What are the tools? How do you use the tools? To make local history instantly and easily accessible To broaden the scope of local history To make it easier for teachers and students to incorporate local history To increase collaboration among small cultural heritage organizations
A Strategy for Web Projects
What are your organization’s goals? Who is your intended audience? What sort of “voice” will your organization have online? Self-Assessment
Where are you now? Where is your staff? What do you know how to do? What do you need to learn to achieve your goals? Page 11-12 of the Handbook
What functions do you need?
Choose tools (allow form to follow function)
PLAN CAREFULLY! What are the key “categories” /organizing principles of your site? Who will do what work? Who will maintain it? Map it out
Social media is like a free kitten:
A piece of advice
easy to get one, but then you have to take care of it!
functions chart is organized so that the further down the function is listed, the more complex the software and skills to perform it becomes
of tools for each function found on pages 17-18 of the handbook
WordPress Flickr Scribd Google Wikis Facebook
& Social Networking
web publishing platform; a blog customizable
Highly Free! Lots Two
of users: Advice! Help! New features all the time! versions: Fast and Easy WordPress Bigger and Better WordPress
WordPress sites have a blog portion
page has its own separate address (it will appear as a tab at the top or side of your page)
for…Planning a Visit, Current Exhibits, Resource Room, Education, Programs
post appears in the running blog portion
for announcements Can set “sticky post” that always appears at top (good for “Welcome” message or similar)
Fast & Easy WordPress
on WordPress’s server ( www.yourname.wordpress.com) customization features
create unlimited pages, embed images, video, audio
Public Humanities Toolbox
Bigger & Better WordPress
customizable Hundreds, if not thousands, of plug-ins, design schemes, and more be hosted on your own server (there is some cost associated with this) package software is still free technically complicated Westport
account free; upgrade $24.95/year can view, comment, make notes, add tags
Tags, in Flickr and other applications, can be easily searched
People can search your tags to get a sense of your collection’s strengths, your research interests, etc.
Flickr: Some cool examples
Library of Congress’s photostream Grand Grocery, NE (LOC) New Bedford Whaling Museum’s well organized photostream The Original Plymouth County group pool Fox Point Oral History Project
Document Free Upload
sharing (the Flickr of documents)
documents; viewers can download, print, comment, favorite, etc. for virtually any type of file (Word, Power Point, PDF)
documents in other websites (such as posts or pages in WordPress) text is searchable and indexed
for transcriptions, brochures, educational materials, meeting minutes, annual reports…
User-created Free Can Your Map
embed maps in other sites
maps/sites show up when others are searching an area driving or walking tours research findings tool for scholars?
Google Maps: Some cool examples
Westport, Massachusetts Housing Covenants in Seattle
Video and Audio Files
video, use either YouTube or your own server
better social media tools, more serendipitous discovery, but limited length and file size allowable; FREE! Your own server: more complicated to set up, but no limitations on size/length
great third party host for audio; at this point, you’ll need to host it from your own server
website that allows users to edit, author famous example: Wikipedia
collective knowledge is greater than any single person’s
set restrictions for who can edit, author, read, etc. free options
Wikis: Some cool examples
Placeography Hoosier Round Barns Providence Preservation Society’s Most Endangered Properties Greene Farm Archaeology Project Monticello’s Thomas Jefferson Encyclopedia Paul Cuffe
product or process? You can create a wiki that documents the history of a local community or a specific topic, asking for amateur experts to contribute (product) Invite passionate volunteers, students or amateur experts into the practice of making history, of recording what’s special (process)
social networking tool
create their own pages; friends, acquaintances, or people with similar interests can join their social network way to reach younger audiences? young people’s “third space” can create profiles
Advertise events, post articles, meet audiences where they “are”
Do we have time?
Twitter Library Thing
status updates (what you’re doing, thinking, reading, etc.) of 140 characters or less others…see their updates on your homepage follow you too
professionals or consultants in your field…keep abreast of new ideas, latest literature other institutions…how are they using Twitter to build or maintain relationships quick updates on events
fun like “this week in history” or brain teasers related to local history
a catalogue online Good for small lending libraries, resource libraries, or special collections ISBN number, author, title, etc., and it pulls all relevant metadata mobbing!
Communication is oneway You as the institution post information (about yourself) so that people can find your building and learn about programs and exhibits
one-way, but you are putting more of your collections “out there” for the public to find You may simply be putting your collections database online or building simple online exhibits
Carefully Free for All Third Managed Space The difference here is Content Communication is still
that communication is two-way
Your public comments on your content and discusses it among themselves in a forum you have created Other tools might allow users to create their own content in a variety of ways: sharing images or documents held in their private collections, creating and editing encyclopedia entries about your community, or
You retain control of the content but potentially reach a larger audience than a collection or exhibit housed in a physical location can
What’s the difference between
You’re People If
open can find you
tools make your collections and resources…
they can get to your physical location, they can look through your collections “consume” what you produce
Easier to find Easier to navigate and search Open for reflection, discussion, and personal meaningmaking
What are the other differences between availability and accessibility? Can you think of examples and nonexamples? What are the opportunities and challenges of being more
tools do you want us to focus on after the break? WordPress Flickr Google Maps Scribd YouTube Facebook Twitter
10 minutes Feel free to come ask us questions
Demonstration Time! WordPress
•Bigger and Better WordPress •Where we’re starting… •You’ve already found a host server •You’ve signed up for a domain name •You’ve installed the FTP application •You’ve downloaded WordPress and installed it on your remote server
These instructions are in the handbook!
One final geeky thing…
assume that you have;
Registered your domain name, Selected and configured your remote server, Installed an FTP application on your computer, and…. Downloaded the latest version of WordPress and copied it to the proper directory on the remote server.
It should look something like this:
Telling WordPress to Wake-up!
In the Address bar of your Internet browser, type in the following address: http://yourdomainname/wordpress/wp-admin/install.php . Typing this will activate WordPress and allow it to recognize your domain. If you have done everything correctly during the installation process, the screen that appears next will make you smile…
Make sure to write down the Username and Password. Changes to your password can be made one once you’re logged in.
in the name of your blog and your email. You can always change either later if you wish to. click the Install Wordpress button.
Now the Fun Begins…
What does my site look like?
I did all that for this?
Back to the Dashboard
Let’s Go Live and Build the Site…
Posts and Pages…
The Appeal of Posts
Posts are announcements of interest to your audience. They appear in archive files for easy referral, pages do not. They are searchable.
What can posts include?
video, documents, hyperlinks, images and text, to name but a few. other words, a post can include anything that can be included in a page.
Why Page When You Can Post
of pages as more permanent contributions to your blog. are more thematic in nature. as navigational tools.
Demonstration Time: WordPress
Time to Go Live!
Demonstration Time: Flickr
You’ve already gotten a free Yahoo account
Ours is firstname.lastname@example.org Our password is demo2009
Demonstration Time: Google Maps
You’ve already set up a free account
Demonstration Time: Scribd
You’ve already set up a free account The files you want to share are formatted and on your hard drive
What else do you need to know? What “how-tos” are you unsure of?
Quiz & Brainstorm
This is a quick, low-stakes test to see how well you’re thinking “within” the public humanities toolbox What tools are being used? What tools could be used?
How can you use these tools? How will you use these tools?
You’d like to set up an online work session to piece out your website? You will share examples of what you’re doing with these tools? You will point us in the direction of other neat projects using these tools?
Al Lees (email@example.com)
Leah Nahmias (firstname.lastname@example.org) http://publichumanitiestoolbox.wordpress.com
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