Tuesday, May 27, 2008
- Dynamically generated content boxes on the VRC's Web site to promote web resources.
- Vlogs - video blogs - will be added as content to the blog.
- Orientation and instruction sessions.
- Social tagging in DASe - the image database.
- Instant messaging capabilities between the VRC and the image catalog's users.
- Image collections uploaded to Flickr.
- Mashups between the image catalog and applications like Google Maps.
Friday, April 11, 2008
Friday, April 4, 2008
- Utilize the capabilities of Wikipedia by creating an entry that describes the history and holdings of the VRC. I will also add links to the VRC on relevant pages, such as slide libraries and Visual Resources Association.
- Create a Swicki, which is a customized search engine, to search the VRC's Web Resources page, so that users can conduct a federated search of sites that have been vetted by the VRC.
- Create a blog and write blog entries advertising VRC services and projects.
- Writing meta description tags and title tags for the VRC's Web site. These tags will be targeted to contribute to search engine optimization.
- Creating RSS feeds for VRC content and adding RSS feeds on art and architecture news from the New York Times and the design magazine, Dwell.
- Adding forms, such as a Digitization Request Form, to the VRC's Web site for users to download.
- Adding dynamically generated content to the VRC's Web site, such as a box which promotes different image databases subscribed to by the University of Texas Libraries, web resources for finding images that have been vetted by the VRC, or sites that contain image scanning and presentation tips.
- Creating Vlogs that show users how to find images in different resources.
- Offering orientation sessions that introduce students to the VRC and allow them to sign up for different types of classes, such as "How to Find Images" and "Intro to PowerPoint"
- Adding the VRC logo to slide projectors in School of Architecture classrooms and creating a background for digital projectors that contains the VRC logo.
- Using tradition media, such as the Daily Texan, to promote the roll out of DASe.
- Adding social tagging capabilities to the digital database, DASe.
- Adding instant messaging services to DASe and the VRC's Web site and/or blog.
- Putting discrete images collections in the VRC, such as Texas Architecture, in Flickr.
- Adding mashups, such as Google Maps, to DASe, so that when users conduct a search on Frank Lloyd Wright they will find images and also locations of his works.
- Meeting with faculty candidates during the interview process to discuss their images needs and how the VRC can help them.
- Attending faculty meetings to promote DASe and other VRC resources.
- Creating a tea hub at the VRC for faculty and graduate students, so that they become more familiar with the VRC's services, albeit in an indirect way. Discussions over tea could lead to talk of how the VRC can help faculty and students with image needs.
Thursday, March 13, 2008
This session included presentations about non-subject tags, the Penn Tags project, the STEVE project, and the Fine Art Digital Imaging System.
The first speaker, Margaret Kipp, conducted a study on how users tagging items with non-subject tags like cool, fun, and toread in del.icio.us, CiteULike, and Connotea. Approximately 16% percent of the tags she analyzed were non-subject tags. They could be divided into time and task tags, such as toread, todo, and @toread, and affective tags, such as cool and funny. She believed that these tags represent an emotional attachment, and such tags might be beneficial for recommender systems like those used by Amazon.
Laurie Allen, chair of the Penn Tags project was the second speaker. This project was developed out of a desire to have persistent links that could lead users to relevant resources. There were no stable URLs in Penn's catalog and Laurie Allen felt that was a need to save, describe, organize, share, and find articles for people who need to do research. Consequently, she and other Penn librarians started the PennTags project.
The third speaker, Billy Kwan of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, discussed the STEVE project. This project was developed by museums to explore the potential of user-generated tags to access items in their collections. The participating include the Met, the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Denver Art Museum, the Guggenheim, the Indianapolis Museum of Art, LACMA, the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, the Rubin Museum of Art, SFMOMA, the Skirball Cultural Center, Archives & Museum Informatics, and Think Design. This project is limited to registered users, but anyone can register. The Steve project can analyze tags by generating reports, and the project's preliminary findings indicate that most of the terms entered by users are useful for catalogers and almost half of them match terms found in the Getty's Art and Architecture Thesaurus.
The final speaker, Adam Lauder, spoke about the social tagging feature the Fine Art Digital Imaging System (FADIS), which is a catalog created by a consortium of Canadian universities. This feature was modeled after the Pennsylvania Museum of Art's site. In FADIS users can add tags by selecting the "Add a tag" button. This opens a box where you can enter a tag. Editors can remove tags and users can edit their own tags. The entered tags are stored in the backend of the database. This system seems easy to implement and very user friendly. I think that the VRC could implement something comparable in DASe.
This session was very interesting and it was great to see how collections are implementing social tagging. I think that it would be very beneficial to the VRC to implement social tagging for its collections, because it would allow for greater access to the images and I think that it would create a greater investment in the collection for the users. Based on these presentations, it seems that it could be relatively easy to implement social tagging and user input would would contribute to the findability of the images.
Marketing Visual Resources Collections
This session focused on tactics that are being used by the VRCs at the University of Chicago, Depauw University, and the University of Minnesota. All three speakers highlighted the importance of having faculty buy-in for their collections and spoke about the different marketing techniques that they have implemented. I found the presentation by Gretchen Witthuhn of the University of Chicago to be the most informative for my Capstone project.
Some of the tactics that Gretchen has implemented include:
- Establishing the VRC as the coffee hub for faculty and students. The department supplies cookies and the VRC supplies the coffee and charges 25 cents per cup. This strategy has led to increaded foot traffic in the VRC and discussions about how the VRC can help faculty and graduate students with images and digitizing.
- Hosting a welcome back party for students with popcorn. At the orientation students are invited to sign up for PowerPoint training.
- Moving furniture and the slide collection to create study carrells for graduate students. The graduate students do not have offices and the VRC has created study space for them. This has led to more foot traffic.
- Branding. They have created a poster for the VRC to put in high traffic areas, created bookmarks to hand out at orientation, put their logo on slide projectors in classrooms and put the logo on projector backgrounds and screensavers.
- Updating the text on the VRC Web site to make it the 3rd hit for searches on digital images on the University of Chicago site.
- Creating a blog for telling stories about the VRC. Possible topics include art history news, updates on digital projects, and VRC events.
- Writing creative bios for staff members.
- Becoming active in local activities to generate word-of-mouth marketing.
- Meeting with candidates interviewing for positions and with potential grad students to talk about the VRC's services.
She also recommended ALA's @ Your Library Toolkit as a marketing resource.
Jodi Walz of the Digital Content Library at the University of Minnesota mentioned several strategies that would be useful for the VRC to promote the roll out of DASe. These strategies included:
- Attending faculty meetings to promote the services.
- Contacting the college newspaper to write an article.
- Creating marketing tools, such as handouts and brochures.
The librarians at Depauw University discussed how they created their marketing videos, which are a take off on the PC/Mac commercials and feature students who represent Google Images and ARTstor. They worked with campus technology for training on software, wrote scripts, and hired student actors. If the VRC decided to create videos advertising their services, Depauw would be a great model. See examples of their videos here: http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=depauw+vrc&search_type=
In conclusion, both of these sessions were really useful for learning about new marketing strategies and how to incorporate more user-generated content in DASe. I will be adding these suggestions to the marketing plan over the next week.
Friday, March 7, 2008
- Incorporating new user orientations to the collection (Berkeley). I think that it would be really useful to have an orientation to the VRC during the School of Architecture's orientation for first-year students.
- Filtering image collection searches to certain collections. See Michigan's site for an example.
- Adding the Digital Request Form online as a downloadable PDF (Ohio State)
- Site of the month (Columbia). They have some really great sites, but they haven't added a site for a few months, so even though I think that if the VRC did something similar, it is important to have a structure in place for maintaining it.
- Image Instruction Blog (Cornell). This blog contains interesting information about image resources, and it could be a useful model for the VRC.
- Arts Library Blog (Yale). This blog focuses on Yale news as well as art and architecture news posted in the New York Times and other news sources.