Every week I delicious a lot of links related to the GLAM-scene. Sometimes peripherally, sometimes intimately. I thought I’d make it a weekly thing to comment on a few of them.
Wikipedia celebrated its 10 year anniversary this week with events all over the world. There’s been a lot written about this (Wikipedia WYSIWYG editing, Wikipedia demographics, etc.), but one article that stood out to me was from Red Write Web on Wikipedia as a platform. The writers of the articles feel that Wikipedia is still too much of a destination portal and too little of a provider of content that is easily re-used (via API, semantic mark-up, Linked Open Data) off-Wikipedia. This resonated with me because the same is true for Europeana (more about that below).
The British Library released pay apps for the iPhone and iPad giving the app users access to high-res images of some the treasures of the library. This led to some tweets and blogs for and against and also to this overview of the different business models you as a GLAM can choos to use for your apps. I’ll also take this opportunity to link to this survey of use of mobile apps and services in the museum sector.
From communications consultant Johan Ronnestam comes this blog post on Integrated Digital Communication. It’s a good overview of how content, products and services, and communication interact to build a user base and increase conversion. Apart from the integrated approach I especially like the emphasis on content and value. You can have flash services and copy, but if the content is sub-par you’re in trouble anyway.
I’m fairly certain that most GLAMs that do systematically check their web stats do so with Google Analytics. GA is growing increasingly powerful and one very good feature is the ability to create custom reports and segments. These can also easily be exported and shared and Jasper Visser has done so on his blog The Museum of the Future. Look out for the comments where his readers share even more! The good thing about these ones are that they’re purpose adapted for museums.
Finally I’ll round off with two documents that deal with the future of the service I work with: Europeana. We released our own 5-year strategic plan (PDF)!!! Part of the plan that I’m most happy with is the emphasis on increasing quality of content rather than the quantity focus we’ve had. Another is that we now see Europeana the portal as one product among many and not THE product. We’ll be looking a lot more to provide Europeana contetent to where the user already spends his or hers time on the Web. Via APIs, Linked Open Data, social media and strategic content partnerships. In order to do that we need to build not only technology, but give access to data under clearer and more open licences.
The above gels very well with The New Rennaissance report to the Europeana Commission from the Comité des Sages. It deals with the digital future of European heritage and has a lot of recommendations for Europeana. Among many things they recommend that Europeana should become an application platform and that it should become a repository not only for metadata but also for digital objects. That would really expand our current brief! Les Sages also recommend strategies to deal with public domain material, orphan works and public private partnerships.