Getting your collections online

I change into impartial not too lengthy ago asked to unique a session at the SW Digital Champions Discussion board on the marvelous technique to accumulate your collections online. I wished to achieve one thing which change into purposeful but which furthermore asked those greater sigh questions. I divided the controversy into three sections:

1. Online Collections – strategy

Too on the total the acknowledge to the why are we getting our series online count on is merely “because”. Even supposing it is virtually ample for museums to utter “it’s our remit, our collections are what we attain, we ought to still permit more of us to search them”, this might rather without disclose change into an excuse now to not query the long-established appropriate educate questions everybody ought to still query when eager by doing…successfully, one thing:

> why are we doing this?
> who are we doing this for?
> how are we going to know if this diagram is working?

As successfully as being a appropriate ingredient to achieve anyway, these questions might possibly furthermore be truly worthwhile in helping to point of interest the formulation itself. A frequent viewers shall we jabber will presumably need longer, more checklist essentially based representations of collections online; this in flip suggests the purpose of interest of the project ought to be on writing more about less objects – and positively searching to make obvious you’ve appropriate fine images to accompany these. Conversely, at the same time as you happen to might possibly very successfully be essentially pitching at a researcher viewers you would possibly possibly merely successfully be focusing on quantity.

Alongside this, the purpose of interest on “success” is required. Right here is one thing we push the total time as half of our digital strategy workshops and it applies appropriate the an identical here. What does this look love? For collections online it is on the total a series of things:

> more visits to collections pages
> elevated time on these pages
> more shares of object tales
> more likes / mentions
> elevated gross sales of licensed photography
> elevated throughput from / to the remainder of the placement
> …etc

If a project has a company decide of what this success is – and the marvelous technique to measure it using Google Analytics, or qualitative approaches – or no topic – then they stand a larger likelihood of this entire route of being a worthwhile one.

2. Implementation

The true “how attain I…” facet of a collections online project change into the purpose of interest on the second half of of the slides. Right here is of route in regards to the accelerate of data from “some roughly in-home machine” to “some roughly web-essentially based, public machine”. The earlier might possibly furthermore be unique CM systems, Excel spreadsheets, or nothing at all (yet) – but the considerable questions are the an identical: which data and which fields attain you could desire to make public?

With this in mind, I known 5 conceivable routes – obviously not an exhaustive checklist, but I’ve I beget the considerable ones:

  1. Spend your collections management machine “toddle and play” machine
  2. Accomplish one thing bespoke which uses your collections management machine (or different!) API
  3. Spend an unique, hosted service – even one thing as straight forward as Flickr, Tumblr, Medium, Blogger, – or hosted databases reminiscent of Zoho Creator
  4. Accomplish or adapt an unique birth source machine:, CultureObject, CollectionSpace, Omeka
  5. “Diverse”: CultureGrid, Europeana, Wikipedia, invent a fully bespoke resolution with its beget database or (ouch) static html

3. Making the resolution

Obviously every scenario is different – different audiences, resources, budgets, technologies, requirements…

Having talked about that I reckon there are five rules which is ready to serve steer the resolution making route of, no topic what scenario museums accumulate themselves in:

  1. Be strategic: know what you’re doing, why you’re doing it and who for
  2. Know the solutions to some foremost questions: things love “can I accumulate my data inside of and out?”, “is my stuff backed up?”, “what ongoing charges are there?”, “what risks ought to still I beget an interest by?”, “what requirements are being utilized?”
  3. Hang in mind “Delivery” as being the baseline for the total lot: not appropriate Delivery Source, but birth data requirements, birth and clear contracts and relationships with suppliers, etc
  4. Be wary of bespoke: although “bespokeness” is a continuum, and at some degree you’ll desire to beget one thing built which is suitable for you, be wary about solutions that re-create wheels that are already stunning successfully shaped. Thinking “okay, so this man needs to invent X for us – but what if he obtained hit by a bus? Who else might possibly elevate this up?” is rather a appropriate diagram of clarifying pondering here..
  5. Be measured: getting all 100,000 collections items online might possibly be a appropriate aim, lastly, but embrace minute wins. Get ten objects up there first; blog about them, portion them, accumulate a truly feel for what of us need – then aim to achieve a minute bit more. Don’t truly feel or not it is a must desire to switch your total hog in one accelerate.

My slides are below:

Getting collections online from Mike Ellis


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