Thursday, 30 October 2008

Halloween and Archives

Working to a theme, I thought I'd do a bit of digging and see what was out there to do with "Halloween" type topics and archives. There are a suprising amount of halloween cartoons available online, some of them going back to the twenties (see here) and of course witches.

Halloween fun

Brought to you via youtube some Halloween themed "archive" footage from Disney.

Mickey Mouse (1929)

Donald Duck (1954)

Thursday, 23 October 2008

The ideas behind Archives 2.0

Archives Next has started an interesting discussion about what Archives 2.0 means for the profession. Particularly when we start looking beyond the snazzy "new" technologies and think about the principles behind it.

What makes an Archive "Web 2.0" compliant? Is it just about having the right technologies or is it about your approach to your collections and a willingness to involve users and relinquish some control over the collections and their re-use?

This is a great post and got me thinking about the bigger ideas behind Web 2.0 for a change instead of all the great bits and bobs that are being achieved with the technology.

Sunday, 12 October 2008


To usher in autumn and because the pink style was doing my head in, I've change the look of the blog.

I think its cleaner and simpler so hopefully an improvement.

Fry on Web 2.0

I thought it might be nice to hear what a national treasure has to say on the subject.

Understanding The Internet: Stephen Fry: Web 2.0

Sunday, 5 October 2008

Rules of engagement

I ended the presentation with 5 rules/guidelines that I thought would be useful to take away. Its not quite a Web 2.0 manifesto like the librarians have or the archivists but more of an approach to engaging with the ideas.

THINK about what you want to do. Many of these tools are very easy to use but enthusiasm for them can peter out if you don’t have a clear plan about what the tool will be used for and what content it will contain.

EXPERIMENT these tools are flexible and it should be easy to think of ways you could use content in new ways if you keep an open mind.

ENGAGE find out what your users know about collections and what the best way to capture this knowledge would be. What do your users want from you?

LEARN find out what has worked for museums and libraries, can we learn from them - yes!

ENJOY have fun with this. Web 2.0 tools are meant to be fun and give you freedom to experiment. They aren’t meant to replace traditional organisational channels of communication but they can complement them and allow you to say things and relax a bit more.

Friday, 3 October 2008

Podcast slide

The fourth technology I looked at for the presentation was the podcast. As a tool podcasts require a little more thought, preparation and equipment than some of the other technologies so you will need:

  • Something to record onto
  • Audio editing software to make your podcast sound professional
  • A website to host it on, and link to other sites such as itunes

But for many archives I think they could be useful. Particularly if you regularly host talks and presentations. If you do then you can record these talks and make them available online. This immediately expands the potential audience and gives them control about when they listen to your content.

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

Blog slide

I've already discussed blogs for archives in detail here so I don't want to repeat myself. When I was thinking about the presentation I wanted to get across that blogs are an accessible way to start experimenting with Web 2.0 and are a flexible in what they can be used for.

As a Web 2.0 tool they are very popular with over 15 million active blogs in 2007. However, there were actually 70 million blogs recorded in April 2007 which shows that a vast number of the blogs people start become inactive. The best way to avoid an inactive blog is to know what your blog is going to be for and to commit to making regular posts.

If you can do this then a blog will give you a more informal way to communicate regularly with readers. For archives, blogs can be a good way to publicise new collections/accession, an image of the month, small online exhibitions, diaries work well published as blogs and generally allow you to highlight treasures in your collections.

Ultimately blogs are a very accessible starter tool that can be used for a multitude of purposes and if it doesn’t work for you just delete it.

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