Capitalize on the latest trends: Topic Pages and Content Curation

by Kathy Bryce Tuesday, August 28, 2012 12:56 PM

Two recent articles “Why Topic Pages Are The Next Big Thing”, and “5 Reasons Why Web Publishing is Changing (Again)” explore the rise in popularity of topic based (Pinterest, Medium) versus chronologically based web publishing (blogs, Facebook, and Twitter).

Thankfully Topic Pages are a trend that librarians and archivists should be able to embrace with ease!  We have catalogued our collections, so we can create topic lists or pages based on our subject headings without too much extra work. 

A quick and simple way to implement these is to build canned queries so that users can click on a hyperlink and view results from your catalogs without having to type into a search box.  We have been a long time advocate of these, and provide an Inmagic Search Cannery Wizard to help you build them.  When used within a Content Management System such as Umbraco, the canned query search results can be embedded into a page with custom headings and text. Check out the image galleries at the Canadian Jewish Heritage Network site to see how seamlessly this works. Even better, the page will be automatically updated to include any new records that match the query criteria. Take a look at another great example of topic pages that we helped Fraser Health set up. Their very popular Subject Guides incorporate the latest books along with other recommended resources and embedded RSS feeds of articles.

Curation, as in curated content or digital curation, is another recent buzzword.  The National Library of New Zealand describes it nicely as “the ongoing finding and sharing of relevant digital and non-digital content about a specific topic for a specific audience. Typically, this content will come from a variety of properly credited sources and will be collated in such a way that the collection will be more useful than its individual elements.”  As this post points out, this is what Librarians have always done!  A recent article in the Library Journal discusses career possibilities for librarians in this ever expanding field.   Check out a thought provoking list in Why Curation Will Transform Education and Learning: 10 Key Reasons and see how Google is planning to steal TV audiences with “the YouTube Election Hub, a multi-sourced video channel designed to aggregate coverage and commentary from across media outlets old and new. Alongside clips from the likes of ABC News, Al Jazeera, Wall Street Journal and BuzzFeed is a curated feed of videos from other sources.”  

These developing trends translate into new opportunities for librarians to do what they have always done best, i.e. organize information. Let us know if you are implementing these ideas in your organization, or of course contact us if you need help.

West Vancouver Archives Gives Search Website a “Tune-Up”

by Jonathan Jacobsen Wednesday, August 08, 2012 11:00 AM

The West Vancouver Archives has been using Inmagic DB/TextWorks and WebPublisher PRO to manage their archival collections and provide public search access for many years.

WestVan8Aug2012With a grant this year from the BC History Digitization Program, the archives was able to have Andornot give the search website a “tune-up”, adding some new features and improving some existing ones.

  • We added Google Analytics and enabled WebPublisher PRO query logging to help obtain a picture of how users interact with the website and what they search for.
  • We added permalinks and an AddThis “Share” button to allow users to more easily bookmark and share information found by their searches.
  • We added a simple “Email us a comment about this record” link to allow users to provide feedback, corrections and other information on records.
  • We added the Andornot selection list application so that users can add items to a temporary list as they search, then email, save or print the list, as well as submit a request to the archives for more information. (This feature can also be extended to allow ordering of photographic reprints, for example).
  • We tidied up some of the search and results pages to make searching easier and results clearer to view and navigate.

“I’m very pleased we were able to add these features within the budget I had available,” says Shaunna Moore, Archivist at the West Vancouver Archives. “I immediately had requests for particular records, and comments from users who provided additional information about our materials. The new functionality has improved our understanding of how our website is being used and streamlined our interactions with researchers.”

You can try out the new features here.

Contact us to discuss a tune-up for your website.

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