Day Two – Lunchtime Showcases

August 17, 2006

It isn’t all that easy to cover the very quick showcases done at lunchtime and breakfast. You may have noticed that there isn’t anything on those given on the first day, including ours (i.e from the Australian War Memorial).

There were two on the final day that I really must mention.

Firstly, Nick Thieberger from the University of Melbourne talked about the Pacific and Regional Archive for Digital Resources in Endangered Cultures PARADISEC. They’ve achieved some pretty substantial sound and other format digitisation with important ethnographic field recordings from the 1950s and beyond. It is research material, but also cultural and historical by nature, and as he said, they’ve done it because they could. They’ve not been constrained by the same strictures we operate within in our institutions.

The real gem in the showcase presentations for me and many other delegates was the one done by Seb Chan the manager of web development from the Powerhouse Museum and Dr Fiona Cameron from the University of Western Sydney. They took us through the recently launched Powerhouse OPAC 2.0 that truly engages visitors with the features we really should all be using from Web 2.0 if we are serious about interactivity: folksonomies, cloud tags; RSS; user recommendations (like Amazon); and the users are able to use and suggest their own key words to search and discover items. IT IS ALL FULLY OPEN TO GOOGLE! They’ve already experienced fantastic and meaningful use from this openness and acceptance of user input.

They also took us through Design Hub – an ARC project that involved the Powerhouse, and the UTS and UWS. It is like an online magazine that connects museum collections with news, interviews, opinions and ideas across the breadth of design.

My comment: Digitisation is only the start of the process. The Powerhouse have now inspired all of us with these exciting presentation and use concepts that use the unique and full features of the web. A new ‘benchmark’ is born (for those of you interested in that awful process). You could actually hear and feel the amazement and excitement in the room.

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5 Responses to “Day Two – Lunchtime Showcases”

  1. Seb Chan Says:

    Thank you for the kind words – I’m really happy that everyone is excited by our work.

    There are some initial usage trends at statistics documented on our blog covering what i am calling the long tail of collections and some more on the use of search terms and tagging.

    If anyone has any questions then feel free to email me. My contact details are on the blog.

  2. Seb Chan Says:

    I have also uploaded my half of our presentation to the Fresh + New blog here.


  3. Hello, just stoped by the comment section to thank you for the work you have been doing so others can enjoy your blog with a morning cup of coffe 🙂

  4. Maximus Says:

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