Tuesday, November 13, 2007

#23 Is this really the end? Or just the beginning ...

This really has been an adventure exploring some of the new developments in online social networking. I now have a greater understanding of many of the online tools available.

Before undertaking this program I never thought that I would create or need to use a blog. I have now created four and will soon create a fifth.

  1. With the website at the RHSV I was concerned that there were items that needed to be added for a short period but did not easily fit into structure of the website resulting in a cluttered front page. There is now a blog called RHSV News where information about talks, exhibitions, excursions, books published by previous presidents of the society, grants etc can be placed.
  2. A small set of handpainted glass slides was found in the collection so scanned images have been placed in a blog - Images of the Past - as part of the Treasures of the RHSV page - not just to show the images but hopefully someone might know some additional information about them.
  3. For a number of years I have been planning to publish guidelines for cataloguing resource collections held in historical societies and similar organisations. I had intended to create a website to do this but after indertaking this program, a blog - Cataloguing Guidelines for Historical Societies - has been started to make this information gradually available.
  4. I plan to have another blog to provide information on digital projects for local history.

Some years ago I created a website using the web generator provided in My Connected Community, primarily to try out what could be achieved using the web generator - I usually create websites just using html coding. I regularly receive emails from members of my extended family asking for information so, after this project, I am experimenting putting family history information in a wiki and then some of the other family members can add to it and or create pages. Initially I used pbwiki and added a few sample pages but my son has set up a wiki on his server space for me to experiment with as well. I will later decide which to use for this experiment.

Earlier this year the RHSV received a grant to add podcasts to its website so before this program I had been experimenting in this area. Doing these exercises has provided me with some additional information and more confidence that we are going in the right direction.

Some of the exercises have made me experiment with tools that I had heard of but had never bothered to investigate - Flikr and Google Maps are two such tools that I can envisage using in the future. The tools for creating slideshows could also be useful.

Some of the other tools such as Library Thing could be useful for publicising books on a theme - eg local history, books for sale etc provided that they can be found on list of one of the particiapating organisations (especially as you can add a cover image).

All in all this has been a great exercise to see what is out there at present. It is however a little daunting that while I am learning about these tools a new wave of Internet tools is almost certainly being developed. We have come a long way in a short time but the journey is definitely just beginning.

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