Interested Public is Interested -Using Flickr to Put Collection Assets Online
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Interested Public is Interested - Using Flickr to Put Collection Assets Online

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To make collection assets available online, use of the photo-sharing website Flickr has proved that collection sharing doesn’t have to be technologically difficult or expensive. By presenting ...

To make collection assets available online, use of the photo-sharing website Flickr has proved that collection sharing doesn’t have to be technologically difficult or expensive. By presenting collection images and information on a very popular third-party website, institutions have developed new avenues of research and audiences for their content. This presentation will discuss the process of using Flickr for sharing, outline the potential benefits and downfalls, and provide examples of some successes to date from cultural heritage institutions.

Presented at California Association of Museums Annual Conference, March 5, 2010

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  • Discussing how collection assets can generate user-interest, wonder, and engagement with the public
  • Place to upload, store, organize and share images Founded in 2004 and now owned by Yahoo. As of October 2009, boasts more than 4 billion images and video Features: High level of user-interaction and active user community Advanced statistics tracking API allows for development of external tools to increase the functionality Permission controls, including a variety of rights options Used actively by bloggers and other external sources to illustrate their content Free option, but Pro account is only $25 per year, with unlimited uploads and 20 MB filesize limit. Flickr for Good program is free to Nonprofits who don’t have an account yet.
  • Example 1 - Library of Congress, Flickr Commons project (1 mins – Slide 3) -Pilot project started in 2007 with LOC Prints and Photographs (P&P) Division -As of February 28, 2010, 8,374 images on Flickr, out of 14 million within the P&P. -Published photos that had no rights restrictions on them. LOC put them on Flickr using a Public Domain or “no known copyright restrictions” notice. -Hired one full-time staff member to select and prepare the images for the project. - By October 2008, 10.4 million views
  • Has an existing online catalog, but it is not easily discoverable, searchable, or user-friendly (Slide 4 – 1 min). Note the difference between this one and the previous one. Same record Library of Congress’s record of a photograph of Grand Grocery in Lincoln, Nebraska. strict metadata useful to researchers with knowledge of the information structure no way to interact with the record
  • Users very willing and excited to tag and describe the images. By October, 2008 10.4 million views and 67,176 tags added by users People tagged images with the following types of keywords (not found in the LOC-provided description): New descriptive words – place, format, creator name, time period New subject words – image, symbolism/associations, value judgments, transcription, topic, humor Emotional/aesthetic responses Personal knowledge/research Geotags Variant forms – WWII, World War 2
  • 7,166 user comments on around 3000 images Comments mirrored types of tags, and encouraged active dialog between users about the image, frequently focused on users’ personal experience and research. Core group of 20-30 “power commenters” would go through the images and provide corrections or enhanced information, linking to NY Times archives, Wikipedia, and other sources to support their corrections. Comment: “ As a youth in the 40's these scenes are wrenching as I'd go with my dad and he'd try to convince the grocery owner of markets like these that better signs would mean better business. Both the owner and my dad so close to poverty and trying to make a better living would try to compromise to help us all to live.”
  • Increased awareness of LOC materials Search engine results increased. - Flickr search optimization boosted asset hits when people searched for specific types of content using a search engine. Users tend to search their materials on Mondays People respond positively to being asked directly for help. Marketing and using the blog and other outlets to ask for help with the project increased user participation.
  • We currently have approximately 10,000 images for nearly 25,000 museum, library, and archival items. 2295 images currently available on Flickr Publish using a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-ShareAlike license In descriptions, we provide links back to our website and online catalog
  • Launched Jewish Digital Narratives in August, 2007 as both an experiment and a method for increasing access to and awareness of our collections. Focuses primarily on archival and library materials, and is not limited to photographic prints JDN is curated and follows a more traditional narrative approach. Like an online exhibition Currently there are 9 sets within that collection
  • Launched From the Dusty Archives in late 2008 Focuses on archival collections, without being curated Uses currently-available collection descriptions to describe the images Not limited to photographs Currently, there are 36 archival collections represented
  • Due to staff bandwidth, only one set for one object as of today The most popular image in our Flickr photostream Heavy emotional impact
  • Results mirror LOC’s 56,000 views to date (probably more than the entire number of visitors to our physical location in our 50 year history!) Increased income from R&R requests – approx $ ****** Awareness and input from involved user groups (Cochin, India; Chinese Jews) Few comments Probably due to lack of regular and active solicitation and awareness Documents aren’t usually as emotionally-charged as certain museum items
  • Magnes uses MemoryMiner to organize and describe content before uploading Other tools available, including the Flickr Uploader Currently requires copy-paste of information into the description fields, but exploring other options Some software can read embedded descriptive metadata in images, but they’re not common
  • Time-intensive to organize and describe assets Batch processes available to upload images, but not for linking images and collection data. Use of a Digital Asset Management System or hiring a programmers to write code to harvest database information and embed it into the images can help. Slight risk of offensive comments Slight risk of Flickr closing Risk of unintended use of images “ Built it and they will come” philosophy achieves limited results. Requires some marketing and awareness effort. Manual process required to reclaim information from Flickr and include in internal database
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Interested Public is Interested - Using Flickr to Put Collection Assets Online Presentation Transcript

  • 1.  
  • 2.
    • Founded in 2004
    • > 4 billion images
    • Features
      • an active user community
      • advanced statistics tracking
      • easy ways to organize content
      • plenty of external tools available
  • 3.
    • 14 million images within the P&P
    • 8,374 images on Flickr
    • No known copyright restrictions
    • One full-time staff member
    • By October 2008, 10.4 million views
  • 4.  
  • 5.
          • 67,176 tags added by users by October, 2008
          • Types of tags:
          • Descriptive words
          • Subject words
          • Emotional/aesthetic responses
          • Personal knowledge/research
          • Geotags
          • Variant forms (wwii, World War II, etc)
  • 6.
          • 7,166 user comments on around 3000 images
            • Comments mirrored types of tags
            • Core group of 20-30 “power commenters” enhance information
            • Only 25 comments needed to be removed or moderated
            • Lots of dialogue between users as they discuss the content
  • 7.
          • Increased awareness of LOC materials
            • Increased hits from search engines
            • Users tend to search for materials on Mondays
            • People responded positively when asked directly for help
  • 8.
          • 10,000 images for 25,000 museum, library, and archival materials
            • 2,295 images available on Flickr
            • Publish using a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-ShareAlike license
            • Links back to our website and online database catalog
  • 9.
          • Increase access to collections
            • Curated, narrative approach, like an online exhibition
            • Currently focused on archival and library materials
            • 9 sets currently available
  • 10.
          • Increase access to archival collections
            • Uncurated, using currently-available collection descriptions
            • Not limited to photographs
            • 36 sets currently available
  • 11.
          • Only one object set currently
            • Most popular image
            • Direct emotional impact
  • 12.  
  • 13.
    • Variety of tools available, including MemoryMiner and Flickr Uploader
    • Input information into data fields, including description, title, and links back to website
    • If images have embedded metadata, some software can read it and use it in export
  • 14.  
  • 15.  
  • 16.