Using Delicious and Yahoo Pipes! To Co-Create a Website


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The Museum of Life and Science uses two free Yahoo! tools Delicious and Pipes to co-create a website about its Dinosaur Trail exhibit. This presentation was used to teach staff about how the technology works behind the scenes to create a page where current science and recent visitor interaction is captured without either having to upload content to the website itself. Please see slide notes for detailed information.

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  • Web 1.0 is where an organization (single person in black) controls the information about themselves online to the world (trio in white).
  • Web 2.0 is where a person with a device and a thought uses a technology (flickr, twitter, facebook and youtube are examples) to tell their tribe about their world. If that thought is about an organization, the organization no longer has control over the information published about them online.
  • At the museum, we pay attention to all the thoughts we can find that others have published about us and we inventory them in a tool called Delicious. For example, a blog post mentioning our name might be recorded in Delicious as “mommy, blogger, butterfly, photo) or a YouTube video posted might be “video, soundspace, toddler.”
  • These photos, blog posts, videos and tweets can then be parsed. If I wanted to see all the of videos that have been taken on the dinosaur trail featuring the Alamosaurus , I can.
  • This wireframe is a sketch of how we plan to incorporate those visitor thoughts into our exhibit webpage (as seen in blue) and current science (as seen in orange). We will use the Delicious API to display various combinations of tags on our individual dinosaur pages, so that certain pieces come from visitors, certain pieces come from experts, and the rest comes from the Museum. For example the top blue image would show the last five tagged “albertosaurus, picture” and the quote in the margin would show the last “albertosaurus, tweet” from the Museum’s Delicious account. The orange picture would show the same, but from a separate Delicious account that our exhibits department maintains (more on that in a couple of slides).
  • Here’s a look at how the wireframe turned into a design, incorporating actual tweets, photos and current science about the Albertosaurus.
  • This drawing illustrates how we have setup the free service Yahoo! Pipes so that our exhibits department can find and filter current research. First, they identified paleontologists that blog, flickr, tweet and upload photos to various RSS-enabled websites. Then we put all of those RSS streams into a Pipe that an exhibit developer monitors using Google Reader. The articles that deal with our dinosaurs are recorded in Delicious exactly the same way the visitor interactions are recorded, but in a separate account that Exhibits controls. The same code that works with Delicious API to display visitor contributions, works to display expert contributions.
  • The main page of our Dinosaur Trail exhibit website is shown here to illustrate how we incorporate all visitor contributions “What Visitors Are Blogging” and all current science “What Paleontologists Are Blogging” and give web visitors the opportunity to subscribe to those feeds if they’d like it without being divided amongst specific dinosaurs.
  • Before the opening our our trail, we handed out MOO cards (mini business cards) to members who were able to preview the trail while it was still under construction. The cards showed a wireframed version of the website (which is what the website looked like until the trail was opened), and encouraged visitors to upload their experiences to blogs and social networking sites. We also held a special preview of the trail for bloggers who’d written about us in the previous year. Over 160 people came and there were hundreds of tweets, flickr pictures and blog posts about the trail before it opened to the public.
  • This page explains how to get your content on our Dinosaur Trail website. You can read the text and see our 2.0 cheat sheet at
  • This slide shows all of the individual “dinosaur-related” content we inventoried before our trail opened to the public. There were over 450 contributions.
  • Using Delicious and Yahoo Pipes! To Co-Create a Website