Libraries, museums and

27 June 2008

Today we released an upgrade to Picture Australia. Most of the improvements were behind the scenes improvements involving building the framework for features that will be implemented in a few months.  One feature that was implemented was an “Add to” link.  

A “share this” link is nothing new for any news site, blog or current affairs site, in fact for these sites it’s nearly essential to get your content out there and distributed as quickly as possible.  So why is this feature virtually absent from the collection searches of most libraries and museums?  Isn’t it an ideal mechanism for promoting the core content from their collections and giving it the opportunity for further exposure, particularly given the difficulties many museums and libraries face getting their collections indexed by search engines?

Picture Australia currently provides what are essentially “pre-configured” searches on particular topics called trails.  These are designed to be easy and topical introductions into the collections.  With the addition of the “share this” link, now any user can create a group of related images, add their own descriptions, tag it however they like and promote it.  For example, a teacher may want to create a group of images for a class they are teaching, or a historical train society may wish to collate all the references to photographs of trains in their area. Through the use of the API, this user generated trail doesn’t even need to be promoted on, it can be incorporated into any site, displaying it in it’s own context.

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