More Omeka thoughts

Am I the only one that’s indifferent towards Omeka thus far? Even though I have no formal training with the software or digital archiving, I found the task to be quite simple and relaxing. I guess I better get used to it, since my thesis will revolve around this type of work…fun times ahead!

I did find one this fascinating about this project; that is the level of influence we as moderators of information have. Thinking back several weeks ago, when discussing the “democratization” of the Internet, I found myself in a precarious situation regarding metadata. The purpose of Dublin CORE seems ambiguous. You, as the creators or administrators of content, can shape information depending on your needs. Out of the fifteen or so points of data, individuals can choose to withhold certain information from the item’s page. It may not seem like much, but that’s pretty powerful when you think about it. Some aspects, such as the date and description, seem fairly standard. But hypothetically speaking, what would happen if an archive left out the author’s name? What would the Chicory Archive look like without these names? How would this shape our understanding of data?

I agree with many of the points made throughout the readings, especially when pertaining to context. This type of work thrives off placing items within specific historical moments. But on the flip-side, not everyone may share the same opinion. I don’t want to delve deeply into the ongoing “raw vs. cooked” debate, I just think it’s a matter of opinion. What type of experience do you want users to have when interacting with information?

For example, compare and contrast the layout of Gothic Past & Cleveland Historical. The first site is rather straight forward and similar to what we’ve experienced in class whereas the second site is fairly unorthodox. Cleveland Historical doesn’t even provide users with metadata (in the form of Dublin CORE); instead opting for a descriptive experience of time and place. Just some thoughts…

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