-Dr. Jessica DeSpain [note: the more ridiculous parts of this post are of my own invention to help others, as well as myself, relate some of the more tech-heavy parts of Omeka into an easy to understand context]
“Omeka” (pronounced oh-MEH-ka): Swahili word meaning to “display or lay out wares”
-Created at George Mason University
Is Omeka the right choice?
-Have set of things to display on wed
-Best when you have complete info about each object
-Not great for a simple website (consider WordPress instead)
-Not great is want control over how things look
-Not great is you want sophisticated dynamic queries of database
-Not great if you want to create complex paths through collection (Consider Scalar instead)
-free on Omeka.net servers
-fewer functionalities than full installaion/Omeka.net susbscription
-Example of Omeka hosted page: eaststlouisculture.org/omeka/
This page costs $20 a month for Omeka to host.
Item: things added to site (like images, scanned pages)
Item Type: type of thing added to site (videos, photo, etc.)
Collection: grouping of items on site (e.g. digital book)
Exhibit: items displayed together on site
Metadata: specific groupings amongst items on the site (think Subject)
e.g. Wide, Wide World, Geography, or History of Tacos
Tags: generic pieces of information (more general searchable terms)
e.g. cats, tears, or Chuck Norris
Theme: look of site
Plugin: programs that can be added to a site
Simple Pages: type of plug-in to easily create web pages, basic, not detailed
Building Omeka Pages
- Create a Plan: Organizing content- determine how site will be structured, requires you know beforehand what sections + subpages of exhibit will be. E.g. a flowchart can help you understand hierarchy of items, collections, +exhibit pages in Omeka Tricky Aspect of Item Description- are you describing item or photo?
- Prepare Items for the Web: important concepts for optimizing image for web use- file size, image size, + image resolution always do a “save as” when working with images + keep a folder for originals and one for edits
- Add Core Fields: Dublin Core + Controlled Vocab, subject=topic of resource, description= account of resource, relation=establishes one item’s relation to another item, format= file format/physical medium/dimensions of resource, language= language of resource
- Build an Exhibit: install exhibit builder plug-in, enter exhibit metadata: title, slug, description, credits, + themes.
Warning: adding items monotonous business, important to keep intellectual goals in mind.
Importance of Controlled Vocab: to help unify searches and keep relationships amongst items easy to locate, agree ahead to use specific terms so that items that should be related to one another pop up within same search. Ex: if one image shows George Washington on a unicorn and another image shows George Washington punching a T-Rex on a nose, but the unicorn picture is tagged only as General Washington and the T-Rex picture is tagged only as President Washington, the two will not appear within the same search.
Possible use for Omeka: Student run blog/magazine?