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Elevator pitch for Catablogs

September 25th, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

I just got a great challenge from my good friend and former boss Megan Fraser (currently at UCLA Special Collections):

If you had to sum up the virtue of catablogs in one or two sentences, what would you say? Sentences consisting entirely of “they are awesome” will be disqualified.

I came up with something kind of long and boring, and I don’t want to besmirch anyone’s wording quite yet.  Please submit your pitch in the comments!

Links for catablogs…please add more to the Catablog page @ the Archives 2.0 Wiki (thanks Kate).

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  1. September 25th, 2009 at 11:22 | #1

    Hi Matt,

    I just shared your challenge over at http://www.archivesnext.com, so I hope you’ll get some more submissions. Here’s mine:

    “Catablogs enable archives to quickly and easily share information about collections on the Web, with as much or as little structure as they desire. Catablogs allow descriptive information to published, tagged, categorized, illustrated, edited, discovered quickly and easily. They are one of the easiest ways possible to bring information about collections to the people looking for it.”


  2. September 25th, 2009 at 11:45 | #2

    Here’s my pitch:
    Using free, open-source WordPress blogging software, we can create a collection listing that is searchable and browseable, and which automatically generates a Google site-map and includes other tools for easy search engine optimization. The software is easy to use and requires minimal tech support, and exposes our collections to the internet in a way that inclusion in an OPAC cannot.

    If allowed a 3rd sentence, I’d say another merit is that presents collection information in a format–the blog– which is familiar and comfortable to the tech savvy public we hope to engage.

  3. matt
    September 25th, 2009 at 11:52 | #3

    Here was my own response to Megan’s question:

    Catablogs use popular blog software to expose the institution’s resources. Blogging platforms provide easy, flexible, and inexpensive setup and maintenance; the ability to readily support user interaction and other community features; and encourages well-structured and consistent metadata across all collections. The result is an interface that gives the user multiple access points in a way they find both simple and familiar while being very search engine friendly by avoiding the pitfalls of many database-driven systems.

    Kind of long, admittedly — the first sentence doesn’t count because it is the setup. But a first, wordy, pass.

  4. September 25th, 2009 at 12:14 | #4

    “Catablogs” are easy to set up, easy to maintain, and easy to train people on compared with existing finding aid/description systems or online catalogs. How’s that?

  5. September 27th, 2009 at 19:27 | #5

    Ditto what Mark said. As Chela and Matt mentioned, catablogs are search engine friendly. I love Kate’s last sentence: “They are one of the easiest ways possible to bring information about collections to the people looking for it.” My key words: easy, free, searchable, findable, interactive, low-maintenance, low-tech.

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