This case study aims to evaluate Omeka.net, the hosted Web publishing exhibit tool, as a low-cost and technology-friendly platform encouraging dynamic academic and non-academic communities to collaborate, explore and contribute to a genre film festival resource.
A literature review established six variables to assess Omeka.net as a viable platform for libraries seeking to administer a resource-focused website adhering to information standards with limited budgets, training and technical or institutional support. The variables identified were cost; website management; content building and management; communities, engagement and collaboration; exploration and knowledge building; and website support.
Omeka.net supports many activities with notable functions for website administration; collection building; media formats; collaboration; metadata; social media; user contributions; technical support; and the creation of simple, custom pages. While templates for page layouts offer a surprising amount of choices, some options are limited. Currently, interactive and exploratory items cannot be embedded into website pages.
This paper discusses Omeka.net, the hosted version of the exhibit tool offered by Omeka, as a platform to encourage cross-sector collaboration for digital humanities projects, addressing a gap in the literature which focuses on Omeka.org, the open-source software version installed by libraries with access to servers and technical staff.
Disclosure. This project was awarded a PSC-CUNY Research Grant of $1,687.90 to fund the cost of a dedicated MacBook Air laptop, laptop accessories and Microsoft software for the project. This cost factor was not considered for the evaluation. The project could have been accomplished using personal or work computers and laptops. The funding is a testament of institutional support for faculty research, and the convenience afforded by the grant award is acknowledged. Additionally, labor costs were not calculated for working on the resource. It is assumed similar resources are created by volunteers, or by professionals supported with salaries, grants or institutional budgets, even if minimal.
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