AE Monthly

Articles - June - 2009 Issue

The Wiki Control Panel Revised

Wc.changes

Images & footnotes in one step


By Bruce McKinney

Listen carefully and you can hear the next generation of shoes dropping. Material everyday is being organized and digitized by subject and collection for the web and scholars, collectors, librarians and dealers are beginning to access this next generation of complex, related and threaded information via single searches. It's happening on library sites and its happening on AE. The difference is that libraries are cataloging their collections. On AE we are creating borderless bibliographies that both provide the positive presentation that libraries are building but also match AE's Wikis to material posted at auction and in Books for Sale. Rather than endlessly search the research simply looks at the changes posted everyday. In a few years this new structure of information will replace traditional book listing sites.

Libraries and institutions are digitizing their collections and associations, collectors and dealers are beginning as well to organize their material as collections, fields, focuses and inventories - in effect, bibliographies by whatever name you call them, that will become magnets to attract related and relating material from across the globe into single search results. The future comes into view.

Wiki Bibliographies, AE's concept for how this can work, were introduced on the Americana Exchange in October, 2008. This month we introduce a substantial simplification of the Wiki Control Panel to speed the process of creating entries.

On the Wiki Control Panel an L now identifies those Wikis that are live. Increasingly Wiki Bibliographers will manage more than one Wiki. Some will be public and others under development. Those with the L are live.

Under Operations -

Add Items. Selecting this link brings up a list of each Wiki Bibliographer's Wikis. One or more Wikis can be simultaneously selected if an entry is intended to be added to multiple Wikis.

The Add an Item Screen now includes a 'footnote' field. Up to 75 records from the AED can be organized to document bibliographic details, rarity and history. With this link such records are attached to the Wiki entry.

Up to four images can now be attached to each Wiki entry as the initial entry is being created. For each image uploaded a thumbnail appears in the entry module. Images can of course be added later. The goal of this change is to permit a complete record with footnotes and images to be created in a single entry.

Altogether, a listing and its description, author, date and place printed can be organized with footnotes, a link to the full readable text if it is available in Google Books or Open Library, and up to four images.

Edit/Postpone/Delete Approved Items. It turns out Wiki Bibliographers aren't perfect. If an item in an existing Wiki needs to be suspended or deleted both options are provided here.

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