The latest development for my project site has proved to be a little more challenging than what I thought it would be. I have been focusing on developing the user engagement aspects: allowing users to comment on collection items in order to create an open dialogue about particular items, allow users to assign keywords and object type metadata (similar to what NYPL Labs does with some of their crowd sourcing projects), and allow users to transcribe documents.
The first part, allowing users comments, was relatively simple and was finished almost immediately. The challenge came when setting up an interface to allow users to assign certain metadata and quickly move to the next item. Initially, I had created separate workflows to determine when an object would appear in the assign keywords, and assign object type interfaces. I thought it best to keep the two independent of one another but this proved to be problematic when the automated rule sets I created began to interfere with one another. After several attempts and re-workings, I realized I needed to change my plan. I have now created one large workflow that forces each item record to be assigned an object type first. Once saved, text based documents will need to move to the transcription interface and after the raw transcription has been completed, will move to the keyword interface. All non-text objects will move straight to the keyword interface. Upon having the keywords assigned, all items will move to a review status where a project staff member can review what has been done to each item and approve the changes in order to maintain some editorial/content control.
Now that this has been worked out, I am also considering adding a Tags field so that users can describe the content in their own words, and not just by controlled keyword list. Additionally, I have been able to create an interface that I like for the Contribute page which will explain what each task is and allow the user to pick what they want to do. Furthermore, since only registered/logged in users will be able to contribute to the project, I have also created an access denied page to be displayed if trying access any of these pages and they have not logged in yet.
The next steps for this part of the project is to set up the transcription interface and to create a badgefication/rewards system to award users points for contributing. Additionally, I will also be focusing on the exhibits. I want to figure out what else can be included in them to make them more interesting and begin creating the exhibit for the Whiskey Rebellion.