Thursday, September 24, 2009

Twitter: good for lots of news

Since our redesign, coming up on a year ago, the news portion of our home page has been this blog. And while we've had some wonderful things to report, we haven't exactly had a great number of things to say. This was especially true over the past summer. We reported the NEA grant award on April 30th, and then nothing else until the word of Margo's retirement in late September. Because of our blog drought, one might think that not much has happened with accessCeramics over the summer. Of course, that's not entirely accurate: our collection grew by about 33%, or nearly 600 images.

Whenever an artist contributes images to accessCeramics, it's news-worthy. But perhaps based upon our limited time and resources, it wasn't necessarily blog-worthy. But thanks to Twitter and its API, that has changed. Now when Miranda accepts submitted images into the collection, a Twitter post is generated for each contributing artist to our Twitter feed via a PHP script and the Twitter API, and is logged in our MySQL database. And now that our home page news is based upon our Twitter feed instead of this blog, we can effectively promote new images on accessCeramics without any additional work.

We'll still maintain this blog for announcements that extend beyond Twitter's 140 character limit, and will reference any relevant blog posts on our Twitter feed. But with this new model of news, we can hopefully do a better job at promoting the artists and their new works on accessCeramics without extending our already limited resources.

And in case anyone wants to follow our Twitter feed directly, it's

accessCeramics co-founder Margo Ballantyne retiring

Margo Ballantyne, one of the original founders of accessCeramics, will retire next week from her position as Visual Resources Curator at Lewis & Clark College. Margo has been at Lewis & Clark for 19 years, and has admirably brought the College's visual collections into the digital age. She has been an active leader in the VRA community at a local and national level.
Margo has contributed a great deal of enthusiasm, energy, and fun to the accessCeramics project. While she still may be involved at some level, her influence, great humor, and ability to keep some of our crazy ideas in check will be greatly missed.
Stephanie Beene, a recent graduate of the University ot Texas-Austin's School of Information, will take Margo's place as the Visual Resources Curator at Lewis & Clark. She will also serve on the accessCeramics curatorial board, and will almost certainly bring fresh ideas to the project.