Solution Detail

TechSpense > Pilot Project > Solution Detail

1. Digitize archives and categorize per the Society’s perspective.

  • —Digitize archives
    • Data Entry
    • Scanning
    • Update old digital formats
  • —Categorize
    • Cart Sort Technique – What Goes Where?
    • 3×5 cards, one table, a couple of hours
    • Lots of collaboration and perhaps a bit of debate
    • Archives wind up organized

How Cart Sort works:

  1. Write the title and a short description for each of the main kind of archives on an index card.
  2. Duplicate a few card decks.
  3. Gather a good representative user group, experienced and inexperienced with the archive content.  Separate them off into two or three teams, mixing the experienced and inexperienced users evenly in each of the teams.
  4. Shuffle the cards in each deck and give one deck to each user teams
  5. Ask each user team to sort the cards into piles, placing items that belong together in the same pile. User teams can make as many or as few piles as they want; some piles can be big, others small.
  6. User teams then arrange the resulting piles into bigger groups, and name the different groups and piles.
  7. This resulting categorization is the basis for how the archives will be organized online, suggesting the words and synonyms to use for navigation labels, links, headlines, and search engine optimization.

2. Upload to secure, easy to use, non-techie CMS.  Use mainstream, well supported technologies.

  • —Upload to secure, easy to use, non-techie CMS
    • Mainstream platforms like Drupal  (, Joomla  (, or similar
    • Host on existing or use opportunity to shop for another cost-effective provider
    • Restrict access to board, members, volunteers, research/academia, donors, public, press, etc.
  • —Use mainstream, well supported, and open-source technologies
    • PDF digital formats
    • Open source search indexing, databases, backup/sync, security, etc.
    • Mainstream products provide user base to ensure availability of support

What is Open Source and why for this project:

  1. Technologists around the world contribute programs and know-how to users under open licensing
  2. Goal is to promote some capability through technology, satisfaction in having thousands of users, recognition, etc.
  3. Many are university students and academics, engineers, hobbyists, and some are corporate sponsored teams.
  4. Non-profits can benefit solid engineering, reliability driven by the use of hundreds and thousands of users worldwide, low or no cost to acquire and maintain , support forums or commercially-paid support.
  5. Open Source, the “non profit” of software

3. Train member staff and volunteers in upkeep.

  • —Training
    • Basic training available for free for all mainstream CMS
    • Written documentation completes training specific to the archiving process needed here
    • New board, members and volunteers can self-train step by step:  Browser, Editor, Contributor, etc.
    • Process changes are updated in training documentation
  • —Upkeep
    • Upload new archive data
    • Archive access analysis reports on which parts of the archives are accessed, when, who, etc.
    • Summary of archives, projects facilitated by archive data, research of archives, etc. are summarized regularly as new data is added
    • Summaries are marketed to media, academic press, educators, etc. to stimulate projects and grants
    • Technical and semi-technical staff resources needed for upkeep can be recruited in partnership with Knowbility and other organizations

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