The Challenge of Finding the Right Users for your Content
If you are working in digital cultural heritage, you probably know the following dilemma: The world wide web is full of carefully curated, high quality content: scientific paper databases, sounds archives, historical photographies and much more. However, a large part of these treasures remains largely untapped, for different reasons:
- users don´t know that the content exists
- sometimes they may know that there must be something, but Google does not show it on the first page, so they don´t know, where else to look.
So, many online portals with specialized cultural or scientific content have trouble to attract users that could be interested in exactly this content.
What can you do?
One strategy of cultural heritage institutions could be to invest into search engine optimization or into online marketing. But most GLAM institutions lack the manpower and the budget to do so, and the success of these measures is uncertain.
The potential users, on the other hand, try to find relevant material via classical search engines like Google or look into the Wikipedia. They face the problem that only mainstream content appears at prominent places, specialised content remains hidden and its discovery is left to coincidence.
This is where EEXCESS comes into play.
What is EEXCESS and what does it offer to cultural heritage institutions?
EEXCESS is an EU project (FP7) that aims at developing software tools that bring recommendations of cultural and scientific content to the user, into his or her preferred working environment. The idea is to
bring the content to the user, not the user to the content.
So far, we have created four prototypes: a browser plug-in for Google Chrome, a Google Docs plug-in, a WordPress plug-in, and a Moodle plug-in. The integrated databases so far are: Europeana (European cultural content), KIM.Portal (Swiss cultural content), EconBiz (economic scientific literature), Mendeley (scientific literature from all disciplines).
For cultural heritage content providers, EEXCESS could be a possibility to bring their content exactly to those users who are looking for it.
How does it work?
The EEXCESS user gets personally tailored content recommendations, based on her browser history and her personal profile. To illustrate the idea, here are some screen shots (click to enlarge):
Browser extension for Google Chrome: While reading a page on wikipedia, a user interface opens (on the right hand side) and recommends scientific articles from Mendeley and cultural items from Europeana, e.g. a historical map. A click on a list entry leads the user to the respective database.
Plug-in for Google Docs: While writing a text in Google Docs, a certain term in the text is marked. EEXCESS recommends appropriate literature that can be automatically inserted into the text as reference.
Plug-in for WordPress: A blog entry is written. After hitting the button “get recommendations”, appropriate literature for the marked text is shown and can be automatically inserted as references.
To learn more about EEXCESS functionalities, you can visit earlier blog entries about the different prototypes for Google Chrome, WordPress and Google Docs.
If you are interested in providing your content via EEXCESS, please contact Prof. Michael Granitzer, our scientific coordinator: firstname.lastname@example.org.