I just wanted to suggest a few upgrades/options I would like to see in future Exhibit builder releases.
1. Permissions: It would be nice if we could allow Contributor users to create exhibits, giving them permission to add/edit/delete their own items but not those of others. Likewise,it would be beneficial for Contributors to have no control over the Public/Featured options
2. Drafts: Perhaps an email could be sent to the site admin when an exhibit is created/finished - maybe with a "Submit Draft" button.
3. Categories: The ability to create and assign categories for exhibits. The categories could be used in themes for those who desire, or could be ignored, depending on user needs. For example, I am currently using tags to sort exhibits (see: http://csudigitalhumanities.org/exhibits/exhibits). Tags produce the desired effect more or less, but can be too easily manipulated by rogue students. (as an aside, note how some exhibits show twice on the page listed above. any guess why?)
4. Linked items: We often get questions about embedding images and videos from other sites. Often times, users want to display content without adding it to the site. We would like to let them do that as well, rather than having them upload materials to our site redundantly, without permission, and sometimes without any good reason. Sometimes, they just want to illustrate something with an image, but the image does not really belong with the archival items we typically collect. I know they can already do this with HTML, but most of our users struggle in that area and even those that know HTML are not always good enough to fit embedded objects into a layout in a way that is visually acceptable. Perhaps an additional layout choice that is designed to accept image addresses and video embed URLs with some scale/resizing options?
5. Export: The ability to easily export exhibits as stand-alone objects (HTML pages, PDF, even JPG)would be useful in grading, student work retention, and post-course takeaway. For example, we are required to keep student work for a certain period of time after each course. Having an offline copy would be nice, especially for extreme examples (really good/really bad) and those to which we would like to add some annotations for grading purposes. Many of the teachers we work with don't have in-class Internet connections so the ability to produce handouts would be desirable for them as well. We are already doing this using a FireFox plug-in, which allows full page captures (JPG), but we have to do it one page at a time. An "Export" button (maybe with some "Save as..." ) options would be both useful and really cool.
These improvements would be huge for our project, as we have dozens of users contributing exhibits to our site, many of whom publish their work before it is done and all users, unsurprisingly, choose Featured. We have different groups (teachers/undergrads/grads) submitting content and hold each to somewhat different criteria. We are also worried about overall site security. The ability to define/limit user options in EB would improve our ability to use Omeka as a teaching tool.
Obviously, I know that Omeka cannot be all things to all people, but based on our extensive use with non-expert users, these features would likely help broaden Omeka's use in hands-on educational settings. I mean this to be useful for the Omeka team and not at all a complaint. As an organization, we are very happy with Omeka as a whole, but just wanted to contribute our two cents regarding future directions.