News Omeka's Growing Developer Community

The Omeka team should be encouraged. At three weeks since we released the public beta, we’re had over 500 downloads and had a flurry of interest at conferences including WebWise & code4lib. We’re in a good position to continue building an active developer community that augments Omeka’s core. Here are three exciting examples:

1) Omeka forum user Kerim recently posted on the forums about his idea to use the iPaper document viewer for displaying pdf and doc files in a slick flash-based interface. After experiencing some problems, he asked for help and Omeka crack programmer Jim Safley went to work on a soon-to-be-released iPaper plugin. I know there has been some buzz about iPaper recently, so it’s great to see this feature being added to Omeka’s growing plugin directory.

2) One of the hardest parts of getting an open source project off the ground is helping support early adopters, and despite the high level of traffic the forums have been receiving we’ve been able to keep up-to-date with most questions, thanks to the hard work of the Omeka team and the community itself! This is one of the most-promising signs of the project, that users unaffiliated with CHNM are going out of their way to help others with their installations. Special thanks to MrDys and Syma!

3) Wally Grotophorst at the GMU library has been exploring ways of harvesting data from their MARS (Dspace) repository and pulling that metadata into Omeka. According to Wally, “once an Omeka database of items was built using the DSpace metadata, non-technical staff could log into Omeka and build exhibits.” And Wally isn’t the only one interested in this; others I met at code4lib made strong cases for Omeka’s use in very similar situations. With some terrific ideas for how this could be done, this is the start of a conversation that will mature in the future.

As our community of Omekans continues to grow you can enter these ongoing conversations by posting on the forums. We’ve created categories for different topics, including plugins and a space to discuss data migration. I’d encourage anyone who’s interested in migrating data to Omeka to post their ideas and works-in-progress there. For updates on what’s going on with Omeka, I’ll continue to post on the official Omeka blog as well as my own blog. If you’re on twitter, you can follow Omeka or myself. Tom and Sharon are both tweeting away as well!

[Cross-posted on Finding America]

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