Omeka is clearly designed to display collections, meaning that it would only be effective if you have objects (images, photographs, media, videos, audio, etc.) to present in an organized fashion. I would explain Omeka as the iPhones of websites; in the sense that, iPhones are user-convenient with standard designs, compared to androids that require more prior knowledge to customize. Omeka is not your site if you want complete control over how it looks, though this is restrictive, it is very user-friendly because the layouts and fields are provided for you without having to learn something like HTML.
Searching for items to upload was definitely frustrating when I hit a copyright wall. For example, Triumph of Faith from Bridgeman Images is under a license, and it would have been a good addition to the 19th-21st Century Popular Culture Collection. Like Terras, I agree that it is difficult to reuse/remix digitized content because of copyright or unclear right. The solution she proposes insists on is to declutter the vast amount of images and comprise a good amount of quality content (in resolution and material) under public domain, because it’s all about sharing, right, Mark Sample?
Metadata is extremely essential when it comes to searching. When metadata looks like this (not to call anyone out), it is certainly incomplete and ineffective. Omeka is extra helpful, because it outlines what metadata to fill in, but only is effective when complete. Moreover, the data must be uniform to comply with search engines.
Creating these collections and exhibits for Perpetua and Felicitas, in my perspective, embraces both sides of the practice-theory divide that Fitzpatrick proposes. We are using digital technology (Omeka) to study traditional humanities objects (digitized artwork), and we are asking contemporary humanities questions (in response to Perpetua and Felicitas) to decipher digital objects (digitized artwork). Though we were building collections and exhibits by compiling and classifying information, in essence, we are sharing information to further our understanding of Perpetua and Felicitas, and that is the true spirit of Digital Humanities (according to Sample).
Let’s talk about information – digitized information. When the World Wide Web emerged, it offered a plethora of information, “unpoliced and unregulated,” open to all, regardless of race or class. It was a possible channel for “those who had been silenced to have a voice.” You couldn’t prevent someone from accessing information on the web, and that was the great promise of the Internet; however, you could exclude diverse, cultural information from the web, and a trend has definitely shown. Earhart says that digital humanists are skewed toward traditional texts, thus excluding crucial work by women, people of color, and the GLBTQ community. Therefore, she poses the question (the title of the article) “Can Information [truly] be Unfettered?” (Unfettered meaning free from restraint) Interestingly, the National Endowment of Humanities awarded 141 D.H. grants in three years, with only 29 focused on diverse communities. Clearly, there has been an underwhelming spotlight on the preservation or recovery of diverse community texts. So, the solution is obvious, but it must be blatantly said – we must adopt a mind toward cultural constructions in technology, unless we will continue to exclude vital materials from digitization.
Earhart’s persuasive argument can be related to archives such as one created by the Invisible Australians project. This online archive was created to reveal the “real face of White Australia.” Australia defined itself as a white man’s country, but reality is different, and the archive proves just that – easily identifiable, one could click on any picture and see just one of the documents denying them their place in Australia. Without researchers, and even ourselves, being exposed to diversity, digging deeper into cultures, we would digitize an incomplete, false world.
This post mainly encompasses Earhart’s article and the archive, because frankly, after reading McGann’s number, I still don’t know what he is referring to in Radiant Textuality. However, I do understand that he acknowledges the capacity of accessibility and flexibility information has once it is computerized; but, he asks us to give “serious, collective thought” as to how we live and handle our lives and knowledge within these networks.