In This Issue
- Reserve Your Seat in Our Spring 2012 Online Training Classes
- Improving Your Search Engine Visibility - Create a Buzz with Social Media
- Getting to Know Nomenclature 3.0
- PastPerfect-Online: An Affordable Solution for Sharing Collections with the World
Reserve Your Seat in our Spring 2012 Online Training Classes
by Jennessa Reed
Spring online training classes are just around the corner, and we have a few spots left in the Collections and Contacts classes. Call our toll free number 1-800-562-6080 to reserve your seat today!
Online classes are a great way to learn PastPerfect without the cost of travel. You will be online with a live PastPerfect Trainer who will demonstrate how to effectively use PastPerfect 5.0. You will see the trainer’s PastPerfect program on your own computer and hear the trainer online or over a long distance conference call. There are a couple hours of class each day, so you can attend training and still have time to fulfill all of your daily jobs.
If you are a new PastPerfect user, these classes are an excellent starting point! If you are an experienced user, Online Training can help you refine your ability to use the software and take advantage of the new features PastPerfect 5.0 has to offer.
Cataloging Collections Using PastPerfect 5.0
May 1-3, 2012 | Noon to 3pm Eastern (9am to Noon Pacific)
Managing Contacts, Donations & Memberships with PastPerfect 5.0
May 8-10, 2012 | Noon to 3pm Eastern (9am to Noon Pacific)
Online Training classes are priced at $69/person for AASLH Institutional Members ($86.25/person for non-members.)
For course descriptions and additional information about PastPerfect Training, please visit our website training page.
Improving Your Search Engine Visibility - Create a Buzz with Social Media
by Brian Gomez and Stephanie Witt
Last month we covered the basics of getting your site in good order so search engines such as Google can index your page and rank it appropriately. This month, we want to start talking about the things you can do to increase that ranking.
Before you do anything else, make sure as many local, state, and national websites have links to your home page as possible, and link to theirs where appropriate. One of the many factors that affect ranking is your exchange of links with sites that have a good "reputation." If your site isn't linked from our client list page, send us a request. We rank pretty high with Google and will happily share our reputation with you!
Next, social media is a great area to focus on. It has the benefit of outreach, while increasing your search engine ranking. So get yourself and your stuff out there, making sure you frequently have links to your main website on your posts!
If you don't already have one, create a Facebook page for your museum. Use it to update followers on things happening at your organization, or to share fun facts and human-interest stories. It is also a great way to promote events and fundraising activities. You can link your Facebook page to your Twitter account so when you post to one, it automatically posts to the other. This will save you time once you start posting and help increase your followers on both social media sites.
A blog is a great way to share more about your museum and your collections, and to give people a behind-the-scenes look at what goes on at your museum. Create a blog and update it often. We suggest updating at least weekly. We use Tumblr for our blog, because it is very user-friendly. You can also use a service like Blogger or WordPress.
Once you have a blog set up, you can "digg" your articles. Digg is a "social news website," where users can rate stories posted by other users. The more people who digg your articles, the higher up they show on the Digg website. This allows more users to see your articles and become interested in your organization, while increasing traffic and reputation with the search engines.
StumbleUpon is a "discovery engine" that finds and recommends Web content to users based on the user’s interests. If you submit your Web pages to StumbleUpon, your site will be thrown into the mix of sites people can stumble upon. To submit your pages, install the "StumbleBar" for your Internet browser and give a thumbs-up to your pages. Ask your family, friends, and patrons to do the same.
Pinterest allows you to "organize and share beautiful things you find on the Web." This means if you have artifacts online that you'd like to highlight and share, Pinterest makes it really easy. If you install the "Pin It" button for your Internet browser, you can easily pin things on the fly. This not only allows you to share images of your collection items, but also great photographs of your museum.
Finally, you should add social media badges (such as the "f" button for Facebook or the bird icon for Twitter) to your Web pages to make it easy for people visiting your site to share your content through their social media accounts. If you’re looking for a simple way to add these badges, we suggest using ShareThis.com. They have an easy script that you can add to your pages for free.
Setting up and maintaining these accounts will take time and effort, but doing even a few of them can increase traffic to your website. The key with all of this is to have links from many places to your home page.
Next month we'll talk about providing content to other sites to further boost your potential for higher rankings.
Getting to Know Nomenclature 3.0
by Jennifer Whitfield
The AASLH Nomenclature 3.0 committee is seeking feedback from PastPerfect 5.0 users. They are working on a help manual for PastPerfect users who are converting from The Revised Nomenclature for Museum Cataloging to Nomenclature 3.0. Please take a moment to complete the survey at the link below.
Want to know more about Nomenclature 3.0? You can review tutorials, participate in the forum and submit suggestions at the AASLH's Nomenclature 3.0 Community website.
PastPerfect-Online: An Affordable Solution for Sharing Collections Online
by Jennifer Whitfield
Do you want to expand your museum's audience to millions of Internet users, but hesitate because building an online collections site takes technical knowledge and too much of your annual budget? If you have items cataloged in PastPerfect, then you can use PastPerfect-Online to build a fully searchable online catalog without knowing HTML. Plus, the annual cost for sharing up to 10,000 records is just $352.00 with an AASLH discount.
PastPerfect-Online is both a tool to create searchable HTML Web pages and an online hosting service. You select the PastPerfect catalog records, images and data fields you want to publish, and PastPerfect-Online will build a fully searchable, collections-based website. Our servers store the online data and web-sized images, so your organization does not need to maintain a Web server.
PastPerfect-Online comes with multiple easy-to-use search tools for your site's Web visitors. Plus, through customizable web-based email forms, visitors may contact you with feedback and image reproduction requests. They can also send your collections items’ links to friends.
The monthly visitor search statistics report gives you total numbers for searches, unique users and provides a breakdown of search types and the most popular searches. You can also enable Google indexing for your site, making your collections accessible to anyone using this popular search engine.
To learn more about what PastPerfect-Online can do for you, visit museumsoftware.com/pponline.shtml or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.