Thursday, March 26, 2009

eHive - Odd name for a Collections Management System

Last night I went to a Culture Geeks talk about eHive, a collections management system (CMS) which the makers say is the first web based system of its kind. It was designed with small museums and galleries in mind as they often find themselves unable to use other CMSs because they're too expensive and/or they don't have the resources to manage and maintain it.

I can see the potential of this service for small museums and galleries but I'm not sure if eHive has got it right just yet. It's got a reduced set of the features that would be available in a full blown CMS, and this is a deliberate move to make the product more easy to use, but it still seems quite complex to me and this puts it somewhere in between being easy to use and being a good CMS.

Perhaps more CMS features could be sacrificed for the benefit of usability but I know how much importance museums give to correctly cataloguing their objects so I think I can understand eHive's predicament.

I would certainly recommend giving eHive a try out if you have a collection of objects that you want to catalogue and make available on the web. It's free for the first 200 objects.
 
I'm not sure I would have called it 'eHive' though.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Practical Plone 3 (pre review)

I've just started reading Practical Plone 3 which touts itself as a beginners' guide which teaches you how to get a working Plone site up and running quickly if you don't want to get involved in programming.

It's got an impressively long list of 13 authors including Martin Aspeli and Jon Stahl, with each author being responsible for individual chapters.

This seems like a good idea on the face of it as the combined knowledge and experience of that many people has got to be broader than that of a single author. But will it suffer from a lack of consistency as a result and will that affect the message?

I don't know yet but I'll post the answers here as soon as I do.