We often refer to Kete as “wiki inspired”. Wikis are very text based and multimedia integration is usually a manual process and cumbersome. For most wiki software anything but text is sort of bolted on. When we conceived of Kete, we wanted images, audio, video, and documents, as well as discussion to be right at the fore along with text. So all of these types of digital artifacts are easily bundled around a topic.
We also wanted this rich information to be easily reusable and shareable, whether it was the metadata itself, or the binary files. Thus our emphasis on open standards, such as having an OAI-PMH repository for all public metadata on a site and support for very specific RSS feeds. Again, multimedia is given importance, even within our RSS feeds, so it’s easy to use Kete to host podcasts for example or using it with different discovery tools such a the Cooliris.com plugin which makes a great digital kiosk.
Kete was also viewed as a part of a larger information ecosystem, as such it has tools for easily pulling data from site administrator configured sources (other Kete, or search aggregation sources like Digital New Zealand or even Twitter, anything that uses OpenSearch standard). Here’s an example of Kete site’s search showing material from a library’s catalog, some of the library’s other digital resources, and the Digital New Zealand search aggregation service under “More Resources”:
Here’s a search on Kete.net.nz for information about Kete Horowhenua, with results from Digital New Zealand and Twitter:
Another example, this time showing results pulled in from another Kete site along with Digital New Zealand:
So we try to make it easy to pull in relevant material from other sources, but we also make it easy to push the local Kete site data out again. Here’s a new feature in Koha that does a parallel search of Kete Horowhenua along side search results from its catalog:
or here are Kete Horowhenua items showing along side Te Papa’s collection results through the Digital New Zealand service:
To summarize, Kete’s differences from wiki as giving equal importance to multimedia items as text and that Kete was designed from the beginning to be apart of a larger ecosystem of information, rather than only a narrow silo of text.
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