Friday, 2 August 2013

So we made a thing. Announcing Serendip-o-matic at One Week, One Tool


Source code at GitHub Serendipomatic - go add your API so people can find your stuff! Check out the site at serendipomatic.org.

Update: and already we've had feedback that people love the experience and have found it useful - it's so amazing to hear this, thank you all! We know it's far from perfect, but since the aim was to make something people would use, it's great to know we've managed that:
Update from Saturday morning - so this happened overnight:
And then this:
From the press release: One Week | One Tool Team Launches Serendip-o-matic

serendip-o-maticAfter five days and nights of intense collaboration, the One Week | One Tool digital humanities team has unveiled its web application: Serendip-o-matic <http://serendipomatic.org>. Unlike conventional search tools, this “serendipity engine” takes in any text, such as an article, song lyrics, or a bibliography. It then extracts key terms, delivering similar results from the vast online collections of the Digital Public Library of America, Europeana, and Flickr Commons. Because Serendip-o-matic asks sources to speak for themselves, users can step back and discover connections they never knew existed. The team worked to re-create that moment when a friend recommends an amazing book, or a librarian suggests a new source. It’s not search, it’s serendipity.

Serendip-o-matic works for many different users. Students looking for inspiration can use one source as a springboard to a variety of others. Scholars can pump in their bibliographies to help enliven their current research or to get ideas for a new project. Bloggers can find open access images to illustrate their posts. Librarians and museum professionals can discover a wide range of items from other institutions and build bridges that make their collections more accessible. In addition, millions of users of RRCHNM’s Zotero can easily run their personal libraries through Serendip-o-matic.
Serendip-o-matic is easy to use and freely available to the public. Software developers may expand and improve the open-source code, available on GitHub. The One Week | One Tool team has also prepared ways for additional archives, libraries, and museums to make their collections available to Serendip-o-matic. 

7 comments:

  1. I tried Serendipomatic but I didn't get the results I have expected. ;-)

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  2. I tried it - after entering a text block in the first field, clicking anywhere else on the page clears the field. Kinda hard to see how it works when clicking the go button clears the page.

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  3. That's odd, we didn't encounter that in testing. What browser/operating system are you using? And can you replicate it with the latest code on our development server http://dev-serendipomatic.herokuapp.com/?

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  4. I was looking forward to trying this out but apparently it doesn't like me :( At http://serendipomatic.org/ clicking the 'magic' button just clears the text I put in the box. At http://dev-serendipomatic.herokuapp.com the text stays, but clicking the button doesn't do anything. Sad, because I like this idea.

    Running IE9 on Windows 7.

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  5. We haven't yet pushed the updated code to live (lots of bits to tidy up first and we're all being sucked back into the real world...)

    Hmm, strange behaviour on dev though. I'm on IE10 so can't easily check it on IE9, but I can ask others to. Do you have a twitter or github name so I can let you know how it goes?

    One final thought - are you clicking on 'go' or on 'make some magic'? Or on something else? (It should be 'make some magic', but it's possible the 'call to action' to follow the main 'add text to try it' path needs some work)

    Cheers, Mia

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    1. I was clicking on the "Make some magic" button, though the Zotero "Go" one doesn't work for me either.

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  6. It should be fixed now, following an update pushed out earlier this month (November 2013). Please let us know if you have any further issues, and more importantly, I hope you enjoy it!

    Cheers, Mia

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