By Ben Bromley
As we all know, most archival repositories have a lot of photographs. You may even have some of them up on Flickr, as we learned how to do in the previous Thing. Photograph mashups can use materials in your collections to engage users in new and unique ways.
You can use a website like Big Huge Labs or ImageChef to take those images and do all sorts of interesting things with them. For example, you could create a set of trading cards of authors, scientists, historical figures, or even concepts you’re trying to teach or promote. Let’s say that you have a great collection of photographs of your state’s governors, already digitized and available for all to see on your Flickr site. You can easily create a set of trading cards that feature these governors. To do so, you must first log into the Big Huge Labs site: you can do so by either creating a new account or you can use your Facebook account. Then go back to the main page and scroll down to where it says “Trading Cards.” You then upload a picture from your computer, choose the text and background that will go on the card, and then it is created. You can download this picture to your computer; if you wanted to, you could print them off, put them on card stock, and make true physical trading cards that you could give out to people at your repository. You can also put them on your website or blog.
You can link your Facebook account and your Flickr account to Big Huge Labs if you want. This will allow you to pull photographs from your accounts on these websites into Big Huge Labs automatically, without first having to download them to your computer and then upload them again.
- Create an account with Big Huge Labs.
- Use one of their tools to modify a picture and post it on your blog.
- Upload some pictures and send them to some of other participants.
- Some mashup tools you might find fun to use yourself, if not for your archives:
- “Mashup (digital)” article from Wikipedia.
- “DJ Spooky: How a Tiny Caribbean Island Birthed the Mashup” article on Wired.com about music mashups, but still informative.
- For anyone interested in mashups and their pedagogical potential, check out American University’s Center for Social Media site.