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Steps for Building Proceedings in WP
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Steps for Building the Proceedings of the Museum Computer Network Conferences

Steps for Building the Proceedings of the Museum Computer Network Conferences

What are We Doing in this Space?

Let’s Build Something

Out of the Box--Getting Started

Identifying and Importing Content


Other Presentation Options

Sample Site:

Created for MCN 2012 by Sheila Brennan and Joan Fragaszy Troyano

        Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media, GMU

What are We Doing in this Space? and

How often have you attended conferences (excluding Museums and the Web) and then a few weeks later, after the Twitter hashtag disappears from Tweetdeck, you wished you had the URL to review a presenter’s slides, paper, or video they shared during their presentation? Would you like a conference or meeting website to aggregate that type of material in one central digital publication without making presenters post in multiple places? It is easy to publish to the web. Yet, aggregating content published on different digital platforms is still challenging.


While we are not attending MCN2012 this year, we decided to try to build a replicable model for generating inexpensive digital conference proceedings, without asking participants to post in multiple places. This experiment demonstrates how a museum, library, or archive can aggregate digital materials from symposia, meetings, conferences, and other public programs organized at their home institution, professional association, and/or enthusiast communities into one publication.

Moving beyond conference proceedings, this model can also allow GLAMs to engage communities around mission-centered topics that might attract individuals who may not meet in real life but who share similar concerns or passions. Evidence of this facilitated engagement by a GLAM might manifest in a new type of digital journal.


Using WordPress as the base content management system, we are aggregating tagged presentations uploaded to SlideShare, videos posted to YouTube, and images in the MCN Flickr Group and tagged on Instagram. We are also grabbing individual blog posts identified through automated web searches using Google Alerts. We can also add ePub and PDFs as output formats that also offer print options.

Importantly, we hope these examples contribute to ongoing discussions about how this type of outreach can be mission-driven to help GLAMs reach publics outside of the physical museum.

We are also interested in addresses issue of professional development for GLAM professionals, and ask if new types of conference-sponsored proceedings can help justify their participation in professional conferences. We know that sharing our research and presentation online increases its diffusion and that research is more likely to be read by a variety of professionals working in the GLAM field when freely and publicly available.

Here we outline the process for building an automated proceedings, and a more formally published proceedings.

Let’s Build Something

Out of the Box--Getting Started

These steps allow you to building a basic site that pulls in content from multiple places on the Web into one central CMS, without any editorial selection.


Site Platform

Start by installing WordPress 3.0 +. You will need the Multi-User version to create a network of websites.

After installed, create one child sites of main WP site.



        Go to Tools in site’s Dashboard, and click on “Press This” icon.

Drag “Press This” icon to your browser’s bookmark bar. This will help will pulling individual pages into WP. For more information on the plugins, go here:

        Note, each “Press This” bookmarklet is specific to each WP site.


        For the 2012 Proceedings we used the “Twenty Twelve Wordpress Theme” that

comes with every new installation of WordPress. It also is available from

Identifying and Importing Content

Aggregating Content

In your WP Dashboard, there is a Syndicated Sources box to quickly add in RSS feeds and URLs for sites with content. You can manage how the syndicated content is categorized, tagged, assigned authors, published automatically or saved as a draft, etc. in the Syndicated Sources area of the Dashboard.

Click the “Press This” bookmarket you already dragged into your browser.


At this point, use your editorial criteria to determine which posts to make public.

You can also manipulate the categories and tags, and the content can be filtered by those categories directly in the WordPress admin.


Other Presentation Options

Sample Site: 

Once you have collected all your content in WordPress, you can present it in any way you wish by choosing the theme for the published pages.

For the Proceedings of MCN2011, we are using the theme designed by Kim Nguyen of RRCHNM for the Journal of Digital Humanities. Soon we will released a generalized version of this theme available for anyone to download and use on their own sites.

The management of the content for Proceedings of MCN2011 is exactly the same as for the 2012 site, it is only the published page that is different. This is an example of how different themes organize the presentation.

Another capability you have is to prepare portable versions of your content in the ePub or PDF file formats. You can do this using Anthologize (