Friday, December 08, 2006

Please insist that the URL for your projects be printed in the articles about them!

I'm just reading an article about photos digitized by the Berkeley Public Library. The article was published in the Daily Californian, which is published by UC Berkeley students. The article says:

The Berkeley Public Library last month added 200 photographs like these, many of which are too fragile to be publicly displayed, to an online archive.

The historical images of Berkeley, which date from 1873 to 1996, were digitized with the help of a grant from the California State Library and can now be accessed by anyone via the Online Archive of California, a statewide media center run by the University of California.

The article goes on to give more details and includes a photo from the collection. The article does not include the URL for the Berkeley Public Library or for the collection. I'm not sure how frequently this happens, but even one time where a project is mentioned without the URL is "one time too many."

Whenever your project is going to be mentioned in the press, insist that they include the URL. If they don't want to include a long, clunky URL, then have them include the domain level URL at least. Explain to them that this will ensure that the readers can make the jump from what they have read to the web site itself (and that the readers will be pleased with the media for helping them do this).

Now what is interesting about the Berkeley Public Library's 200 photos is that they are actually part of the Online Archive of California and not hosted on the Public Library's web site (although there is a link there to the collection). Yes, the URL is a bit long and ugly, but maybe they could have included a shortened URL using DigBig or TinyURL.

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