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C2C Lantern (Fall 2014/ Winter 2015)

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A Note about the Scalar Platform

(Note:  The above is a radial diagram of the contents of this issue of the C2C Lantern. This visualization is auto-generated within Scalar, the platform on which the C2C Lantern is built.) 

The Scalar Platform

Curious about the platform on which the C2C Lantern is being built, hosted, and viewed? 

A Short History of the C2C Lantern

The team editing and supporting the C2C Lantern realized that they needed to find a flexible platform which was stable, engaging, and fairly easy-to-build-to in order to protect the contents of this newsletter into the future.  The inaugural issue of the C2C Lantern (circa Fall 2013) was built on Glossi, a tool which soon changed to Slippi (with a new business model). To protect the data, that first issue was re-captured in InDesign, but ScholarSpace declined to archive that issue.  That first issue was re-captured yet again onto Scalar when the team settled on this platform. 

About Scalar's Vision

Scalar is a product of The Alliance for Networking Visual Culture (ANVC), which created Scalar as a “media-rich publishing” platform. The goal of ANVC is to encourage scholarly work around Web archives and repositories by linking scholars to these repositories and providing a platform to enable media-rich publishing of the work. The partnerships list for this endeavor is impressive—with a range of libraries, humanities centers, university presses, and online archives; this ANVC endeavor is supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities. This is one of the tools that has been created to support work in the "digital humanities." 

A video is available about Scalar. (The Vimeo player in Scalar wouldn't load this, so this is provided by link only.) 

A showcase of some of the multimedia rich publications is available.

Scalar Functionalities

Scalar enables many practical functionalities:
  • An easy-to-use interface
  • A dependency manager to avoid link breakages while enabling re-naming and reorganizing of contents
  • Tagging and annotation of all contents (the strategic employment of metadata)
  • Path definition to enable various sequences through the contents
  • Built-in data visualizations of publication contents (radial, index, path , media, and tag diagrams)
  • Heavy-duty integration of multimedia contents from a range of online repositories, including YouTube, Vimeo, Prezi, and others
  • Collaborative building of shared electronic publications
  • Hidden content until publication is desired (if ever)
  • Virtual community building by enabling a wide range of ways to interact around the contents and data (including commenting) 
  • Long-term (forever) archival of born-digital content 
  • Easy findability of the publications through search engines, and others
The capabilities of Scalar are continually being evolved and upgraded--based in part on the requirements of its users. 

A hosted solution.
These issues of the C2C Lantern are hosted on dedicated University of Southern California servers. The issues are built and deployed on the Cloud. However, the software tool itself is actually open-source and freely downloadable from GitHub.

Semantic Web-friendly. Scalar is an evolving tool. It is built on Web standards that make is friendly for Web 3.0, or Tim Berners-Lee’s conceptualization of the Semantic Web (a Web that is readable by machines and which enables automated capture and collection of related objects to create new coherences beyond mere Web pages). Said another way, any content deployed on Scalar and published may be mashed up in new ways through its application programming interface (API)

The basic unit of a build in Scalar is the "page," whether it is a page, a multimedia object, an annotation, a tag, or some other object.  There is no object hierarchy.  The building of sequences comes in the creation of paths.  Every "page" is annotatable, taggable, and otherwise able to be meta-tagged. 

Learning Scalar

Scalar is fairly easy to learn, and ANVC has made learning this tool even easier with a “Learning Scalar” page.

Invitation to free remote trainings for C2C members.   If any would like to participate in a Zoom session of customized trainings on Scalar, please email to schedule a convenient time.

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