Archive don’t decommission

The Web Accessibility National Transition Strategy that directs government agencies on conforming to the WCAG 2.0 is available now at: http://www.finance.gov.au/publications/wcag-2-implementation/index.html

This easy decision table workflow gives some guidance.
workflow for an agency to determine whether content should be upgraded to WCAG 2.0 or be archived

However it also is a bit of a worry, with the option to Archive or Decommission. The temptation for many agencies confronted with upgrading their content to conform to the new requirements (even though they do not have to conform under Single A until end 2012) will be to decommission the website.

Before doing so they hopefully will abide by this AGIMO advice.

Options for retaining public access to out of date web content:

  • preserving key electronic resources in the National Library of Australia‚Äôs Pandora Web Archive;
  • creating a publicly accessible archive for out of date web content, on their websites (e.g. AGIMO Archive); or
  • publishing information on how to obtain out of date content that is no longer available through their websites.

and this:

AFDA requirement that also states that:

Publications produced only in an electronic format on an agency’s public website – Retain as national archives

Agencies should understand that a publication is anything published, a publication is not just those types of electronic documents that conform to a print type (such as e-book, e-journal) but includes any public (therefore published) web content and therefore should be retained.

That retention is best served not just by the content being stored on a disk in the agency (and at the NAA) but also by retaining it in an online archive (whether institutional or PANDORA).

Too often web publications are deemed no longer relevant and decommissioned and removed from websites and thus lost from public access. Before decommissioning and removing content, web managers should make an effort to check whether the content is safely held elsewhere (IA, PANDORA) and if not, arrange for archival.

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YouTube’s 5th birthday

YouTube is now 5 years old and has 2 billion visits a day.
To celebrate they have a page where people tell their YouTube story and some celebrity mentions.

Here is Pedro Aldomovar’s choice of favourite content.

If you are not a Spanish speaker this video will give you a chance to play with the new Captioning that YouTube has installed (to access and alter the settings you will see a little CC image on the bottom right of the video, click on it).
Google/YouTube is now closed captioning a number of videos, and also allowing users to create captioning on their or (with permission) other’s videos. This is being done for 2 reasons. Firstly, by creating captioning transcripts videos will become textually searchable by Google, thus incredibly more accessible and, secondly, because laws to make content accessible to the deaf and hard of hearing are in the offing in the US.

closed captioning on YouTube

The service is still in Beta form and many of the YouTube automatically created captions (using speech to text software) are not accurate, but it is getting there.
Closed captioning on YouTube

What does this mean for us in Australia, well as public servants we will also have to make accessibility for all Australians a priority as the Government has agreed to the WC3’s WCAG 2.0 (see http://webpublishing.agimo.gov.au/Accessibility).

So if you are a librarian putting up videos on your Library website, you had better start captioning too. As usual Google has the tools to make captioning simple and the capacity to do it online see here