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Web Archiving Ends the “Screenshot Era” for the Seattle Humane Society

The Challenge

Reputation is everything to an organization like the Seattle Humane Society. The local community takes animal welfare seriously and must be able to trust the guidance from its most reputable source. With this in mind, the organization is diligent when it comes to protecting the content published on its official website, its primary tool for communicating with potential adopters, donors and participants in animal welfare programs.

“When people see our name on the web, they shouldn’t have to wonder if they’re looking at authorized content,” said Rhonda Manville, the Seattle Humane Society’s vice president of marketing. “We evaluated the volume of our online activity and decided that we needed to do more to capture and store our digital assets.”

This meant taking measure to simplify and strengthen its recordkeeping efforts by preserving copyrighted website content, which could have presented a resource challenge for the non-profit.

Protecting the copyrights of printed material was always relatively simple, but web content was a bigger job. “For years, we took screenshots and filed them with the U.S. Copyright Office,” said Manville. “Our legal counsel advised us to do more, so we would be better prepared to establish copyright should the need arise.”

The Seattle Humane Society needed a web archiving solution capable of capturing the live site—every page, every link, every update.

The Solution

Dave Gray—Seattle Humane Society’s IT manager—needed the right solution, right away. As the sole technology resource for the organization, Gray simply did not have time for a wild goose chase. “Smarsh made a very confusing process easier,” said Gray.

Web archiving with Smarsh enabled the organization to preserve and catalogue its digital assets and recreate web experiences as they existed at specific points in time. Gray and the Seattle Humane Society sought a cost-effective, easy-to-use tool for capturing, searching, and producing copyrighted content published on its website. All roads led them to Smarsh.

Implementation with Smarsh was easy. “We didn’t have to really do anything on our end,” said Gray. ”We just provide domain names and Smarsh did the rest.”

The solution’s simplicity continued to pay dividends, as Gray used the web-based Smarsh Archiving Platform to review the Seattle Humane Society’s historical website content. “The user interface is so easy to use; I figured most of it out on my own. When Smarsh provided training, it just filled in some blanks for us,” he said. “The best part for me is not having to dig up screenshots anymore.”

For Manville, streamlined copyright filing proved very useful. “Smarsh made a complex and confusing process much easier. Now, we just fill out one form for the copyright office, download the archived site, and send it off.”

The Humane Society had a better way to build its new website. “It was a big time saver,” said Gray. “We also saved a lot of money on the re-brand, because we used less labor.”

CUSTOMER PROFILE:

The Seattle Humane Society has been bringing pets and people together since 1897. Funded by donations, the Humane Society provides the greater Seattle area with a wide range of animal welfare programs including adoptions, veterinary services, dog training, and even a pet food bank.

WEB ARCHIVING MAKES RE-BRAND EASIER

When the Seattle Humane Society began its website re-brand, it found that Smarsh would make the migration easier to complete and minimize the risk of data loss. “When developers can see how the site functioned in the past, it saves a lot of time and effort building the new one,” said Gray. “They don’t have to build a concurrent system. Instead, developers can use the archive to see how it worked before and reference things.”

“The user interface is so easy to use; I figured most of it out on my own. When Smarsh provided training, it just filled in some blanks for us. The best part for me is not having to dig up screenshots anymore.”

Dave Gray
IT Manager,
Seattle Humane Society

“We needed to better protect our digital assets. The Smarsh web archiving solution ensures we can prove what is ours.”

The Results

Now, the Seattle Humane Society protects its proprietary digital content by archiving a live version of the website every time pages are updated.

Smarsh simplified a cumbersome and complicated recordkeeping challenge—at the same time providing a more complete record of the site content, design, and functionality. Gray no longer faces the burdensome task of collecting hundreds of website screenshots.

Manville is more confident in the organization’s ability to ensure only authorized use of its content.

“We needed to better protect our digital assets,” said Manville. “The Smarsh web archiving solution ensures we can prove what is ours.”

“We have been very pleased with the Smarsh Archiving Platform. I’ve called customer support with questions and they’ve been awesome.”

Rhonda Manville
VP of Marketing,
Seattle Humane Society