First, what does GeoServer do? GeoServer is a tool that links geospatial data with user interfaces. The analogy of Geoserver as a bartender that serves and mixes the things that the user has stored on the shelves of the bar is an accurate depiction of how the server grabs georeferenced images and imports them into exhibits like Neatline. However, just as those who have never mixed drinks before might find it hard to achieve a good blend, those who do not have background in computers may find GeoServer an inaccessible tool. Below is a graphic that explains more and is hyperlinked to detailed instructions on using GeoServer:
Second, how do you use GeoServer? A vector file converted to a GeoTIFF can be uploaded to the online server and then accessed through the server and inserted as a layer into a mapping application. The benefit of this process is that vector files can be converted into vector data or styled maps.
Similar to Jeff McClurken who suggests in his article about Omeka that using the tool may be overkill for simple projects, GeoServer is a technology-heavy tool that might not be appropriate for all projects. However, for projects that require a large amount of data like the thick mapping in HyperCities or projects that require more styling, GeoServer may be a good option.
In conclusion, for those who are adept at computers or are certain that their project would benefit from GeoServer, enjoy the full selection at the bar. For those who are less certain, however, perhaps, instead of a bartender that can only serve a few select drinks if properly asked, it would be better to have a website that functioned as a butler and assisted the user more in achieving the goals of their project.