Keynote: ‘Collaborative collections through a participatory commons’, 2014 National Digital Forum conference

I was delighted to be invited to present at New Zealand’s 2014 National Digital Forum conference in Wellington. I was asked to speak on my work on the ‘participatory commons’. As a focus for explaining the need for a participatory commons, I asked, ‘What could we create if museums, libraries and archives pooled their collections and invited specialists and enthusiasts to help link and enhance their records?’.

As a conceptual framework rather than a literal technical architecture, every bit of clearly licensed content with (ideally) structured data published around it makes a contribution to ‘the commons’. In my keynote I explored some reasons why building tightly-focused projects on top of that content can help motivate participation in crowdsourcing and citizen history, and some reasons why it’s still hard (hint: it needs great content supported by relevant structured data), using my TCD/CENDARI research project on ‘lived experiences of World War One‘ as an example.

The video is now online.

Talk: ‘What’s the point of a museum website?’

In April I was invited to the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, in Wellington, New Zealand, to talk about the role of museum websites in the relationships between museums and their audiences.

Preparing for the talk, the discussion afterwards and another talk I did in Auckland inspired two blog posts: ‘Designing for participatory projects: emergent best practice, getting discussion started‘ and ‘What are the right questions about museum websites?‘.