Coming August 11, 2009

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Moving from crowdsourcing to crowdsharing?

I’d like to discuss an evolution in crowdsourcing as related to cultural heritage institutions. Staff at the Library of Congress, the Smithsonian and NARA added images to Flickr Commons, and have found that some users enjoy adding metadata and interacting with the materials. Some museums (such as the ICA in Boston) allow visitors to tag art with keywords; exposing and filling a semantic gap between curators and the public. I’d like to talk about other things that we could do to engage users, and to go beyond the traditional model of “users taking information from archives” to a “two-way” model where users can give us their photos, tweets, GIS data, podcasts, pictures from their iPhones, etc in more of a conversational structure than has previously existed between archives and end user.

Can we use this as a way to meet users where they are? Will both parties receive something of “value” from the transaction, and how do we figure out what that “value” might be? How could a repository incorporate some of these ideas within the current boundaries of “collection” and what would need to change in order to add other ideas? How might institutions collaborate– locally, regionally, nationally, or across disciplines– to accomplish some of these things? I have lots of thoughts, and I’d like to talk with some like-minded people and come up with more ideas for reaching, engaging, and retaining users.