How to run a community collection online

Report
Using Flickr to run a
community collection
Alun Edwards, University of Oxford:
RunCoCo
Matchbox submitted
to The Great War
Archive
George Cavan was a
Company Sergeant Major
in the Glasgow
Highlanders
He lived with his family,
his wife Jean and 3
daughters, in the Drill
Hall in Carluke, Scotland.
This item is from The Great War Archive, University of Oxford (www.oucs.ox.ac.uk/ww1lit/gwa);
© MAUREEN ROGERS
While away at training camp the orders came through to dispatch to
France. The train he was on with his troops went through his home
station but did not stop there
Website: www.oucs.ox.ac.uk/ww1lit/gwa
George threw out
onto the platform a
matchbox containing
a note to his family
On one side: the name of
his wife and on the other:
his message
Someone picked up the
matchbox and delivered
it to the family
This item is from The Great War Archive, University of Oxford (www.oucs.ox.ac.uk/ww1lit/gwa);
© MAUREEN ROGERS
George Cavan was killed just a few days after arriving at the front in
France on the 13th April, 1918. He lies in an unmarked grave but is
commemorated on the Ploegsteert Memorial.
Website: www.oucs.ox.ac.uk/ww1lit/gwa
Videos on YouTube, incl. show-reel
www.youtube.com/user/ww1lit
The Great War
Archive
In 2008 the University of
Oxford used the general
public to build on a
freely-available, online
archive of the
manuscripts of many of
the British poets from
the First World War
They contributed to a
community collection
Funded by JISC (for 4 months
only), so now we use Flickr to
receive contributions.
Website: www.oucs.ox.ac.uk/ww1lit/gwa
2008: Simple online
submissions process
Contributors asked to
agree to basic terms &
conditions of the license
Contributors enter basic
metadata
Offered a large open
‘notes’ field for further
information or
anecdotes
An admin system allowed reviewers to: check items for their
validity; correct or add to the metadata; flag items of
particular interest/value
Website: www.oucs.ox.ac.uk/ww1lit/gwa
‘Roadshows’/submissions days
2008: The project
collaborated with
organisations
Offer on the spot
digitisation and advice
A ‘Submissions Day Pack’
guided libraries etc. to
run their own day
This item is from The Great War Archive, University of Oxford (www.oucs.ox.ac.uk/ww1lit/gwa); © Jill Ross
Photo submitted by
the nephew of the
William Gaunt,
(seated here)
Nothing particularly unusual
in this photo – which had
been on the mantle-piece in
William’s widow’s house?
Website: www.oucs.ox.ac.uk/ww1lit/gwa
Alun Edwards
(July 2010)
Learning Technologies Group,
University of Oxford
http://runcoco. oucs.ox.ac.uk/
Getting Your
Message Out
There
Blogs
Wiki
RSS
Mindmaps
Blogging
Online photo & video
management and
sharing application
Email and Mobile Upload
Bookmarking
Discuss
Group Pools
Tag
Maps

Flickr’s database structure:
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
every image is associated with its
creator or owner first
then with any groups or sets it might
have been added to
then with any free-text tags that
might have been assigned to it
and finally with the electronic
metadata that the camera added to
the original snapshot

Flickr is one of those ideas that
depends on interconnectivity

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
Your pictures are of interest to your
contacts:
your weather pictures are of interest to
other users of the weather photos group
your “weather” tag shows up in the RSS
readers of others with the same interest
while you forgot to add the "weather"
tag to that great shot of a cloud you took
the other day, you did remember to add
“cloud”, which means the image shows
up alongside other clouds
some passing stranger helps you out by
adding the “weather” tag for you
anyway.

For the world of archives and
museums Flickr is a cyberworld full of
ephemera, a 21st century “cabinet of
curiosities”

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Pools of Digitised objects
One-to-Many Internet publishing model
Creates an online visual community
from all corners of the globe

The best bits of Flickr come from:

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adding lots of contacts whose photos you
like
exploring http://www.flickr.com/explore/
commenting on photos will often get
people following you in return and soon
enough you find yourself in a community.
Whale Story
http://thenextweb.com/
socialmedia/2010/10/13
/crowdsourcing-can-doanything-includingproving-that-whales-canmigrate-6000-miles/
Flickr as a means of social participation
Nina Simon The Participatory Museum: http://www.participatorymuseum.org/
Each stage has something special to offer

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Stage one provides visitors with access to the content
that they seek.
Stage two provides an opportunity for inquiry and for
visitors to take action and ask questions.
Stage three lets visitors see where their interests and
actions fit in the wider community of visitors to the
institution.
Stage four helps visitors connect with particular
people—staff members and other visitors—who share
their content and activity interests.
Stage five makes the entire institution feel like a social
place, full of potentially interesting, challenging,
enriching encounters with other people.
Nina Simon The Participatory Museum: http://www.participatorymuseum.org/
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Archives, libraries, museums are
experimenting with Web 2.0
environments, asking the general
public to interact with their materials
through social tagging, commenting
etc.
You’re no one if you’re not on Flickr
The Commons

Who’s on Flickr?
Tate Modern works with Flickr on
projects that invite you to submit photos
through to their Flickr groups e.g. How
we are now, 10 years of the Tate Modern


Flickr-pooled from an open public
submission and then taken into the gallery.
The Flickr comments still in the pool are
interesting.
Website: http://www.flickr.com/groups/howwearenow/
Library of Congress
users
able to tag and discuss
images to add further info
3
LOC images from 1865
thought to have been pictures
of different events were all
revealed (by a user) to have
been taken at Abraham
Lincoln's 2nd inauguration
Brooklyn
Museum

Archives &; Museum
Informatics: Museums
and the Web 2008:
Paper: Bernstein, S.,
Where Do We Go From
Here? Continuing with
Web 2.0 at the Brooklyn
Museum
Website: http://www.archimuse.com/mw2008/papers/bernstein/bernstein.html
Singapore- no camera by http://www.flickr.com/photos/daniellih/4116179727/ on Flickr

MoMa –
collects
images
of visits
http://www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/who_am_i_intro.aspx
http://www.oucs.ox.ac.u
k/ww1lit
http://www.flickr.com/groups/couplingup/
http://www.oucs.ox.ac.u
k/ww1lit
Project photos
on Flickr
Some project photos
publicly available on
Flickr
The Great War
Archive Exit Strategy
Although the
submission process
ended in June 2008
the project has used
Flickr to allow further
items to be
contributed.
We could assess
potential for
user tagging /
comments.
www.flickr.com/groups/greatwararchive/
Flickr: No formal
submission/metadata
A future project might
enhance metadata?
Comments can be
facile or funny and
can sometimes be
incredibly
informative
1917-reservists called up and prepared
1917-временно мобилизирани Българи
Flickr image from The Great War Archive Flickr Group by allilinin www.flickr.com/photos/allilinin/63081204/
Public contributions to
The Great War Archive
The project uploaded 600 items
(about 3,000 digital objects)
from 5 submissions days
600
2,750
3,500
Over 6,500 items
collected March-June
2008, 90% submitted by
the public direct through
our website
A Flickr group
continues to
collect items
(since July
2008 over
2,750 uploads
to date)
Public contributors
uploaded 3,500 digital objects
to website in 4 months
Website: www.oucs.ox.ac.uk/ww1lit/gwa
Findings
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Content created outside of the traditional
boundaries can provide rich resources
International reach
Taps into existing communities rather than
encourages people to join new ones
Leverage other online presences to build
Needs monitoring but becomes largely selfsustaining
You will get meaningless tat and golden nuggets
If we used Flickr again
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Stipulate a license
Track activity more closely
Clearer instructions
Conclusions
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Web 2.0
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The institution reconsiders the relationship with the user
Can be used at different levels for different purposes
Useful Pilot – what’s out there?
Breath life into a project long after funding has gone
RunCoCo: How to run a
community collection online

RunCoCo offering training, support,
networking, e.g.
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Two-way engagement on Twitter:
@runcoco
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Sharing links to other relevant resources
and exemplar crowdsourcing initiatives
using Delicious
Maintaining momentum with the blog
Disseminating key software tools,
methodologies, and work-flows
developed under The Great War Archive
and beyond. Developing an open source
system (called CoCoCo) to collect digital
objects
Contact
RunCoCo
http://runcoco.oucs.ox.ac.uk
Alun Edwards
OUCS
University of Oxford
[email protected]
RunCoCo http://runcoco.oucs.ox.ac.uk/

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