Cultural Heritage

A UKOLN Blog for the Cultural Heritage sector (now archived)

Archive for the 'Events' Category

Reflections of Live Blogging at the ‘Transforming Public Libraries’ Conference

Posted by Brian Kelly on 2nd March 2009

I recently received an email from Ian Edelman, Web Manager for Recreation and Heritage at Hampshire County Council. Ian had decided to experiment with Twitter to provide a live blogging channel for the one day ‘Transforming Public Libraries’ conference held in Winchester on 26thFebruary 2009. I’d spoken to Ian at last year’s Museums and the Web 2008 conference about Twitter, where Twitter’s use during the conference had had a very high profile. Ian was also aware that I was a fan of this micro-blogging tool and so we had a chat about how it could be used to support live blogging at a conference.

The aims were of the live blogging service, it seems, were two-fold: to maximise engagement with the strategic issues raised at the conference to an audience beyond those physically present and to gain experiences in use of Twitter.

Judging by a blog post entitled “Well played HCC!!!” published on the Neil’s Random Letters blog the experiment was a great success. In the post the author suggested that “we all have to stand up and give a round of applause to HCC for making it accessible to the broader community“.

I suspect that I added to the numbers in the remote audience when I tweetedThe @libconfID is now liveblogging the Transforming Public Libraries Conference –“. In particular this resulted in Sarah Washford describing how she wasWatching the twitter stream from the Public Libs conf @libconf – so far not very challenging or inspiring I’m afraid“. However Sarah’s initial reservations seem to have changed during the day, as later on she said that @libconf The twittering is great and creating some interesting debates. ‘Inspiring’ quote was more about some ideas we’ve heard many times“.

Now as well as Twitter being used to post summaries of the presentations and discussions held during the day, the ‘libconf’ tag was also suggested as a way of aggregating comments and questions from others, including the remote audience. As can be seen from the accompanying image (taken from a search for ‘libconf’ in the Tweetdeck Twitter client) there were significant discussions taking place after the event as well as during it, as you can see for yourself.

Ian has already posted his reflections on the experiment. I’d like to add a few more suggestions:

  • Make use of Slideshare: Rather than providing access to the speaker’s PowerPoint files (or PDF version of the files) hosting them on Slideshare allows the slides to be viewed more easily and for comments to me made.
  • Consider use of a dedicated live blogging tool: Although Twitter is growing in popularity, it has shortcomings as a live blogging tool: followers of someone who is using Twitter to live blog may not appreciate the copious numbers of tweets received and it can be difficult to integrate the comments which are dispersed over multiple Twitter accounts, particularly if the event tag is omitted or misspelled.  A tool such as Coveritlive or ScribbleLive may provide a more useful alternative.
  • Provide an Acceptable Use Policy: It may be useful to provide an Acceptable Use Policy for the event, so that everyone is aware that live blogging is happening and that you have contingency plans in case participants want to make contributions which they do not want to be divulged to a wider audience.

Any other comments people would like to suggest?

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Looking Back at UKOLN’s Workshops for the MLA Sector

Posted by Brian Kelly on 16th January 2009

During 2008 UKOLN ran a whole series of workshops for the museums, libraries and archives community which were aimed at familiarising the sector with the key Web 2.0 and the Social Web concepts, providing participants with an opportunity to try out some of the key services and to provide an opportunity for practitioners to discuss ways in which such services and approaches could be exploited. The sessions also explored some of the barriers to effective use of Web 2.0 and outlined ways in which such barriers could be best addressed.

A number of the workshops were hosted by MLA Regional Agencies and others by professional bodies (i.e. the Society of Archivists), cultural organisations in Scotland (ASVA) and Wales (CyMAL) or accompanied large-scale international conferences aimed at the sector (the ILI and the Museum and the Web conferences).

It is important to note that the workshops did not provide a simple one-way transfer of experiences and expertise.  Although the workshop facilitators (which included myself and my UKOLN colleagues Marieke Guy, Stephanie Taylor and Ann Chapman) were able to share our experiences and advice on best practices, we were also able to tap into a wealth of related expertise from the sector, through invited co-facilitators and contributors including Mike Ellis, Paul Bevan, Andrew Eynon, Mia Ridge, Ingrid Beazley, Ian Thilthorpe, Victoria Godfrey and Natalie Jones.

And as well as such formal contributions to the workshops, the workshop participants also actively engaged with the workshop activities, sharing experiences of local uses of Web 2.0 and discussing further ways in which Web 23.0 could be used in a cultural heritage setting.

These discussions played an important role in shaping many of the IntroByte briefing documents which were either initially evaluated at the workshops or were developed in responses to areas of interest which were identified at the workshop.

It should also be noted that we made use of wikis to capture feedback from the various discussions groups at many of these workshops. This has provided a valuable resource which contains useful information on the variety of ways which were identified on how Web 2.0 might be used, as well as information on potential barriers to use of Web 2.0.  Over the next few weeks we will be analysing this information and providing a summary of the recurring themes.

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