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WebWise Recap and Miscellaney, Part 2

Day Two: Up bright and early, ready for breakfast and the keynote speaker, Mr. Levar Burton! Sat next to some very nice and enthusiastic Librarians during the morning nosh, all of which were talkative, welcoming, and motivational. Kudos to you, ladies–you give us newer Information folk hope for the future!

Levar was excellent as always, and right off a red-eye flight to boot! He reminded us the importance of storytelling, and even more the importance of preserving those stories for future generations. The fact that we tell stories makes us human, and its our responsibility as humans to continue to tell those tales.

After a break of product demonstrations by the likes of StoryCorps, The Mattress Factory, and Museum of the Moving Image, among others, we’re back in our seats ready to hear all about mobile devices and their applications for archival storytelling and preservation. Halsey Burgund explained a bit about his interactive art piece Scapes which encourages users to both contribute through and listen from their mobile devices in order to appreciate certain outdoor museum exhibits. Jason Casden talked a bit about WolfWalk, a mobile interface to the history of NCSU, its campus, and in turn, its students. Utilizing iOS, Casden demonstrated the capabilities of the apps, the work that went into creating it, and a bit about the varied (and sometimes unexpected) range of user demographics based on the queried information. Rob Stein, from the Indianapolis Museum of Art pondered how application designers (and soon the curators themselves) can create a museum mobile tour that not only guides a patron through exhibits orderly, but also gives them the chance to discover new knowledge organically while still appreciating the walls around them.

Although Webwise is all about utilizing and incorporating technology into libraries and museums, there was an overwhelming amount of referencing to crowd-sourcing, or as the afternoon speakers (Ben Brumfield, David Klevan, Ben Vershbow) were excited to refer to as nerd-sourcing– which boils down to locating and utilizing an enthusiastic user (or user groups) to aid in the cooperative online indexing/transcribing of various digital documents. The unique aspects of this system raises some interesting questions and quandaries:

  • how do you motivate people to provide minutes/hours/days of their time into a project that’s not even theirs?
  • how do you motivate others to join?
  • what are the elements of trust and quality control that you require for your project to finally be accessible (and trustingly re-searchable) to the public?

Other Posts in this series: Part 1, Part 3Part 4

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