Creating Value is the new Digitisation


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Presentation looking at new and emerging trends in digitising cultural heritage, including the mover away from mass-digitisation and towards integrated processes that deliver rich narrative-based experiences.

  • Well put. I'd add to the questions: How can we use Linked (hopefully, Open) Data to increase the Semantic reach of those selected items, as well as to make them generally findable, accessible, and re-mixable across the internet.
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  • Nick,

    as usual a very insightful analysis and great set of suggestions - thank you for sharing!

    One of the issue we are facing is of commitment. Digitisation is a semi-automated, not incredibly (intellectually) challenging process - so it's relatively easy to define, to start and to acquire funds for. It needs a set of technical specifications and a list of fields to fill. There is very little risk.

    The next (or alternative in some cases) step of curating (digitised) content is much more challenging. You need a deep understanding of your different audiences, how do they look at your content and what they are expecting from you. You will not get it right immediately, but also you need to keep experimenting with the unknown and faceless online audiences - and your only friend is Google Analytics - but it's an elusive friend, difficult to decipher.

    More over, you need to challenge yourself and your own organisation into continuing to create new and fresh online resources that tell people stories - an online database is not necessarily a thing of the past, but it's one that only a small proportion of your audiences, and very specialised, will require and use. But again, a straight online collections database is an easy thing to do - it's technical and mechanical, does not require a lot of thought (page 67 of 57,786 - previous/next).

    Thought and a creative mind are required to tell stories that are based on collection objects, people, places, events, concepts and ideas. Without these, a collections database is as engaging as a telephone directory: great resource, but personally I'd rather read a novel.

    Quality and variety, not quantity per se, are (as you point out very clearly) the values to look for over the next few years. Digitisation is definitely and essential part of the process, but as a simple mean to an end, not the end in itself. If it's done in isolation, it won't create better online museums.

    Best, Cristiano
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Creating Value is the new Digitisation

  1. 1. From Digitisation to Content Creation: new models for public value Nick Poole Chief Executive Collections Trust
  2. 2. Digitisation plays an essential but minor part in connecting stuff with public value
  3. 3. There have been some gaps in emphasis in our approach to Digitisation so far
  4. 4. The reason we’re in this position is that funds have been limited and we have emphasised completeness over value Faced with the choice between spending our budget on Digitisation & the other activities in the chain (marketing, narrative, user-testing, interface design) we have spent the money on Digitisation. The problem with this approach is that it has emphasised production over the integrity, quality, and fluidity of the user experience.
  5. 5. Which means we end up doing things like this...
  6. 6. The classic product development & supply chain questions... •Who are we doing it for? •What do they need? •How do they behave? •How does what we’re creating satisfy what they need? •How do we deliver it at the point at which they need it?
  7. 7. Key developments in production... •Moving from creating digital images and database records to editorialised, narrative content •Using a smaller number of things to create insight, rather than a larger number to illustrate •Producing integrated narrative experiences through connections, moving beyond ‘search – find – leave’ •Understanding how far the consumer experience (and hence expectation) has come in the last 10 years
  8. 8. Key developments in delivery... •You can do both: • Create your own point of delivery which satisfies the specific needs of your specific audiences • Allow other people to aggregate and use your digital information to create multiple points of delivery to meet the needs of other audiences
  9. 9. Promotion... •A website without sustained and proactive marketing is a silo •Social networking, content sharing and distributed re-use are the best, cheapest kinds of marketing there are
  10. 10. Looking ahead... •Your users are also your collaborators, distributors, marketers and champions •Create Value is the new Digitise Everything •Moving from ‘Database Search’ to the flow of content through multiple channels and interfaces •The age demands both curatorial authority and user- generated interpretation
  11. 11. To find out more about the Collections Trust’s work on opening up collections for use and enjoyment, and how we can help your museum, archive or library achieve more, come to OpenCulture 2014, 25-26 June, Kia Oval, London Also, don’t miss ‘Going Digital’, the Collections Trust’s new programme on technology in museums – launching November 2014 Follow: @NickPoole1 and @CollectionTrust