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The Course of Online Events Never Did Run Smooth?

Presented by Nicola Osborne at the University of Edinburgh MSc in E-Learning Alumni Seminar, which took place at the Virtual University of Edinburgh in Second Life on Wednesday 20th February.

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The Course of Online Events Never Did Run Smooth?

  1. 1. The Course of Online Events Never Did Run Smooth? 20th February 2013 Nicola Osborne
  2. 2. Introduction to Will’s World • 10 month project to create a Shakespeare Registry enabling discovery across Shakespeare resources. • Aim: demonstrate the value and principle of aggregation as a tactic. • Part of the JISC/RLUK Discovery initiative • Anticipated users include developers, Shakespeare researchers, etc.
  3. 3. Will’s World Blog
  4. 4. Will’s World at Culture Hack Scotland • Participation and creation of Macbeth XML and related resources for Culture Hack Scotland 2012 (prior to the completion and launch of the Registry). • 3 hacks, including Winning “Shakey App” based on Will’s World data. • Raised awareness of project, data and potential use of Will’s World Registry.
  5. 5. Will’s World Registry
  6. 6. Will’s World Hack • Event to raise awareness of the Registry and potential use. • Originally planned as in-person event. • Online event selected as innovative, accessible, and viable for short timescale (approx. 4 weeks). • Team conducted a feasibility study and survey of potential participants to identify interest, technologies, format, practical issues. • Significant challenges: identifying participant community, supporting participation, enabling team formation, making it tangible.
  7. 7. Making it Tangible: Survival Packs
  8. 8. Sharing Hack Spaces… Ruff: Will’s World Survival Pack /Muriel of Edinburgh. Model: Kiwi the Cat. Photographer and Styling: Muriel Mewissen, Will’s World Project Manager. Laser eyes: Model’s own.
  9. 9. Support: Check-ins via Google+ Hangouts
  10. 10. Support: Twitter & IRC• Team & Developers available via Twitter, IRC.• Support in working hours via email and check ins.• Support in evenings & weekends.
  11. 11. Support: Google+ Circle & Community • Google+ Circle for registered participants • Google+ Communities launched during the event, allowed ongoing discussion. • YouTube more accessible archive.
  12. 12. Creating a Buzz: Pinterest • Test
  13. 13. What We Learned: Online Hack Format• Lack of clarity around hack roles put off some potential participants with great ideas.• Online-only format appealed more to developers and more technical participants.• A week is perhaps too long/too much like work for engagement in this sort of event.• Offline hacks are usually a space to experiment away from work distractions. Harder to make space for online hack participation in busy lives with lots of distractions and competing priorities.• BUT some brilliant hacks were created!
  14. 14. What We Learned: Supporting Online Hacks • More time in planning and supporting the Hack would have been beneficial. • Online participants come to organisers for support more frequently, offline hack participants are more likely to support each other. • Facilitating team formation online was very tricky, particularly when individuals have disparate schedules, time zones, interests. • Too many communications choices was more confusing for participants, and time consuming for staff, than actually useful.
  15. 15. The Hacks: A Brilliant Array!
  16. 16. Would we do it again? Yes! •Some things worked brilliantly: tangibility; developer support; check-ins; video; silliness. •Some aspects we knew might be an issue (e.g. lead time, support requirements, team building) and we would improve upon. •Some things we would change: use fewer technologies; tie the online hack into some sort of in- person activity/meet ups; earlier matchmaking between developers and other participants.
  17. 17. Find out more…• Registry:• Blog:• Project Page:• Google+ Community: 8023• YouTube:• Twitter:• Pinterest:• Will’s World at CHS 2012: at-culture-hack-scotland/