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Designing Successful Heritage Crowdsourcing Projects

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Based on a review of the most successful international crowdsourcing projects, this talk will look at the attributes of successful crowdsourcing projects in cultural heritage, including interface and interaction design, participation in community discussion, and understanding participant motivations.

Public Lecture: "Designing Heritage Crowdsourcing Projects" at the Friedrich-Meinecke-Institute of the Free University of Berlin on 7 December 2015, 6 pm

Published in: Design
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Designing Successful Heritage Crowdsourcing Projects

  1. 1. Designing Successful Heritage Crowdsourcing Projects Mia Ridge, @mia_out Digital Curator, British Library Friedrich-Meinecke-Institute, Freie Universität Berlin, December 2015
  2. 2. https://www.flickr.com/photos/statensarkiver/8975684669 Overview Definitions Key examples Designing successful heritage crowdsourcing projects
  3. 3. About me
  4. 4. http://museumgam.es
  5. 5. 'Collecting experiences of WWI'
  6. 6. ‘Collaborative Collections’
  7. 7. Definitions
  8. 8. What is crowdsourcing? Crowdsourcing (Jeff Howe and Mark Robinson, Wired, 2006): 'taking a function once performed by employees and outsourcing it to an undefined (and generally large) network of people in the form of an open call'
  9. 9. What is crowdsourcing? Crowdsourcing (Jeff Howe and Mark Robinson, Wired, 2006): 'taking a function once performed by employees and outsourcing it to an undefined (and generally large) network of people in the form of an open call' Or, as Clay Shirky's cognitive surplus, 'the spare processing power of millions of human brains'
  10. 10. Heritage crowdsourcing as volunteering https://www.flickr.com/photos/statelibraryofnsw/4659373140
  11. 11. Crowdsourcing in cultural heritage Asking the public to help with tasks that contribute to a shared, significant goal or research interest related to cultural heritage collections or knowledge.
  12. 12. Crowdsourcing in cultural heritage Asking the public to help with tasks that contribute to a shared, significant goal or research interest related to cultural heritage collections or knowledge. The activities and/or goals should be inherently rewarding.
  13. 13. Basically... Transforming input content into output content ...via a powerful purpose and / or enjoyable tasks that people want to help you with
  14. 14. Why crowdsourcing in GLAMs?
  15. 15. Digitisation backlog: collections are big, resources are small https://www.flickr.com/photos/statensarkiver/8975684427
  16. 16. Fix the 'semantic gap', enhance discoverability
  17. 17. Access external specialist expertise https://www.flickr.com/photos/usnationalarchives/6990188224/
  18. 18. Create meaningful experiences https://www.flickr.com/photos/nationalmediamuseum/8416664366/
  19. 19. Defining success
  20. 20. Defining success: productivity http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/16189299
  21. 21. Defining success: reach http://community.zooniverse.org/
  22. 22. Defining success: engagement http://herbariaunited.org/atHome/
  23. 23. Key examples
  24. 24. reCAPTCHA
  25. 25. NLA Trove: OCR correction http://trove.nla.gov.au/
  26. 26. 179 million lines of text corrected
  27. 27. NYPL 'What's on the Menu?'
  28. 28. Transcribe Bentham
  29. 29. Task complexity vs audience size https://www.flickr.com/photos/library_of_congress/2162650585
  30. 30. Old Weather http://oldweather.org/
  31. 31. Participant discussion http://oldweather.org/
  32. 32. British Library: Georeferencer http://www.bl.uk/maps/
  33. 33. Smithsonian 'mini projects'
  34. 34. The power of niche projects
  35. 35. Your Paintings Tagger
  36. 36. PCF Image Recognition
  37. 37. http://freebmd.org.uk/ 'Grassroots' projects
  38. 38. Designing successful crowdsourcing projects
  39. 39. Designing successful crowdsourcing projects • Project design • User experience (interface, interaction) design – Onboarding, first task – Sustained participation despite changes in motivation over time
  40. 40. Understanding participants
  41. 41. Who participates in crowdsourcing? • People who are passionate about your subject / people who like doing the task you're offering • People who can't volunteer in regular hours or at your venues • Super-volunteers and passers-by • Amateurs, professionals, 'pro-ams'
  42. 42. Motivations for participation • Altruistic – helping to provide an accurate record of local history • Intrinsic – reading 18thC handwriting is an enjoyable puzzle or they're interested in the subject • Extrinsic – an academic collecting a quote from a primary source
  43. 43. Intrinsic motivations for participation • fun • the pleasure in doing hobbies • the enjoyment in learning • mastering new skills, practicing existing skills • recognition • community • passion for the subject State Library of Queensland, Australia https://secure.flickr.com/photos/statelibraryqueensland/3198305152/
  44. 44. Motivations as design guide People crave: • satisfying work to do • the experience of being good at something • time spent with people we like • the chance to be a part of something bigger (Jane McGonigal, 2009)
  45. 45. UX design for successful crowdsourcing projects
  46. 46. Basically... Transforming input content into output content ...via a powerful purpose and / or enjoyable tasks that people want to help you with
  47. 47. Window shopping https://www.flickr.com/photos/twm_news/6841092248
  48. 48. Link text to motivations 'With a few keystrokes, you could bring a family together' 'We know the names of these children; can you help us tell their stories?' 'Kill Time. Make History.' 'Historians need your help!'
  49. 49. Rewards reinforce motivation
  50. 50. Design for casual and super-contributors http://blog.oldweather.org
  51. 51. Simple tasks as stepping stones http://www.fossilfinder.org/
  52. 52. Scaffold tasks, minimise distractions NYPL 'What's on the Menu?'
  53. 53. Onboarding and casual games
  54. 54. Onboarding and casual games Tutorials built into the interface Feedback on progress towards goals Skills matched to challenge Low risk of failure
  55. 55. Provide social proof; anticipate anxiety It’s easy! No registration required! So far: 1,331,935 dishes transcribed from 17,545 menus
  56. 56. Design for on-going participation
  57. 57. Nurture curiosity 'Discuss this personnel record' http://www.measuringtheanzacs.org
  58. 58. Task ecosystems http://buildinginspector.nypl.org/
  59. 59. Up the challenge: mobiles and tablets http://familysearch.org/
  60. 60. Project design
  61. 61. Project design • Plan to store and process results from crowdsourcing • Plan to measure success • Plan to contribute to your engagement strategy and digitisation goals • Understand the appetite for risk • Reality check your plans
  62. 62. Don't forget to invite people
  63. 63. #party host https://www.flickr.com/photos/nlireland/5786204856 Crowdsourcing as hosting a party
  64. 64. ‘no plan survives contact with the crowd’ With apologies to Helmuth von Moltke the Elder
  65. 65. Going off-piste '...None of the above is ready to send to you as I have more research to do' https://www.flickr.com/photos/swedish_heritage_board/10207262464
  66. 66. Balancing acts
  67. 67. Planning a graceful exit https://www.flickr.com/photos/fylkesarkiv/4545543824
  68. 68. Thank you! Questions? Mia Ridge @mia_out Digital Curator, British Library Friedrich-Meinecke-Institute, Freie Universität Berlin, December 2015

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