Morbid Curiosity (morbid_curious) wrote,
Morbid Curiosity

Citizen, report to the GLAM sector for ontological mapping duty!

In a sudden shift sideways from my ongoing newspaper website development work, much of today was spent diving into the world of digital repositories.

We have some discovery work going at the moment, looking at upgrading a local digital humanities archive. For me, this meant a crash course in Dublin Core metadata (which I hadn't touched since 2001), Fedora Commons (digital content management), Islandora, MODS and MAPS and FOAF and other fun acronyms. Hanging out with librarians and archivists and such must have been rubbing off, because I seemed to be able to pick up a lot of concepts and use cases very quickly. By the end of the day my head felt FULL of new things - both exhausting and satisfying. We'll see how much of it has percolated through and bedded down during the night, and how much needs to be re-examined in the morning :-)

Last night I also signed up for GovHack: a weekend-long event where they release a bunch of data sources to the public, and groups of us attempt to build new things to explore and build on that data, for a variety of public sector uses. I'm not really so fussed on the "compete and win valuable prizes" side of things, but I'm hoping that I get to meet interesting people, collaborate on good things, and make a positive difference somewhere along the line. It's going to start the day after my PhD thesis defence, so I don't know quite how frazzled I'll be for it, but I'm hoping it'll be worth putting in an appearance all the same.

So, as it happens, we ended up talking to a guy from council this evening, too. Sign-up numbers for Christchurch have gone up massively. I get the feeling there's a lot of latent desire to do something to help our local communities, and hope that this event will provide a vehicle for doing it. Fingers crossed for us all.
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Wow! That sounds fascinating, and potentially very exciting!

(*giggling at your choice of title*)

This stuff comes at a pretty good time, too - elsewhere in the company we just did this open data portal for the government, and there's been some potential interest from certain regional councils that I can't talk publicly about right now. So yes!

I always thought "GLAM sector" sounded like something out of Paranoia :-)


Deleted comment

Most of it seems to be percolating through okay :-)
Why do people have to make everything into a competition - all it does is encourage competitiveness. Instead of allowing time for innovation etc


I would liked to have had a go at GovHack but I am out of town on the Sat for our National conference
When talking to the guy last night, I expressed my feelings about the competition aspect, too. He made noises about the competition part not really being what it's about, and agreed that maybe they were over-emphasising it. So that's something, at least.

I can't find the stats right now, but that aspect really does have a big impact on what kind of people show up for events like this. Competitive hackathons etc. tend to attract a lot more of the kind of "type A personality" brogrammers. Events that have more collaborative names and focus tend to attract a much more diverse group of participants.

For something where the stated purposes is civic improvement, having wide civic representation is important. Otherwise, it's just more white techie dudes making decisions about how they think everyone else should do things, rather than actually listening to what they have to say directly, and working with them to improve everyone's lives a little better.
nicely said - I haven't read any research, its just my own personal experience of the horrible impact it has on a team activity when you add the competition element. If nothing else, it takes ALL THE FUN out of it for everyone else :(
Breathing in mind that librarians and archivists in NZ are usually unqualified and only in-service trained... (as opposed, I discovered when outside NZ, to Europe and North America where they are usually degree and grad specialties.)

No idea why I wanted to post that. Possibly still latent/reflexive anger at Canterbury. Hmm. Should think about it some more.
There's more qualification happening here now than they used to get. Not at Canterbury, though.