Thinking & drafting & drafting & drafting

In the midst of developing work on the Data Re-Use Charter I mentioned in the previous post, I am discovering a new way of developing ideas, which does not involve taking notes, reading long books, and writing complex argumentations. While the first idea of the Charter was tending towards a final product that would be a one-page paper one can physically sign, it soon evolved towards a web page, and then towards a modulable web page. On this web page, each of the different actors invited to join in the Charter partnership has to sign in and then select the blocks of text he/she wants to be identified with. Developing the Charter and its elements means developing a web page with bifurcations and options, trying to find a balance between transparency of interface structure and freedom of expression. Like my last post showed, this means going through a series of use cases. But it means also finding a strong theme and a way of presenting it that will lead the user through the different modules he/she has to pick from. Continue reading “Thinking & drafting & drafting & drafting”

Lost in Digitization? Go to the Data Re-Use Charter!

The realization of the DARIAH Data Re-Use Charter, which was not much more than a nice idea last March, has gained momentum over the past weeks. With increased manpower, we hope to have the actual Charter up and running about a year after the idea was first drafted and presented. I am used to working fast, but this is going very fast, even for me. It also requires quite some intellectual flexibility to see ideas come and go, be filtered, developed, abandonned, new ideas being introduced… The work to be done is on the one hand very conceptual (always keeping in mind what’s in there in terms of systemic advantages for each actor) and on the other hand very down-to-earth, trying to figure out how what we suggest will offer a solution to a concrete issue they encounter.

The general idea of the Charter is to fluidify the relationships between Cultural Heritage Institutions, Scholars, Equipments, Data Centers and Research Institutions, who all work on digital data based on objects preserved by Cultural Heritage Institutions. By allowing a simpler communication between all of these actors, the aim is that all of them have their work better recognized and the data is preserved, enriched and used in a much more stable and transparent way.

Let me take you on a journey through a couple of use cases. Continue reading “Lost in Digitization? Go to the Data Re-Use Charter!”

Report on the first Forum on Digital Archives and Cultural Memory (Nov. 10th, 2014)

A guest post by Emmanuelle Chaze

This first forum on Digital Archives and Cultural Memory coordinated[1] by the Institut Français and the French Embassy in Germany gathered together speakers from different backgrounds in an interdisciplinary and intercultural bid to understand the challenges encountered by institutions and individuals towards digital archives. Continue reading “Report on the first Forum on Digital Archives and Cultural Memory (Nov. 10th, 2014)”

My Horse Radar

I was determined to keep quiet as long as the upcoming job interview wasn’t over, but in spite of the fact that I am pretty absorbed by the preparation, things seem to be rushing at me. One in particular I think is worth mentioning before I do so with the other ones in some kind of July cascade.

I have become a member of the editorial board of hypotheses.fr (and incidentally in parallel also of the new DH Commons-DARIAH journal on projects and tools – more on that later -), which is a great honor – and some responsibility as well. So this afternoon I browsed through the catalog of the hypotheses blogs to make a list of those I want to keep an eye on. I was feeling sweat drops sliding along my temples as I went through the letter A. A as in Archive: every other blog came on my list, if not every blog. Things began to lighten up when I reached the B and were definitely more relaxed when it came to C. I have done a selection until L and will finish later tonight (L as in LieuxDeSavoir).

Going systematically through the catalog and opening all the blogs that seem to fit to my research interests is an interesting experience. Some blogs seem to contain mostly calls for participation, conference programs, reports, book reviews, seminar announcements or links to the corresponding archived recording. They are mostly taken care of by an institution or a research group. It is those that display information the least linearly, more with a set of boxes split on the page. Blogs that are closer to research texts go for a display that emphasizes the linearity. This is what I do for instance, and I was fairly irritated when I noticed another blog that uses the exact same color combination and page setting as me. The header still makes the difference – it is a close call though. I put this one on my list. Because of the topic, of course, not the looks (what do you think?).

There are personal blogs, group blogs (a particularly audacious endeavor!), thematic blogs, institution blogs: 657 of them. I am self-curious to see how these o so different kinds of information get sorted by a human brain (mine) in the end. In the “publish first, filter later”, it is my job now to contribute to the filtering. Not a small thing. And when I find some contribution worth having its visitors’ statistics hit the ceiling, I can flag it with a #hyporadar: my Horse Radar, riding on blogs and occasionally neighing.