I’m running a workshop (at a Knowledge Exchange event organised by the Scottish Network on Digital Cultural Resources Evaluation and the Museums Galleries Scotland Digital Transformation Network) to help people get started with crowdsourcing in cultural heritage. These exercises are designed to give participants some hands-on experience with existing projects while developing their ability to discuss the elements of successful crowdsourcing projects. They are also an opportunity to appreciate the importance of design and text in marketing a project, and the role of user experience design in creating projects that attract and retain contributors.
Exercise: compare front pages
Choose two of the sites below to review.
The most important question to keep in mind is: how effective is the front page at making you want to participate in a project? How does it achieve that?
- NYPL Ensemble and NYPL Menus
- Map Warper and Georeferencer
- Transcribe Bentham and DIY History
- Trove and Californian Newspapers (try a search for ‘gold’ and ‘1848’ or something similar to get to articles)
- PCF Tagger and Tiltfactor metadata games
Exercise: try some crowdsourcing projects
Attributes to discuss include:
The overall ‘call to action’
- Is the first step toward participating obvious?
- Is the type of task, source material and output obvious?
- Can you tell who the project wants to reach?
- Does text relate to their motivations for starting, continuing?
- How are they rewarded?
- Are there any barriers to their participation?
Data input and data produced
- What kinds of tasks create that data?
- How are contributions validated?
How productive, successful does the site seem overall?
Exercise: lessons from game design
- Go to http://git.io/2048
- Spend 2 minutes trying it out
- Did you understand what to do?
- Did you want to keep playing?
Exercise: your plans
Some questions to help make ideas into reality:
- Who already loves and/or uses your collections?
- Which material needs what kind of work?
- Do any existing platforms meet most of your needs?
- What potential barriers could you turn into tasks?
- How will you resource community interaction?
- How would a project support your mission, engagement strategy and digitisation goals?