Monday, 3 September 2007

Going Bananas

Time to catch up with the world – too many things been happening – and not enough time for quiet contemplation. The big news is that mcgovernonline has moved offices to 3 Lorne Street/228 Queen Street – we have two entrances!
More on that later – but first some catching up.

Going Bananas
Two weekends ago had me at the Going Bananas Conference in the brand new Auckland University Business School. As per the last two conferences, this annual event brings together a whole bunch of different people all of whom claim, own, or are interested in being Chinese in New Zealand.

This is my second conference – I missed last year: however the first year had an energy that was palpable, an opportunity for the various Chinese communities [old and new settlers] to come together and start discussing a distinctly Chinese discursive formation in New Zealand.

The first one, I seem to recall spent a good deal of time discussing the differences between the different kinds of Chinese groups here in New Zealand – e.g. including some great sessions on the history of the poll tax generation who came to New Zealand in the late 19th – early 20th century, and going onto to the needs of the new primarily Beijing based new migrants.There was also a big contingent of people from the earlier wave of immigration in the 1980’s the children of whom are now busy making up the rich cultural mix that is any Auckland night club on a Saturday night.

This time round the sessions seemed to be looking more to how migrants already here, and those yet to come would be influenced by, or indeed, being part of the consequence of the extraordinary explosion of growth coming out of China and South East Asia.

On that, the session from Charlotte Glennie the ABC [ ex TVNZ] correspondent in Beijing was fascinating.

Mr Brown
I also really enjoyed the session with Mr Brown – the Singapore blogger whose podcasts have become a key part of the Singapore media , and offer a welcome layer of satire to the locked down political landscape.

Digital Communities Project
However , I was primarily at the Going Bananas conference to give support to the upcoming Digital Comm unites project which is being designed and built as a ‘community partnership’ project between the New Zealand Chinese Association [who organised the conference] and Auckland City Libraries.

The project is essentially a digital storytelling and community repository project with a bit of a twist. But it's a good twist!

But first, I should declare an interest here; I was part of the early discussions on this project. The idea was simple enough – albeit hard to do – develop a community/group story telling machine which gave people the tools to tell their story including being able to upload and store images, audio, video and documents .

The twist
However, the solution also needed to be clever enough to recognise the pattern of the story and then go off to ask various heritage and memory collections if they, in turn have anything on the topic or story being told. In addition the ACL resources would be searched and customised as resources and additions to the story, or the topics it includes.

So no pressure there then!
This was two years ago – since then there has been a welcome stream of energy around building community repositories – web 2.0 tools, and personal/group content tools, all of which not only validated the vision, but also gives as a few clues to where to start.

So, despite the length of time it has taken to get the funding I am really excited about seeing this project come alive.

It also feels like a perfect example of the logic and ambition behind the draft New Zealand Digital Content Strategy, and the notion of a creative partnership between formal institutional content and the community groups and individuals who, encounter, use, and reuse this kind of content.

But wait – there’s more!
The Auckland Digital Community story box should also have the ability to export the combined stories out into the world, provided the permissions from both parties allow. And for sure, there is an opportunity to use the New Zealand ported Creative Commons Licence as well.I’m told the ported NZ licence will be launched on the 28th October. See the site for details.

Kete Horowhenua
They are also auditioning the Horowhenua Trust Kete software, as the kernel to the solution.
I am really interested in seeing how all this pans out, and will definitely keep people posted.And of course, big ups to the Kete people for their nomination to the New Zealand selection for the World Summit Awards.

Lastly, the aforementioned Content Strategy is being launched from Wellington this coming Thursday – so more on that latter as well.


Anonymous said...

nice to have you back. It all looks really exciting. I'm really interested in seeing how the searching bit of the project comes off - it could be the best thing since sliced bread. Good luck I hope it turns out to be the best that it can be.

Joann Ransom said...

We here at Kete, needless to say, are delighted that Auckland will be using our code!

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