Friday 31 July 2009

Reboot Britain - online video now available

Reboot Britain
Reboot Britain, on 6th July, 2009, was a London based one day ideas camp set up by NESTA, National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts, UK.

It's aim was to generate debate and ideas on how 'how to harness the power of the web to shape better public services and build the UK economy'.

At it's core is a belief that new tools for online collaboration are breaking down traditional barriers between the people who make products and services, and those who consume them.
The challenge is to use this opportunity to put people – their wants and needs – at the heart of innovative, responsive and reinvigorated public services.

And for why? Well you could start with their view that with an economy deep in recession, ever increasing demands on public services and trust in political systems at an all time low, many countries, including the UK face an unprecedented set of challenges

Just another conference? Maybe - but there are some great projects and ideas being discussed here. And, anyway, sometimes you some rhetoric to start new thinking. And there is lots of this in these sessions.

The video Archive
The video archive of the presentations have just become available, here. Or click the image above.

The whole day is on offer. However, if you want a short cut, or just have time for a couple of sessions, then, for starters look at Charlie Leadbeater, and Lee Bryant.

Lee Bryant
Lee Bryant from Headshift, is adamant that what is required is a recognition that most of our institutions, both at a political and a management level are run by people with 20th century century sensibilities which put centralisation, enterprise planning, and hierarchy at the core of their thinking - in short hubs and spokes rule.

In contrast, he believes that 21st century thinking needs to take the notion of the network out of the cloud and start to see it as a radical way of rethinking all kinds of futures - culture - economy - social planning/interventions.

Charlie Leadbetter
Charlie Leadbetter, one of my favorite thinkers in this space, takes about four minutes in his opening to demolish the the recent Digital Britain report [PDF] as well intentioned nonsense at best, and a perfect example of Lee Bryant's 20th century thinking.

To take things forward he goes on to give a summary of his recent work around T0 - For - With publishing models - or as he now puts it - The Mutual Media Manifesto.

The Mutual Media Manifesto
In this model - mutuality is key - i.e. a set of behaviors- actions and frameworks which create new kinds of relationships - both culturally, economically and socially.

For more on much of this see his web site, here.

Paul Millar School of Everything
One more? Then definitely, Paul Millar on the School for Everything - where people teach and learn with each other, and his more recent work Social Innovation Camp, and the idea of social start-ups

The web site - Reboot Britain
There is a wealth of material on the Reboot Britain web site. There were also a bunch of collaboration tools, and of course the now ubiquitous Twitter feed. See also the Nesta page for more.

Take Way - weekend reading?
Small pack of essays, here.[PDF] and note - CC license all the way.

Thursday 30 July 2009

Te wiki o te reo Maori - Maori Language week

wordle credit
concept credit - Geraldine Parker Kaitao Middle School Rotorua
He aha te mea nui? He Aha te mea nui o te ao? Maku e ki atu He Tangata, He Tangata, He Tangata
What is the most important thing? What is the most important thing in the world? I will say to you It is people, It is people, It is people

Te wiki o te reo Maori - Maori Language week

Extracts from the of Te Papa Glossary
As well as the lovely Wordle of key library phrases and concepts from the librarian at Kaitiao Middle School in Rotorua, I thought these extracts from the glossary of Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongrewa, [the repository for precious things] aka Te Papa, offering summaries and definitions of key Maori concepts, and their potential application to Museum practice in NZ, and internationally for that matter, was worth sharing as a contribution to Te wiki o te reo Maori.

There are also some excellent references when appropriate.

Iwi – tribe, a number of related hapū make up an iwi. The iwi were the largest politico-economic units in Māori society and would have defined territorial boundaries. Belonging to an iwi is defined generally through whakapapa from an important tipuna (ancestor). The basic responsibility of the iwi was to protect the interests of whānau, hapū and kin. Today, iwi are actively involved in the social, cultural and economic development of its people. The word iwi means ‘bone’. See also He Hinātore ki te Ao Māori: A Glimpse into the Māori World - Māori Perspectives on Justice published by the Ministry of Justice, Wellington, 2001.

Kaiārahi – leader, guide.

Kaitiaki Māori – iwi caretaker/guardian, Māori guardian/custodian. Māori museum staff are not automatically kaitiaki Māori – the authority and responsibility are negotiated through consultation.

Kaitiakitanga – the protection and preservation of the gifts of our ancestors for future generations, most commonly defined as guardianship, but is also regarded in a wider sense as care and management of all resources - an expression of the responsibility of iwi and hapū to protect and care for taonga for future generations. Many also see it as an expression of rangatiratanga – ‘rangatiratanga is the authority for kaitiakitanga to be exercised’
(Merata Kawharu, Kaitiakitanga: A Māori Anthropological Perspective of the Māori Socio-environmental Ethic of Resource Management, The Journal of the Polynesian Society, Vol. 110, No. 4, 2000). See also M. Marsden and T. A. Henare, Kaitiakitanga – A Definitive Introduction to the Holistic World View of the Māori, November 1992.

Karakia – prayer, incantation, spiritual acknowledgement.

Kaumātua – respected elder.

Kaupapa – purpose, theme, subject. ‘The term kaupapa Māori has been used to describe traditional Māori ways of doing, being, and thinking, encapsulated in the Māori world-view or cosmology.’ (Ella Henry, The Challenge of Preserving Indigenous Knowledge, LIANZA Conference 2001) [PDF]

Kawa – protocol, the way of doing certain things, agreed procedures. Kawa differs from tribe to tribe and has been passed down from generation to generation.

Kōmiti Māori – a Māori advisory or liaison committee.

Kōiwi tangata – skeletal human remains. Such remains are not regarded as collection items in New Zealand.

Kura Kaupapa Māori – Māori school run within a Māori framework and using te rēo Māori as the primary form of communication.

Manaakitanga – support and care – the looking after of people, especially guests (a core value of Māori culture).

Mana whenua – the local iwi and hapū who are recognised as holding authority in a particular region; status derived through ownership links with land.

Mātauranga Māori – traditional and customary knowledge systems and Māori world view, ‘that bank of information built up by generations of tipuna Māori upon which their survival was based…a way of considering issues from a Māori cultural viewpoint’
(policy paper for Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa). See David Williams’ report for the Waitangi Tribunal, Mātauranga Māori and Taonga, WAI 262 1997.

Mihi – a formal greeting (noun and verb), a way for people to introduce themselves and where they come from.

Rohe – area, territory or boundary – usually related to the geographic reach of a tribe.

Rūnanga – Māori tribal organisation/authority.

Tangata whenua – those who belong to the land by right of first discovery, indigenous people, the people of the land, locals.

Taonga – treasure, property – guaranteed by Article 2 of the Māori language version of the Treaty of Waitangi. Includes art objects and artefacts as well as te reo Māori and the treasures of the forests and fisheries. See Hirini Moko Mead, The Nature of Taonga and Sydney M Mead (ed), Te Māori: Māori Art from New Zealand Collections New York, Harry N Abrams Inc and the American Federation of Arts, 1984.

Tapu – sacred or forbidden, closely linked with mana. See Sidney Moko Ngā Taonga Tuku Iho o te Māori: Customary Concepts of the MāorMead (ed), i, 2ed, Dept of Māori Studies, Victoria University of Wellington, 1984. Also He Hīnātore ki te Ao Māori A Glimpse Into the Māori World, Ministry of Justice, 2001.

Tikanga Māori – rules or customs handed down within a hapū or iwi. Tikanga changes or evolves to meet new circumstances and situations eg. in museums, galleries and schools. See also Cleave Barlow, Tikanga Whakaaro: Key Concepts in Māori Culture Oxford University Press, Auckland, 1991; Hirini Moko Mead,The Nature of Tikanga Maori, Ngā Ahuatanga o Te Tikanga Māori:11-13 August 2000); Māori Custom and Values in New Zealand Law, [PDF]New Zealand Law Commission Study Report 9, March 2002.

Tino Rangatiratanga – Sovereignty, the right for self-determination. See Ranginui Walker ‘Māori Sovereignty: The Māori Perspective‘ in Hineani Melbourne, Māori Sovereignty: The Māori Perspective, Hodder Moa Beckett Publishers Ltd, Auckland, 1995; Mason Durie, Te Mana, Kawanatanga: Politics of Māori Self Determination, Oxford University Press, Auckland, 1998.

Wānanga – a higher level meeting, building on prior knowledge and understanding and working to its own framework. Te Whare Wānanga is the term for Māori universities (formerly houses of learning). See also hui.

Whakapapa – the principal of kinship, genealogy, lineage. Whakapapa defines the individual and kin group(s) and the relationships between them; cultural identity. Generally, Māori recognised kin groups such as whānau (family), hapū (sub-tribe), iwi (tribe) and waka (canoes). The relationship that Māori have to the whenua (land) is also based on whakapapa. See also Michael Shirres, Te Tangata: The Human Person, Accent Publications, Auckland, 1997; Cleave Barlow, Tikanga Whakaaro: Key Concepts in Māori Culture, Oxford University Press, Auckland, 1991.

Whakataukī – proverb. See Neil Grove and Hirini Moko Mead, Ngā pēpeha a ngā tīpuna – The sayings of the ancestors, Victoria University Press, Wellington 2001.

Whānau - Family, the key building block and the basic unit of Māori society. The whānau could consist of up to three or four generations living together. The word whānau means ‘to give birth’. See also Joan Metge, New Growth From Old: The Whānau in the Modern World, Victoria University Press, Wellington, 1995.

Whanaungatanga - relationships, kinship, a close relationship engendered between members of the whānau as a result of working together.

Source - Te Papa - Glossary

Note on WorldCat
Some of the inline links go to a WorldCat page. This is a global index of library holdings. If it can't resolve your country, it will ask you to supply it. This will then give you a list of local contributing libraries.

Wednesday 29 July 2009

Twitter strategy for UK Government Departments - - get on with it!

UK Cabinet Office to civil service - get Twittering
The UK Cabinet Office, has published a 20 page set of guidelines to UK civil servants on Twitter. The summary is clear enough - get on with it - it is a tool to connect with citizens on issues of the day.

Neil Williams - Head of Corporate Digital Channels, BIS
In keeping with open government principles, the edict has a name - Neil Williams, head of corporate digital channels at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).

Writing in the Cabinet Office digital engagement blog Mr Williams concedes that though 20 pages was a "a bit over the top for a tool like Twitter" he was nevertheless surprised by "just how much there is to say - and quite how worth saying it is."

2/10 tweets per day
He advises between 2/10 tweets per day, not including replies to other Twitterers or live coverage of a crisis or event. Tweets should also be limited to issues of relevance or upcoming events rather than just campaign messages, and insights from ministers are encouraged.

And yep - being totally connected web 2.0 denizens, the whole thing is available as an embed. Rock on Tommy!

2o pages? Don't laugh until you've read them
And in case you are tempted to scoff at 20 pages, have a read first - there is a lot of good sense here, and some really good local sources to be following, especially among UK government, and press connections. In short, respect!
Template Twitter Strategy for Government Departments

Tuesday 28 July 2009

The 2009 Montana New Zealand Book Awards winners

Montana Medal for Fiction or Poetry winner and Fiction category winner:

About My Wife
Emily Perkins

Fiction runners-up

The 10PM Question
Kate De Goldi
Longacre Press

Acid Song
Bernard Beckett
Longacre Press

Poetry category winner
The Rocky Shore
Jenny Bornholdt
Victoria University Press

Montana Medal for Non-Fiction winner and Biography category winner
Rita Angus: An Artist's Life
Jill Trevelyan
Te Papa Press

Environment category winner
A Continent on the Move: New Zealand Geoscience into the 21st Century
Ian J Graham [ed]
Geological Society of New Zealand

History category winner
Buying the Land, Selling the Land
Richard Boast
Victoria University Press

Reference and Anthology category winner
Collected Poems 1951-2006
CK Stead
Auckland University Press

Lifestyle & Contemporary Culture category winner
Ladies, A Plate: Traditional Home Baking
Alexa Johnston
Penguin Group New Zealand

Illustrative category winner
Len Castle: Making the Molecules Dance
Len Castle
Lopdell House Gallery

Maori Language Award - Te Reo Maori Literary prize.
He Pataka Kupu te kai a te rangatira
Te Taura Whiri i te Reo (the Maori Language Commission)
Penguin Group New Zealand,

More Booksellers NZ

Monday 27 July 2009

Becoming Queensland - digital story with Professor Anna Haebich

Collections Australia Network, CAN
This is an interesting case study from the Collections Australia Network, CAN, on "making/creating/curating family history', at the State Library, Queensland, SLQ. See here for the original post on the 14th July, 2009.

It appeals to me on a number of levels - not least the way it explores how scholarship can create an authoritative narrative using the personal memorabilia which comes to institutions like SLQ.

And in another example of museums and libraries, galleries becoming publishers and broadcasters, note the professionalism of the video interview - and their determination to reach a wider audience by going the YouTube route.

CAN Outreach Blog -
This broadcast thread is then nicely amplified by the CAN blog who recently picked it up and started a conversation on what is going here.
"What happens when the family album you are looking through is not your family and has no relationship to you? Is the story still interesting? More importantly, how do you read it when you know very little about the subjects and there is no text? Most people are used to looking at their own family albums and they already know the backstory.

Griffith University professor Anna Haebich created a digital story, during her time as the historian in residence at the State Library of Queensland, about two migrant families from the two main settler countries Britain and Germany. Anna knew very little about these families so decided to read the albums as they were texts. She says of the project: ‘I found a good story in each of the albums, but were the stories real or did I just invent them?’.
source - here
Queensland Stories
The CAN blog also reports, 'this project is part of the Queensland libraries exhibition Queensland Stories which tells stories of people, places, past present. The exhibition runs until December 31. It illustrates the state’s evolution, diversity and innovation since it became an independent state from NSW in 1859.'

If you can get to Brisbane, the albums are in the Heritage Collection Reading Room, at the State Library. Alternatively, go to the virtual exhibition Becoming Queensland on the State Library of Queensland website. It can also be searched on the library’s catalogue.

Sunday 26 July 2009

VADS - Suffrage Banner Collection from Womans Library

VADS - Suffrage Banner Collection
The suffrage banner collection available on VADS is from the Women’s Library at the London Metropolitan University.

Women’s Library at London Metropolitan University.
The Womans Library has an important collection of early twentieth century suffrage banners. Designed and created by the artist based suffrage organisations the Artist’s Suffrage League and the Suffrage Atelier, the collection of suffrage banners, along with associated artwork, has been digitised and is available for research on VADS searchable database.

Saturday 25 July 2009

Ian Hislop - Sir John Soane's Museum

Ian Hislop - Sir John Soane's Museum from Creative Spaces on Vimeo.
Art, Ideas and modern culture - Take 2
In another great example of the link between modern creativity and heritage/culture collections, Ian Hislop of Private Eye talks about his love and links to the 18th century satirist William Hogarth, many of whose seminal works are held at the Sir John Soane's Museum in London

Creative Spaces Project
Both this and the Vivienne Westwood video, featured earlier are part of the video set from the UK Creative Spaces project.

The Creative Spaces project connects people with nine UK national museums and galleries. The idea is to give the user the tools to explore and comment on collections, upload their own content, and build and share collections with others. You can sign up, here

National Museums Online Learning Project
Creative Spaces, and its sister project WebQuests, are part of the UK National Museums Online Learning Project, NMOLP.

University of Edinburgh Research
The University of Edinburgh has recently released their final research report, which coincided with the end of the project in Spring 2009.

, S., Ross, J., Williamson, Z. (2009)
National Museums Online Learning Project
PDF - Final report.
University of Edinburgh.

Earlier Reports [PDF]
Bayne, S., Ross, J., Williamson, Z. (2007)
National Museums Online Learning Project Stage one report.
University of Edinburgh.

Bayne, S., Ross, J., Williamson, Z. (2008)
National Museums Online Learning Project Stage two report: part 1
Creative journeying: portraits of our users.
University of Edinburgh.

Bayne, S., Ross, J., Williamson, Z. (2008)
National Museums Online Learning Project Stage two report: part 2,
Watching, gaming, learning: webquest contexts of use.
University of Edinburgh.

Friday 24 July 2009

NZ Chinese Digital Community launches

NZ Chinese Digital Community
This week we saw the public launch of the NZ Chinese Digital Communities web site, a lovely piece of collaboration between the New Zealand Chinese Association, Auckland, and the Auckland City Library, as well as a bunch of other key players including Katipo, ongoing makers to the Kete software.

Community Partnership Fund
Also in the van are the DIA, NZ Department of Internal Affairs, who shepherded the project through the last of the Community Partnership Fund, and, dare I say my own company McGovern Online who worked on the original strategy and Business Requirements, and first iteration of the design.

The Digital Chinese Community web site
The site consists of a swag of social networking/web 2.0 type tools which give people the chance to tell their story about 'being Chinese in New Zealand'. This might include family history - cooking recipies, festivals, or other local and personal history.

Importance of Family in Chinese Society
At the core of the offer is a recognition of family as a key value and institution to Chinese society, and that family history is often private - and always personal. Private group areas reflect this purpose. As is the ability to form virtual groups and share resources and ideas.

The Kete tool set
Also ready to hand are the usual Kete tools like image - video- audio sets - as well as new and extending search, tagging , and mapping tools which allow stories to be searched, bunched and contextualized, both conceptually, and geographically.

APN collaboration
And of course, as a result of a former collaboration with the APN, Kete also has Creative Commons options built in at a story and/or item level. It is also OAI enhanced, which makes it available for harvest in the likes of Digital New Zealand.

Community of Practice
I've discussed the development of Kete, and the community of practice that underpins it elsewhere - suffice to say it remains a key software resource to the growing community of practice around capturing and building rich seams of community memory in New Zealand.

Contextual search to Auckland City Library and other knowledge/heritage assets.
The Chinese Digital Communities site has added another layer to the community of practice. Thus a key driver to the strategy behind the site is to connect people's stories to the richer wider world of local, national, and cultural sources which match the interest, context, or ideas inside the stories. And of course, of especial interest is how to connect to the assets of Auckland Public Libraries.

Formal/informal knowledge pathways
In short, from the outset the project wanted to create rich new stores of family and community memory, and then build pathways which would connect these to repositories of public knowledge and heritage sources that linked to, or expanded the reach of the community or family memory.

To achieve this, Auckland City Library staff worked hard to identify their own in-house sources books, tapes, video etc, as well as build up a rich understanding of where other secondary sources are.

New sources - NZ Chinese Journals
They also partnered with the Alexander Turnbul Library to create new sources by digitising New Zealand Chinese Journals from the late 19th and early 20th century. These include The Man Sing Times, published between 1921 and 1922, the New Zealand Chinese Weekly News, between 1937 and 1946, and the New Zealand Chinese Growers between 1949 and 1972. Collectively these periodicals cover some 50 years of Chinese New Zealand history.

On Chinese Communities in New Zealand
The project partnership with the New Zealand Chinese Association and Auckland City Library is neither accidental, or temporary. It has developed over the last five years, and has grown hand in hand with a growing understanding of the depth and reach of Chinese culture in New Zealand, especially inside the NZ Chinese Community itself, and how it links to the New Zealand heritage as a whole.

This has included a growing understanding of the historical texture of various aspects of Chinese New Zealand life and heritage - which in turn has created platforms to explore what it it means to be a Chinese New Zealander, or a Chinese in New Zealand. From this dialogue has emerged a three fold way of thinking about Chinese communities.

The Poll Tax generation

The first fold involves a growing understanding of the history of what is known as the Poll Tax generation, whose descendants form the first phase of New Zealand Chinese communities in New Zealand.

Drawn in part by the lure of the Otago goldfields in the late 19th century, this original generation were subject to draconian poll tax imposts, as well as other restrictions on their rights and movements. Te Ara, the NZ Online Encyclopedia has an excellent article on this, here.

Poll Tax Heritage Trust
This history and the pain that this caused was acknowledged by the NZ government by way of a public apology in 2002 and the setting up of Poll Tax Heritage Trust in 2005. The Trust's income provides funding for heritage and cultural projects which serve the history and current needs of this generation.

1980's/ present
The other folds involve the emergence of two other communities of Chinese New Zealanders. The first group is clustered around the families of the immigration wave that occurred in the mid 80's, primarily from Taiwan and the south East Asian sector. By definition many of the children of this group were educated as young New Zealanders, and are now part of the multicultural mix of Gen Y in the likes of Auckland, Wellington and elsewhere.

The third, and most recent wave consists of many new arrivals from mainland China, especially the burgeoning cities of Beijing and Shanghai. Many of the latter include students, and other young people.

All three groups make substantial contributions to many of the new cultural intersections that give visibility to the New Zealand Chinese culture, including the likes of the Auckland Lantern Festival.

Rising Dragons, Soaring Bananas

Also of note is the annual conference Rising Dragons, Soaring Bananas , a forum where NZ Chinese come together to celebrate and discuss issues of identity, creativity, and economic partnerships.

Accordingly, it was no accident that the Digital Chinese Communities web site was launched last Saturday at the latest iteration, Make Way for Rising Dragons, Soaring Bananas, conference at Auckland Business School.

Presented by the New Zealand Chinese Association Auckland Inc. and the International Society for the Studies of Chinese Overseas (ISSCO), Rising Dragons, Soaring Bananas International brought together the creative arts, media, academic, community and business sectors.

Affectionately known as the 'Banana Conference', this year's event was the fourth effort in the Going Bananas cycle. Cultural storytelling forms the backbone of the conference. These stories disrupt stereotypes and build a community of interest in Chinese lives and experiences.

This years speakers included, Libby Wong (Writer and former Hong Kong Legislative Councillor); Marcus Lui (Creative Director, The One Centre, Sydney); Mai Chen (Chen Palmer, Public Law Specialists); Don Ha (Real Estate Entrepreneur); Paul Spoonley (Massey University); Ron Sang (Architect and Art Collector); Chang Hung (Radio Producer and TV Presenter); Peap Tarr (Urban Artist); Natalie Chan (Fashion Designer and Milliner); Jock Phillips (Editor, Te Ara, The Encyclopedia of New Zealand); Peter Li (University of Saskatchewan); Tan Chee-Beng (Chinese University of Hong Kong).

More at their web site, here.

Frank McCourt: Angela and the Baby Jesus

Frank McCourt
In tribute to the passing last Sunday of Pulitzer Prize winning author, Frank McCourt, Fora TV features this one hour conversation with the author and Sandip Roy, at the Commonwealth Club, San Fransisco, in November, 07. Full details, plus the piece in segments, here

"Frank McCourt - Francis "Frank" McCourt is an Irish-American teacher and author. He received the Pulitzer Prize (1997) and National Book Critics Circle Award (1996) for his memoir Angela's Ashes (1996), which details his childhood as a poor Irish Catholic in Limerick.

He is also the author of 'Tis (1999), which continues the narrative of his life, picking up from the end of the previous book and focusing on life as a new immigrant in America. Teacher Man (2005), detailed the challenges of being a young, uncertain teacher who must impart knowledge to his students"

source: ForaTV

Thursday 23 July 2009

The Tweeting House - Twitter and the Internet of things

The Twitter Thing
The Twitter phenomena continues to grow and fascinate. This report from the UK BBC connects ordinary household objects to the Twitter Universe.

RWW - source of story.
This story came from the RWW - the full article here.

Matt Jones - Webstock - Wellington 2009
The Demon Haunted World
If you are interested in exploring some interesting thinking behind all of the above, Helen Smith, IA/Design lead here at McGovern has been talking about this session from Matt Jones at the Wellington NZ Webstock 09 ever since since she heard it in February.
The Demon-Haunted World

"Since the 60s we've imagined the combination of computers and our environment would create both utopias and dystopias. Since the 80's we've seen academics, artists and corporate R&D labs prototype these futures from the top-down. Now, hackers are building sensors, bots and software into everything around them bottom-up, fast, cheap and out-of-control. They're creating environments that react, adapt and respond to us - and perhaps more importantly - each other:

The Demon-Haunted World. Matt's gives a whistlestop tour of those days of future past and pointers to some practical futures we can start building right now, together."

Video of presentation - plus download options, here.

Matt Jones at Webstock 09 from Webstock on Vimeo.

Other versions of this talk Associated Material

Wednesday 22 July 2009

JISC: Libraries of the Future

The JISC Library of the Future Campaign.
This video, launched, last week, on the 17th July, 2009, marks the beginning of an interesting , and hopefully stimulating campaign by the UK JISC to explore the issues around the enormous impact of ICT on the academic library in particular, and the concept of the library in general.

JISC, have a web page on the campaign, here: among other things, it talks about:

"In an information world in which Google apparently offers us everything, what place is there for the traditional, and even the digital, library?

In a library environment which is increasingly moving to the delivery of online rather than print resources, what of the academic library’s traditional place at the heart of campus life? What about the impact of repositories and open access on the delivery of library resources? And the need to digitise and make more widely accessible key scholarly resources? And what of the calls for libraries to play a central role in the promotion of ‘information literacy’?

Through ‘Libraries of the Future’, JISC is hoping to explore these and many other questions, to open up - with partner organisations and librarians themselves - a debate about the future of the academic and research library. The theme will encompass a variety of activities – events and printed resources5, interactive Web 2.0 services6, podcast interviews7, and so on – but encouraging debate and discussion"

Tuesday 21 July 2009

Vivienne Westwood - Why I Love the Wallace

Vivienne Westwood - public/private value
Rightly so, these days much is made of the linkages between the culture/heritage sector and our old friend, 'the creative sector', and then it's but a hop and a stitch to the interplay between public and private value.

Iconic British fashion designer Vivienne Westwood brings all this into play in this lovely video where she talks about her love for the Wallace Collection and how it has inspired her work over the years.

The Wallace Collection
The Wallace Collection is a national museum which displays the works of art collected in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries by the first four Marquesses of Hertford and Sir Richard Wallace, the son of the 4th Marquess. It was bequeathed to the British nation by Sir Richard's widow, Lady Wallace, in 1897.

Monday 20 July 2009

Aus Note 2: Australian Digital Economy: Future Directions

Australia's Digital Economy: Future Directions

On 14 July 2009, the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Conroy, released the Australia's Digital Economy: Future Directions paper. The paper outlines the key areas of focus for government, industry and the community to maximise the benefit of the digital economy for all Australians. The DBCDE project web site reports,

The Australia's Digital Economy: Future Directions paper was developed through a three-stage consultation process. First, the Department held a series of workshops that led to a forum chaired by the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Conroy in September 2008.

Second, a discussion about the digital economy was encouraged on the Digital Economy blog, which was open for two weeks from 8–24 December 2008. Third, the Department released a consultation draft paper and over 110 submissions were received.

The Australia's Digital Economy: Future Directions paper outlines:

  • why the digital economy is important for Australia
  • the current state of digital economy engagement in Australia and why current metrics point to a need for strategic action
  • the elements of a successful digital economy
  • the role for the Government in developing Australia's digital economy, and
  • case studies of Australians who have successfully engaged with the digital economy from a diversity of industries including content, e-health, maps, banking, education, smart technology and citizen journalism.

Structure of the report
The Australia's Digital Economy: Future Directions paper is published in two versions:

  • Snapshot (35 pages): this provides an overview of the key areas of focus for government, industry and the community and a summary of some of the case studies.
  • Final report (104 pages): this provides more detailed discussion of government and industry initiatives and an in–depth look at 12 case studies which showcases examples of Australians successfully engaging with the digital economy.

Aus Note 1: Public Sphere: Government 2.0 - Professor Brian Fitzgerald

Public Sphere: Government 2.0 - Professor Brian Fitzgerald from Kate Lundy on Vimeo.

Senator Kate Lundy
Senator Kate Lundy. ACT, Australia is doing some great work in bringing together Australian government and its key stakeholders to discuss, promote, and generally make real the promise of open access to public access to government information. She also has a great web site, here

Government 2.0 - policy and practice for Australia
She recently hosted her second 2nd Public Sphere topic – Government 2.0: policy and practice for Australia.

All of the sessions are available online, here. Among them are a number of key players in the Australian open government world, including a couple of sessions outlining the role and reach of the new Australian Gov 2.0 Task Force. Details on the members, here.

Definition of Government 2.0
The Taskforce has issues an Issue paper, here. It has a neat definition of Government 2.0:
"The aim of Government 2.0 is to make government information more accessible and useable, to make government more consultative, participatory and transparent, to build a culture of online innovation, and promote collaboration across agencies in online and information initiatives."
Prof Brian Fitzgerald - Creative Commons
One of the member of the Taskforce is Prof Brain Fitzgerad of the QUT. He is well known as a vocal advocate of PSI [public sector information] frameworks. In particular, he has many years experience in promoting the benefits of the Creative Commons Australia framework for government information.

The presentation above is a swift tour of the territory, and highlights lots of the key policy frameworks, both in Australia and internationally.

I'm also giving the Powerpoint slide show below. I've also extracted his references, and when possible, attached a hyperlink.

Brian Fitzgerald Biography
BA (Griff) LLB (Hons) (QUT) BCL (Oxon.) LLM (Harv.) PhD (Griff) , Barrister of the High Court of Australia.

Brian Fitzgerald is an internationally recognised scholar specialising in Intellectual Property and Cyberlaw. He holds postgraduate degrees in law from Oxford University and Harvard University

His recent publications include Cyberlaw: Cases and Materials on the Internet, Digital Intellectual Property and E Commerce(2002); Jurisdiction and the Internet (2004); Intellectual Property in Principle (2004) and Internet and Ecommerce Law(2007).

From 1998-2002 Brian was Head of the School of Law and Justice at Southern Cross University in New South Wales, Australia and from January 2002 –January 2007 was Head of the School of Law at QUT in Brisbane.

He is currently a specialist Research Professor in Intellectual Property and Innovation at QUT. He is also a Barrister of the High Court of Australia.

The Slide Show

B. Fitzgerald, A Fitzgerald et al Internet and E Commerce Law(2007)
Chapter 4 –especially 260-269

B Fitzgerald et al (eds) Open Content Licensing: Cultivating the Creative Commons, (2007) Sydney University Press, Sydney

B Fitzgerald “Structuring Knowledge Through Open Access: The Creative Commons Story”
in C Kapitzke and B Bruce (eds.)

New Libraries and Knowledge Spaces: Critical Perspectives on Information Education (2005) Lawrence Erlbaum and Assoc.

B Fitzgerald “The Role of Open Content Licences in Building Open Communities: Creative Commons, GFDL and Other Licences” (with N Suzor)
in C Kapitzke (ed) Rethinking Intellectual Property (2007) Sense Publishing

Stage 2 Report of GILF Project –Access to Government Information and OCL –An Access and Use Strategy

November 2006 –“Unlocking the Potential” E Bledsoe, J. Coates and B Fitzgerald Unlocking the Potential Through Creative Commons: an industry engagement and action agenda, August 2007

July 2007 –First National Summit –Qld Parliament House –Conference Report on the Australian National Summit on OA to PSI

March 2008 -Second National Summit
B Fitzgerald,F Goa,D O’Brien and S Shi (eds),Copyright, Digital Content and the Internet in the Asia Pacific (2008) Sydney University Press

B. Fitzgerald, “It’s vital to sort out the ownership of ideas” February 27, 2008, The Australian(Higher Education Supplement)

J Coates, N Suzor and A Fitzgerald Legal Aspects of Web 2.0 Activities(2007)

B Fitzgerald, “Copyright 2010: The Future of Copyright” [2008] European Intellectual Property Review43

B Fitzgerald (ed.) Legal Framework for e-Research: Realising the Potential(2008) Sydney

M Perry and B Fitzgerald (eds.) Knowledge Policy for the 21st Century(2009) Irwin Law Canada (forthcoming0

Note: some of the web references go the the front door of the site, and will need some fosiking to get to the paper.

Sunday 19 July 2009

James Ensor - MOMA interactive

James Ensor
According to Professor Wikipedia, James Sidney Edouard, Baron Ensor (April 13, 1860 – November 19, 1949) was a Belgian painter and printmaker, an important influence on expressionism and surrealism who lived in Ostend for almost his entire life. He was associated with the artistic group Les XX.

According to MOMA, he was a major figure in the Belgian avant-garde of the late nineteenth century and, like Wikipedia consider him an important precursor to the development of Expressionism in the early twentieth.

James Ensor, MOMA, 23rd June, 2ist Sep, 2009
They have produced a neat interactive of their exhibition, James Ensor, June 23rd - Sep 21st 09, which showcases 120 works, essay excerpts from the exhibition catalogue, and a timeline of the artist's life.

The Interactive
It's here. I like it a lot. I don't find it quite as compelling as say, their What is Print, but the way they showcase the images - in a lovely long strip - which you can then expand to see a full screen version - zoom - extended catalogue record, plus an audio track - is neat, stimulating, and definitely engaging.

On the negative - I'm not a fan of the the way the main navigation has to pop back on the page - and I find the text a little too 'fit for print'.

Given the latter are extracts from the catalougue, then that's hardly surprising. However, a little judicious editing for screen might have helped - as would a less ponderous font.

That said, I'm now quibbling, albeit from the POV of an engaged use. My main message to team who put it together is, thanks!

Saturday 18 July 2009

Walter Cronkite Dead: legendary newsman dies at 92

Tributes are flowing through the web, including the Huffington Post
who also cite these YouTube references

China’s internet users surpass US population

China’s internet users surpass US population

The EJC reports, China has more internet users that the entire population of the United States, according to new research by the government-sanctioned China Internet Network Information Center.

"The study says that at the end of June there were 338m internet users in China, a 13.4 percent jump since the end of 2008, and well ahead of the official US population, put at 307m by the US Census Bureau.

Rapid economic growth, and allied expansion in internet access in more areas, has fuelled the rapid rise in use of the web around China, which has a total population of 1.3bn.

Comparatively low - just 25.5 percent
That shows that internet penetration in China remains comparatively low - just 25.5 percent - compared to the US, where a recent study by the Pew Internet and American Life Project put the figure at over 70 percent.

A previous report, released in March, found that at the end of 2008 China had nearly 300m internet users - of whom the vast majority were already using broadband connections, and with internet penetration generally already higher, then at 22.6 percent, than the global average of 21.9 percent - although that includes every country, including the poorest.

Internet use on mobile
However China seems to be leapfrogging the US, where fixed phone lines and desk- or laptop computers are the rule for internet access. In China, internet use on mobile phones has increased 32.1 percent since the beginning of the year to reach 155m, led by rising use by rural dwellers, the report said"

Source - UK Guardian - via EJC

Friday 17 July 2009

Michael Sandel - Reith Lectures - A New Citizenship

The 2009 Reith Lectures
The 2009 Reith Lecture series from the BBC has just finished. All four lectures are available online at both the BBC, here, and more locally, on the Big Ideas, ABC, Australia.

A New Citizenship, Professor Michael Sander

This years contribution comes from Professor Michael Sandel. His series discusses a topic dear to my heart, 'A New Citizenship - the prospects of a new politics of the common good.'
  • Markets and Morals
    Lecture 1 - considers the expansion and moral limits of markets.
  • Morality in Politics
    Lecture 2 - what role, if any, there is for moral argument in politics.
  • Genetics and Morality
    Lecture 3 -how we should use our ever-increasing scientific knowledge.
  • A new politics of the common good
    Lecture 4 - the case for a moral and civic renewal in democratic politics.
Recorded at George Washington University in Washington DC, 'he calls for a new politics of the common good and says that we need to think of ourselves as citizens, not just consumers'

The UK Open University
The Open University is running a series of parallel discussion points on the series. There are also links to other sources, here.

The Archive
The BBC are putting together an online archive of the Reith Lecture series, here. They have a full list of all the speakers. Some have audio links so that we can re-listen - including some classics.
The first of these is 1948 Bertrand Russell, Authority and the Individual . Others include:
1958 Bernard Lovell, The Individual and The Universe
1966 John K. Galbraith, The New Industrial State
1977 A. H. Halsey, Change In British Society
1990 Jonathan Sacks, The Persistence of Faith
1991 Steve Jones, The Language of the Genes
1999 Anthony Giddens, Runaway World
The whole of the 2000 onwards series is available:

The Te Papa blog; postscript on Dr Seddon Bennington
I was a little unsure about Te Papa using their blog as the place to offer condolences on the death of Dr Bennington, and his companion, Marcella Jackson. Some might find this a little old fashioned, especially for someone who lives and breathes online, but it didn't feel the right forum.

I was wrong. The blog has proven to be a brilliant way for ex colleagues from around the world to share their thoughts and experiences. Many are very moving. all of them a vindication of the Te Papa initiative, here.

Thursday 16 July 2009

Seddon Bennington - CEO Te Papa Tongarewa Museum of New Zealand

Tragic loss of Seddon Bennington and Marcella Jackson
As I write it is now just over 24 hours since the news came through that Dr. Seddon Bennington, CEO, Te Papa Tongarewa Museum of New Zealand , and his companion, Marcella Jackson, perished in the freezing Tararua Ranges, having succumbed to what as been described as atrocious weather conditions while tramping over the weekend of Saturday, 11th July, 2009

His loss is mourned by his family, friends and colleagues, including the entire cultural and heritage sector here in New Zealand, as well as in wider international museum world, where he was held in high esteem.

I share this sentiment, and would like to add my own personal condolences.

Although I have worked with, talked to, and networked with Seddon on any number of occasions, my main recent connection was as a fellow Board member of the National Digital Forum, the NDF.

NDF Chair John Garraway
John Garraway , the Chair of the NDF has already spoken publicly of Seddon's involvement, including this fulsome tribute:

“Seddon Bennington’s passing comes as a great shock to the NDF. As Te Papa Chief Executive he has been a member of the NDF Board for the last three years and has shown an ongoing commitment to the activities of galleries, libraries, archives, and museums in surfacing New Zealand’s rich culture and heritage in the digital public space.

The Board valued Seddon’s opinions and perspective greatly and I personally will miss his support. It is very hard to come to terms with the fact he is gone and will no longer sit amongst us.

On behalf of the NDF Board and the 142 institutions which are members of the Forum I offer our condolences to Seddon’s family and to his colleagues at Te Papa.”

The personal
I can concur with all of this - for a CEO at the top of his game, both locally, and internationally, he was incredibly accessible to, and within, forums like the NDF.

Moreover, as well as bringing strategic focus to an issue, he was totally alert to the many nuances to real collaboration, and a real master at bringing clarity and consensus to contentious issues, especially those which involved balancing the needs of the many NDF members with a fraction of the power and influence of his beloved Te Papa. And always, he did it with his trademark style!

Te Papa, I know will find their own way of mourning his passing. As will I. It truly is a tragic waste of a talent cut down in his prime.

He was a man whose smile and handshake was always as warm and inclusive as our common purpose.

Te Papa Memorial Area/ Condolence Book
Finally, Te Papa are putting together a memorial area and a condolence book for those who wish to leave their messages of sympathy and condolence.

You can also add your condolences online at Te Papa, here

Tuesday 14 July 2009

Chris Anderson , 'Free: The future of radical price' audio book

Free: The Future of a Radical Price

Download the audiobook » (285 MB .zip)

This player requires Flash.

Free text version , here

New York Times, here
"Anderson is the editor of Wired and the author of the 2006 best-seller “The Long Tail,” and “Free” is essentially an extended elaboration of Stewart Brand’s famous declaration that “information wants to be free.” The digital age, Anderson argues, is exerting an inexorable downward pressure on the prices of all things “made of ideas.” Anderson does not consider this a passing trend. Rather, he seems to think of it as an iron law: “In the digital realm you can try to keep Free at bay with laws and locks, but eventually the force of economic gravity will win.” more

UK Guardian, here
"....Free observes an interesting phenomenon, but doesn't take the reader far beyond the notion that there's a lot of free stuff about. It pulls together information about current trends and is dotted with abstruse bits of learning - divergent views of competition among 18th-century French mathematicians, for instance - which seem to be there more to lend the book intellectual heft than to strengthen its arguments. But it doesn't have the weight of a fully worked-through idea. It ends not with a discussion of where this trend is leading but with "50 business models built on free", presumably addressed to the businessmen who may be attending Anderson's speeches on the subject...." full review, here

Read Write Web
Opinion plus links to other reviews, here

The Medieval Helpdesk

APN web 2.0 workshop

I have been busy today preparing for an all day workshop tomorrow with some APN librarians in Whangarie in the North Island of NZ. The Aotearoa Peoples Network , APN, project is explained here.

My task is to lead a workshop on using web 2.0 tools. Apart from the usual suspects, in this session we will also be exploring Ning and Twitter.

And of course, just to set the scene, I thought I would replay this classic on The Medieval Helpdesk.

Monday 13 July 2009

Finding Creative Commons/public domain images

Finding rights free images

My last two posts on how big cultural institutions manage their relationship with the participative web, especially around IP rights to their digital images, brings into focus the ongoing push to socialise the efforts of the the likes of the Creative Commons community, as well as public domain rights frameworks.

As both creator, curator, and user know, making images available ether as public domain or under a Creative Commons licence is only half the battle. Finding rights cleared images is hard, especially if you are in a hurry - don't know where to look - or, just as likely have little notion of what the fuss is about, or the distiction betwen public domain and the CC world of limited rights under specific use conditions.

Google and Creative Commons
All of which makes very welcome the annoucement from Google that they have tweaked their advanced search option to allow people to search for rights cleared images with ease. You can choose from a menu of options, including each of the CC licence types, as well as public domain. This feature is under the advanced search option of a Google search, or go direct here.

And by the by - though this is indeed a great feature, I'm a little confused here - given that choosing a CC filter was always an option, isn't the real story Google has iterated/improved the feature, not invented it?

Idee - search by colour from 10 million CC Flickr images
But if Google are doing the right thing - so too are Idee who, some time ago, developed their own database of 10 million Flickr images marked under a CC licence.

They then built their own colour filter, and made a beautiful search interface which lets you run up to three sets of colour choices - which then produces a brilliant array of cleared images which match your colour needs.

This is fantastic resource for web design - students - digital arts - whatever - and has been on my bookmarks title bar for a while now. And given recent events - I thought it was time to share. Go look - fill your eyes with colour, here