Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Is the ICT profession ready for the 18th Century?


Catching Up
This post is by way of a pit stop for regular visitors to PeoplePoints - of which - to my blushing astonishment there seems to be more and more. In any event, this last fortnight has been a bit of a whistle stop tour of New Zealand, and I have been conscious that my visits here have been a little episodic.  So call this the catch up.

NZ Computer Society - lecture/presentation series.
First up, I have been on on one of NZCS  national series when they invite people to come and share their thoughts with NZCS regional branches.  I chose to offer some thoughts on Open Data - and its potential, especially from an ICT perspective.

And so, this last 10 days I have been in Dunedin, Christchurch, Hamilton, Auckland, closing off in Wellington last night.

Is the ICT profession ready for the 18th Century?
The presentation opened with a speculative challenge as to whether we - that's anyone involved in boot-strapping the next phase of the Internet as an open digital public space - are in touch with the historical parallels of the 18th Enlightenment and of how the subsequent gold seams of science and technology came about in part by, in addition to the long march to democracy, embedding public education and literacy as a key public good?

Developing 21st century digital public literacy
Turning to current challenges, my thesis was/is that the current definition/policy frameworks around open data - especially around government  owned or managed data sets - needs to radically expand to include all the cultural/heritage  data  assets contained in the myriad of cultural institutions - libraries - galleries - archives - museums, which in turn are one of the great products of, and containers for, the inheritance of the 18th century Enlightenment.  

And that, not only were these rich cornucopias of assets and opportunities key ingredients to the development of a 19th and 20th century public literacy, in turn they are key contributors to the development of  21st century digital public space,  and its mystic twin - public digital literacy.

Tool Boxes

Moreover, I was/am strongly of the belief  that - if we are serious about picking up the challenges to 21st century digital literacy - then tucked inside the  search /find/share/transform/co-create mantras of various national and international digital content strategies -  we need a whole bunch of additional tools than are currently showcased in storehouses/archives coming into view from the likes of Open Data USA  or UK Open Data.

Should this interest, be advised there is an audio file of the presentation - and of course the obligatory slide deck. When I put the two things together, I will post them here.

Social Media Junction.
I also presented at the Social Media Junction event in Sky City here in Auckland on Monday. My brief was to offer 10 public/nor for profit examples of people using social media/ social networking tools/behavior as part of their core activities.

BBC - History of the World
And yes, as the image above suggests, I used the seminal British Museum History of the World Project as an example. And for the record, be advised that the second parallel BBC series just launched.

The audience, though primarily from the private sector corporate world seemed receptive.  There was a very active Twitter tag #smj If this subject interests, then check it out. 

Playing at House

Somewhere along the way I have re-grown a beard. Now I have sciatica in my left leg, and am limping along. So somewhere along the way, and if I give into the temptation to buy a cane tomorrow, my transformation into House is complete

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