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Europeana Open Culture Conference

Thursday October 14th 2010

Europeana overview - Jill Cousins

Europeana is the most visible representation of Europe

  • Neelie Kroes
  • Stats:
    • 13 million objects
    • 28 data aggregators
    • 200 partners
    • 21 projects
    • 35 FTE's
    • 1 million visits in 2010
    • Open source code

Stuff that is analog should become digital

> What we have managed to do to date is aggregate. We have managed to give access to Europe's culture.
  • Users go to Google or Wikipedia, they're not likely to use any of our portals, nor are they likely to start with Europeana. We have to find ways of making sure we are in the users workflow.
  • We need to move into a position where we are providing more to the needs of the user, and where the user has started...
  • Make a seamless experience for the user, don't push content to users but accomodate them using their own tools
  • It moves away from a single destination site, to putting information where the user is.
  • Users first!
  • Trends:
    • Increased understanding that access to culture is the foundation of a creative economy. Thus, culture leads to creativity which leads to social innovation and to cultural and economic grwoth.
    • The aim is to have Europeana as a representation for Europe. Users have turned from passive consumers to active participants.
  • What do users want?
    1. Europeana to them represents a trusted source
    2. Easy access
    3. Re-use
    4. Being in my workflow
  • What do providers want?
    1. Visibility / Open Access
    2. Premium services
    3. Access to network
    4. Brand association
  • Policy Makers
    1. Inclusion
    2. Leadership
    3. Education
    4. Economic growth

Four points to focus on

  • Aggregate

    • Build the open trusted source for European digital cultural material.
    • 2% is audio and visual material. However, most users click on audio/video material. We therefore need more audio/video material!
    • In the content, there is a strong 18-20th century dominance.
    • There are more than 395 million RDF links between data sources.
    • Tagging content with controlled vocabularies.
  • Distribute:

    • Portals, API's, widgets, etc.
    • Into the schools systems, the blind schools, history teachers.

    We aren't proposing that Europeana should have a school kids site. We should put it into the sites that already exist.

  • Facilitate

    • IPR, knowledge sharing, open source code, advocay, Europena lab for experiments
    • Data provider agreements: majority signed current agreements
    • Collective licensing
  • Engage

    We want to aggregate, facilitate, distribute and engage.

Peace, love and metadata - Liam Wyatt - @wittylama - Slides

  • Spent a month in the British museum as the Wikipedian in residence

  • What can be done in 5 weeks, with $0 budget, 6 subprojects, 50 appearances on the main page of the English Wikipedia, increased quality

  • Smithsonian, Children's Museum also want a Wikipedian in residence (Jealousy is a wonderful motivator!)

  • GLAM-wiki conferences - The Wikipedian in residence idea was born here

  • Activities:

    • Backstage Pass (going around the collection, stuff you normaly don't see)
    • One-on-One Collaborations (Wikipedians seeking curators and vice versa)
    • Photos requested for articles
    • Feature article prize (including backlinks from the BM) - 5 new featured articles on the English Wikipedia (including the Rosetta stone in Latin, and finally 5 million pageviews translated in English)

    That's return on investment!

    • Hoxne challenge: How quickly can Wikipedians produce a top quality article when having access to the world's best resources?
    • School translation project (French school kids translated English articles to French)

    Wikipedians: We're intellectually promiscuous. We'll take whatever comes up.

  • More visits to the British Museum website because of increased quality of Wikipedia articles.

  • June 2008: big spike because of Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull (a similiar skull is in the British Museum!) and people clicking through to the BM website

All of these are about improving content

> All of these focus on personal relationships.
> All of these are about leveraging the communities.
> None of these focus on the resident's own work

Every institution can do something like this at home.

  • Risks and rewards

Unknown risks are accounted for and oversetimated while unknown rewards are discounted and underestimated

* Why restrict digital access?
    * An artist made a mistake
    * "Security"
    * Have made (non) commercial use
    * Don't want people to know what we have, too busy already
    * Reduce the likelihood of satire
    * Decreased incentive to visit in person
    * So people don't pretend they're us
    * *Preserve the "integrity" of the collection* (mostly used argument)

This is not about Copyright. This is about Control. Who has it, who wants it, what are the risks and rewards of relaxing it.

> Copyright is an easy excuse, the real reason is control.
  • Restrictions:
    • Derivative work
      • Derivatives are not necessarily a bad thing. Colours in a painting, or a persective analysis is a derative work as well. Not everyone wants to draw a moustache on the Mona Lisa as a derivative work!
      • Derivatives can be a remix, such as tilt shifting Van Gogh paintings.
    • Commercial use
      • Defined by Creative Commons as something that is 'primariliy intented for or directed toward commercial adventage'
      • "Sita sings the blues" - Animation based on the sanskrit Ramayana, using songs that are out of copyright. Released under a Creative Commons license.
    • Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
      • The four freedoms (from the free software community)
      • There are 8 licenses, but only three are usable on Wikipedia: Public domain, CC-BY and CC-BY-SA. Non-commercial licenses are not allowed.
      • Why? We don't want to restrict people in their use of our content.
      • $20 Wikipedia reader uses 8-bit computing power
      • One Laptop per Child projects contains a complete copy of the Wikipedia.

Wikipedia is not user generated content, it's community curated works!

> Do you have an (e)-voluntuur program in your organisation (nobody raises hands).
> Do you have a volunteer program? (few hands go up)
> You do, even if you don't know it
> If your content is not interoperable, it's not findable, and if it's not findable, who cares.
> *Wikipedia is your volunteer program, whether you like it or not*
  • Compare to Open Street Map.
    • OSM mapped the refugee camps in Port-au-prince in 24 hours.
  • List of members of the Bounty (property of Australian museum)
    • Liam put it up on Wikipedia, and it was translated in Czech and Hungarian.
    • Even the museum's website's license terms state that use is restricted. The Australian museum was not aware that their content was not re-usable.
  • Linked data

Happy datasets are all alike, every unhappy dataset is unhappy in its own way.

> Similar datasets that are not interoperable are digital dual-gauge railways.
* **Digital content that technially or legally can't be integrated is useless**
* If Europeana content would be available it would be used much more

Cultural sector and Wikimedia are doing the same thing, for the same reason, for the same people, in the same medium. Let's do it together!