22 mei 2007

Missiewerk / Mission work


For English translation, please see the blue text below

Kijk eens, op het werk ben ik dus met m'n Zuidland-project aan de gang. Dat gaat over dingen als web 2.0 en e-communities. In het archiefwezen zijn we daar nog niet zo mee bezig, dus daar wilde ik graag iets aan doen op het BHIC.

En toen bedacht ik me dat Second Life (SL) eigenlijk wel een heel mooi voorbeeld was van een e-community. Een sociaal netwerk. Veel netwerk, héél sociaal... :-)

SL zou het vast goed doen als uitsmijter tijdens presentaties. Maar bovendien heb ik echt het idee dat iets als SL een kijkje geeft in de toekomst van internet. Niet de toekomst van volgend jaar of zo, maar meer die van over een paar jaar, misschien wel langer... Denk het wel zeker.

Maar goed, ik ben in de vijver gesprongen en dacht wel te zien wat ik tegenkwam aan vissen... en hoe te kunnen zwemmen. Een beetje aanprutsen, zoals ik het altijd noem. Ik weet er zogenaamd ook niks van, doe maar wat soms. Lekker naïef, de onschuldige Nederlandse jonge archivaris... in de grote wereld van SL!

Expert in wording
Maar blijkbaar zien anderen dat toch anders. Ik zal even in het midden laten hoe ze in SL over me denken - niet genoeg zwarte beeldschermpixels! - maar her en der schijn ik steeds meer als 'deskundige' te worden gezien. Ja, we weten het hè... In het land der blinden is één-oog koning... en dat ene oog van mij is nog slaperig ook!

Maar goed, door een artikel van mij in het Archievenblad heb ik links en rechts weer aardige contacten gelegd. Onder andere met Luud, een collega uit het Tilburgse. We hebben afgesproken om wat contact te houden over de dingen waar we mee bezig zijn, misschien zelfs samen te werken. In ieder geval is m'n vriendenlijstje in Meebo alweer uitgebreid met collega's van elders.

Op 30 mei geef ik dan dus die presentatie in Arnhem, waarover ik al eerder vertelde. Spannend!

Maar ook buiten het archiefwezen weten ze me te vinden. Zo schreef Edwin een artikel voor het blad Informatie Professional, waaraan ik mijn medewerking verleende en waarvoor ik ook, op een uitzondering na, alle afbeeldingen leverde. Trouwens nog uit de tijd dat ik nog niet zo mooi kon fotograferen in SL... (In het bestand wat je kunt downloaden missen de bijschriften ook nog eens bij die foto's...)

En op 19 juni ben ik uitgenodigd om plaats te nemen in een panel, bij een presentatie door SL collega Guus van den Brekel (Namro Orman in SL). Hij geeft die presentatie tijdens een HB/WB-lezing van de NVB, de Nederlandse Vereniging voor Beroepsbeoefenaren in de bibliotheek-, kennis- en informatiesector, volgens een concept genaamd Meet the Expert. Ik heb overigens geen idee wat dat precies is, zo'n panel, maar ik begreep dat het iets met praten was... dus het zit wel goed!

Serieuze zaak!
In ieder geval lijkt mijn gepruts door anderen serieus te worden genomen... En dat doe ik zelf ook! Altijd trouwens. Ik weet niet of het ooit echt wat wordt met mij als archivaris in SL, maar ik weet wel dit: het kan geen kwaad als in ieder geval één Nederlandse archivaris zich hierin verliest... :-)

ENGLISH TRANSLATION

Look, so at work I am rather busy with my so called South Land project, which is about things such as web 2.0 and e-communities. Until now, archives have done little about that, so I am happy to do some about it at the BHIC, the Brabanth History Information Center (which is where I work).

And that's when I thought to myself that Second Life (SL) would be a great example of an e-community. A social network. Much network, very social indeed... :-)

SL would do pretty well as the cream on the cake at the end of my presentations. But most of all, I really believe something like SL gives us a look at the future of the internet. This may not be the future for like next year or so, but more or less a future for like in a few years, maybe longer... I'm sure of it, I think.

Anyway, I have jumped in the pond, not knowing which fish to encounter... and how to be able to swim. A little bit of bungling, as I always called it. As it seems, I do not know anything about this all, so sometimes I just do... something, sort of. Nice to be naïve, the innocent Dutch young archivist... in the big world of SL!

Becoming an expert
But apparantly others see it differently. I will not bother you with the image that others have of me in SL – not enough black pixels in the monitor! - but in here I seem to become some sort of an 'expert' on things. Anyway, as we know... In the country of the blind, the one eyed man is king... and that one eye of mine is half sleeping too!

But well, because of an article of mine in our Archives magazine I have made some good contacts again. For example with Luud, who is a colleague in Tilburg. We have agreed to let each other know about what we are doing and maybe even work together at some time. Either way I have added some new friends in my Meebo buddy list.

At May 30th I will be giving this presentation in Arnhem, that I was telling you about earlier.

But also from outside the archives people are getting to find me now. So did Edwin write an article for a magazine called Information Professional, with which I helped him and, with one exception, I provided the pictures. By the way, these were from the times when I was not yet a very good photographer in-world. (The file you can download lacks descriptions with the pictures too...)

And on June 19th I have been invited to sit on a panel, for a presentation from SL colleague Guus van den Brekel (Namro Orman in SL). He will be giving this presentation during a HB/WB-lecture from the NVB, the Dutch society for professionals in library, knowledge and information sector, with a concept called Meet the Expert. Anyway, I have no clue as to what such a panel means exactly, but as it seems to be something including talking... I should be fine, I guess!

Serious business!
Either way my bungling seems serious to other people... And it is serious to me too! As always. I am not sure if any good can come out of me being an archivist in SL, but I do know this: it will not hurt anybody if at least one Dutch archivist loses himself in this world... :-)

2 opmerkingen:

  1. Hi Christian,

    I for one appreciate your uncharted exploration on behalf of archivists into the SL space and I enjoy following your reports.

    Since my own initial exploration of SL I have had to put my visits on hold because it turns out my graphics card is not SL compatible (which is the cause of my frequent system crashes while using SL).

    I did find the podcast interview with Donna Dinsberg from the Library and Archives of Canada to be a very useful analysis of the potential of SL for library and archival institutions. I imagine you will be raising some similar points in the conference panels in which you will be participating.

    In particular, I have to agree with her point that the primary use of technology such as SL will be to enhance communication and community building around collections and the topics of interest which they represent. It becomes a virtual meeting space that enhances online interactivity.

    I also like her suggestion that SL, or something like it, will evolve into a distributed virtual environment where organizations, including heritage institutions, will host their own virtual reality servers (that integrate into an open, universal virtual reality architecture).

    However, I agree with Donna that SL will not likely become a new, enhanced research space (which was one of my initial assumptions). I think our 'traditional' 2D, web-based interfaces for creating, organizing and searching for information can't really be improved upon in the virtual world, at least not using the current generation of tools.

    I think this is an important topic to explore further. That is to say, do people even want to use SL as an interface/tool to carry out their research? Or are they there simply to meet people interested in the same topics or to meet someone (e.g. a reference desk professional) who can guide them on where to start their research back in the web-world or real-world?

    Lots of interesting new territory to explore. I look forward to your continued missionary dispatches from 'het Vreemde'.

    --peterVG

    BeantwoordenVerwijderen
  2. Hey Peter! Thank you very much for your comment! I forwarded it to Donna too, and she was pleased with it. :-)

    Oh man! Too bad you have some technical problems...

    You know? We are all just here to discover a brave new world. Insights change on a daily base!

    Virtual worlds like SL are great for communication, for example. However, the current web is (still?) a lot more equiped for storing content.

    That is why I am thinking - and luckily not just me - about something like web 3.D. A merge between virtual worlds and the current internet.

    Let's just get the best of both worlds!

    And thanks for reading and enjoying my blog! On behalf of you and all other archivists around... I will continue my explorations in-world... and blog about them!

    Thanks again!

    BeantwoordenVerwijderen