Crafting and curating on-line communication, content and communities
In 1994 I set up and subsequently managed Birmingham.gov.uk, one of the first and largest local government websites in Europe – and one of the first 10,000 websites in the world. I made it the first council website with user-generated content, and the first in Europe where people could report issues like faulty street-lights or potholes. I was one of, if not the, first UK local authority officer to offer customer support on-line, using Usenet. But that’s the past.
I am now freelance, and able to offer advice and assistance around:
- Help with Wikipedia, Wikidata, OpenStreetMap, and other open-licensed or community-generated content: especially in the Galleries, Libraries, Archives, and Museums sector. I have been honoured to be the Wikipedian (or Wikimedian) in Residence at a number of museums, galleries and other organisations (The New Art Gallery Walsall (see Museums Association case study); Staffordshire Archives and Heritage (case study), Lancashire County Council museums, Wildscreen, TED (Meet TED’s Wikipedians-in-Residence), the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC News write up), and currently ORCID). In addition to these, I’ve provided training and consultancy on Wikipedia-related topics, and run similar projects, for many other organisations, including the BBC, Royal Birmingham Society of Artists, Birmingham Rep, Birmingham University, Black County Living Museum, British Library, Hamburg Museum (Germany), Institution of Civil Engineers, Manchester Libraries, Northampton Museum, Shropshire Libraries & Museums, West Midlands Police, Politecnico di Milano (Italy), and many more. I also speak on these topics at conferences and seminars — and have done so on five continents, for organisations including the National and various State Libraries of Australia, the National Library of Qatar, the National Museum of Poland, and the National Art Gallery of the USA.
- Event facilitation: I’ve managed and/ or compèred a number of conferences, unconferences (including Hyper Local WM, ShropCamp, LibraryCamp, GalleryCamp, State of the Map 2013, BlueLightCamp, CommsCamp, etc.), and even an awards ceremony, and assisted or led sessions at many more. I’m also one of the team who run the more intimate BrewCamp
- Social media and community-building: not so much “how to use Twitter” (or whatever) as “how to use Twitter well; to meet organisational objectives”.
- Open data policy and practice: and partnership working between public bodies and their data consumers.
- Web strategy and project support: from the modest to the massive.
I’ve helped many smaller, local community groups to get online with WordPress blogs, Twitter or Facebook. Further details of my past experiences are detailed on LinkedIn.
If you wish to discuss a potential project or collaboration, request my assistance, or simply run an idea past me, you can contact me in a number or ways.
Oh, and I also write and talk publicly about Pink Floyd and other music.