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. Further details of my past experiences are detailed on LinkedIn. 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, Education, Archives, and Museums (GLEAM) sectors, helping organisations to understand Wikipedia and its allied projects (such as Wikidata, Wikisource, and Wikimedia Commons) and to engage with their volunteer communities. This can involve strategic planning, staff training, managing and running public engagement events, and much more besides.
I have been honoured to be the Wikimedian (or Wikipedian) in Residence at a number of museums, galleries, learned societies, universities, and other organisations
- The New Art Gallery Walsall (see Museums Association case study)
- Staffordshire Archives and Heritage (case study)
- Lancashire County Council museums
- the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC News write up)
- Thinktank Birmingham Science Museum; part of Birmingham Museums Trust (a pleasing outcome at the latter)
- TED (Meet TED’s Wikipedians-in-Residence)
- The Physiological Society
- the History of Modern Biomedicine Research Group at Queen Mary University London
- ORCID; ongoing
- IKON Gallery, Birmingham
- Coventry University
In addition to these, I’ve run similar projects, taught courses, and provided training and consultancy on Wikipedia-related topics for many other organisations, including the BBC, Birmingham City University, Royal Birmingham Society of Artists, Birmingham Rep, University of Birmingham, Black County Living Museum, British Library, Hamburg Museum (Germany), Institution of Civil Engineers, Manchester Libraries, Northampton Museum, Open Data Institute, Shropshire Libraries & Museums, West Midlands Police, United Kingdom Parliament, Politecnico di Milano (a recurring course for PhD candidates, in Italy; see the PoliMi project page), and many more.
I also speak on these topics at conferences — including keynote addresses — and seminars; and have done so on five continents, for organisations including the National and various State Libraries of Australia, the Australian Society of Archivists, the Australasian Research Management Society, the National Library of Qatar, the National Museum of Poland, Üsküdar University (Istanbul; news story), and the National Art Gallery of the USA.
I’ve managed and/ or facilitated a number of conferences (not least as compère of the international OpenStreetMap event State of the Map 2013), open-space “unconferences” (including Hyper Local WM, ShropCamp, LibraryCamp, GalleryCamp, 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.
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. As well as my work in local government, I’ve helped many smaller, local community groups to get online with WordPress blogs, Twitter or Facebook. Not so much “how to use Twitter” (or whatever) as “how to use Twitter well; to meet organisational objectives”.
I also write books and talk publicly about Pink Floyd and other music.
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.