Hi all. As previously announced, we’re holding an Open Day about Open Plaques on Saturday 25th September 2010 at the Centre for Creative Collaboration in London. It’s completely free, including lunch, and registration is now open. Before you go ahead and register though, I thought I’d explain briefly what the plans for the day are.
Open Plaques is well over a year old now, and has gone from being a pet project and quick hack built over the course of a weekend to a web service containing the most comprehensive listing of more than two and a half thousand heritage plaques contributed to by dozens of people.
We realise, though, that the website is still a little impenetrable for the average user, and that there’s currently no easy way to correct or add to the data without being part of the core team.
For these reasons, the Open Day is a chance to look back on where we’ve got to so far, and to think about where we should go in the future. And we wanted to involve more people in that process than just us.
So, the day itself will kick off with some short presentations on the history of the project, and some of the interesting ways in which the data has been used, including a few surprise announcements.
The rest of the day will be more of a practical workshop, where we work together with attendees to look at different aspects of the project, and map out how it can be improved. To focus this down, we’ll be splitting into four different ‘teams’:
- Group A will look at the information architecture and user interface of the website, answering difficult questions like how exactly do you browse thousands of different plaques, and what’s the best interface for allowing people to contribute?
- Group B will look at the design of the website, thinking about an appropriate ‘look and feel’ and designing pages which allow for radically different amounts of content.
- Group C will look at content, both in terms of identifying missing and incomplete data, and of working out ways to enrich the content so as to provide a context and understanding of the plaques.
- Group D will look at development, tackling the technical side of things such as being able to manage more data, better, and supporting a wider range of users.
The registration form asks you to indicate which team you’d like to join. You don’t have to be an expert in any particular area, but we’d like you to contribute in whichever capacity you feel most comfortable.
We don’t envisage being able to solve all the problems in a single day, but we hope that with your help, we’ll at least be on the right path.
Finally, we’ll re-meet at the end of the day to talk through the work of the different groups, and to plot future progress.
What’s in it for you? Well hopefully you’re a fan of Open Plaques, and this is a perfect chance to get involved. It will also be a good opportunity to meet and collaborate with a bunch of interesting new people.
There’s room for about 30 or so people, so if you’re interested, let us know by registering now!
The event has been kindly funded by the RSA Catalyst fund. The RSA, incidentally, started the original blue plaque scheme in London, so it’s a fitting partnership! You can BOOK HERE.