A curious thing happened after giving my UMD job talk: Dr. Neil Fraistat of MITH struck up a conversation about how public participation compares in citizen science and digital humanities. I was struck by the observation that almost all of the challenges facing a wide variety of instigators–developers, researchers, project leaders, and organizers–were fundamentally the same. Volunteer management is volunteer management, regardless of humanities or sciences context, and the same crowdsourcing techniques were being used across these intellectual silos.
So we decided to start a conversation on how we can best engage the public in scholarship and stewardship across our disciplinary boundaries.
We partnered up with Mary Flanagan of Dartmouth’s Tiltfactor Studio, who was leading an effort for a crowdsourcing consortium in libraries, museums, and archives, and designed an event that would serve as a capstone for her workshop series, drawing from an even broader array of practitioners and traditions. Reflecting the diverse communities each of us represents, we pulled together support from 3 fantastic funders (Institute of Museum & Library Services, National Endowment for Humanities, and Sloan Foundation) to bring together people from a wide range of backgrounds.
The workshop will bring 60 guests representing a diverse array of organizations, disciplines, and scholarship have been invited to College Park for an intensive 2.5-day conversation from May 6-8, 2015. We’ll be livestreaming some of the sessions to enable broader participation, tweeting with #crowdconf, and creating a professionally-produced proceedings summarizing the wisdom of experts studying and using crowdsourcing in a wide array of contexts. More details about the workshop are available from CrowdConsortium.