Europeana has organized a conference titled Open Culture (14 and 15 October) both to introduce its project and also to engage in a discussion people involved in social media projects. Thursday 14’s session was opened by an Europeana overview provided by Jill Cousins, and a keynote speech titled Peace, Love & Metadata: A Cultural collaboration with Wikipedia provided by Liam Wyatt.
Personally, I found the thematic tracks extremely interesting. There were three options to choose: Linked data, User Generated Content, Risks and Rewards, from whcih I chose the second option. User Generated Content appealed to me since I am working in the Play BKR-Eindhoven project and I and user generated content is one of the activities we want our visitors to engage with. This is proving really difficult to fulfill and so I went to the conference full of questions.
To my surprise, also the speakers had similar questions. Mette Bom presented the project “1001 stories of Denmark” where Danish celebrities post amateur videos displaying their favourite places in Denmark accompanied by a personal explanation. Her presentation finished with a caption titled “Our main challenges” followed by these points:
1. How to keep users coming back for more? (85% new users, 15% returning)
2. How to keep the press/media coverage interested?
3. How to define participation? Is it enough just being a visitor?
After a round table discussion of half an hour between us the participants one conclusion appeared very clear, that social media are great surfaces to communicate knowledge but that you do first need to reach your audience by other means, mostly the TV and the printed press.