The Collective Wisdom project is currently running two short surveys with people who volunteer for or work 'behind the scenes' in crowdsourcing, citizen science, citizen history, digital / online volunteer projects, programmes, tools or platforms with cultural heritage collections. Read on to learn more about why we're doing these surveys and how the results will be used.
In March, a group of us will be gathering online to collaboratively write a book over two weeks. We're very conscious of the fact that for a variety of reasons the book sprint necessarily excludes lots of people with useful experiences and perspectives, so we'd thought about different ways to incorporate more views into the process and final outcomes. We'd originally planned to host a period of open comment on a 'beta' version of the book before considering the book finalised. However, we had to change those plans as we adjusted other dimensions of this project due to COVID-19 crisis.
Running the surveys in advance of our book sprint is part of our efforts to represent a wider range of projects and knowledge in our publications. We hope that we'll get a great range of examples and perspectives to think with as we write.
We'd originally begun with a much longer version of the 'case study' template in a Google Doc designed to encourage conversations around responses, but of course, when piloting it ourselves and with our fellow book sprint participants, we found that it was waaaay too long. There's just too much we're curious about!
Your answers in these revised short surveys will help us showcase the range of past, present and future work in the field as examples in the book, or as short case studies and summaries published on our website. We hope that your responses will provide some immediately shareable 'advice you'd give a newbie' and ideas about things you'd do differently with more time or resources.
The surveys will also help us get an overview of who's doing interesting / thoughtful work around crowdsourcing and digital participation. We might follow up selected case studies with longer semi-structured interviews, which could also be published on our website. We'll look for common themes in your responses and think about how to incorporate them into the book.
To participate, follow the links below. Our 'Lessons learnt' / 'Case Study' survey is designed for practitioners, while our 'Volunteer Voice' survey is designed for people who have taken part in crowdsourcing, citizen science, citizen history, digital / online volunteer projects. Please feel free to fill out one or both, depending on your personal experience, and share with someone else who might wish to contribute. Thank you in advance for sharing your experiences.
Update, Feb 18th: we've tweaked the 'case study' survey so that it focuses on two key questions: what do you wish you'd known at the start? In other words, what advice would you give people as they start out? And, would you do anything differently with more time or resources? In other words, what's on your wish list if you had more time or money – new features, better processes, or something else entirely? You can still use the form to nominate your project as a potential case study, but now it's even quicker to answer.
The 'Volunteer Voice' survey asks: what makes a crowdsourcing / citizen research / online volunteering project great? And what are your hopes for the future of crowdsourcing / online volunteering? (Or to put it another way, where is there room for improvement?)
Collective Wisdom 'Volunteer Voice' survey: https://forms.gle/vMyUbuf2CrkTfXfF9
Collective Wisdom 'Share your lessons learnt' / nominate a case study survey: https://forms.gle/gZjkUtYKhLo8wGN1A
Both surveys close on March 1st, 2021.