Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Go fishing!

State Library & Archives of Florida, USA

Sometimes you accidentally stumble over ideas that are so simple and good that you hardly know how come that they have not occurred to you before. The Australian Twitter Game Collection Fishing is such an idea, and here is how it works:

Every Monday someone - anyone really - chooses a new theme for this week's fishing. It can be anything, for example “Red”, “Hat” or “Fairy-tale creatures” have been used, as well as topics related to some current events, like the Queen's Jubilee. The general rule is that there are no rules.

Then you go fishing, in your own collections or anyone elses, for images matching the theme. You make a brief descriptions of the images that you have found and tweet them with the hashtag #collection fishing . It also means that anyone can join this game, not only people working in ALM institutions (Archives, Libraries, Museums). You do not need to link to the collection database,you can also make links to Flickr or some other image uploading service as well. All you need is a Twitter account, and the whole world is welcome to participate.

Why is it so good then?

Museums, archives and libraries in e g Australia, The Netherlands and New Zealand are joining the fishing game because they think that #collectionfishing is:
  • a good way to make their collections more visible. Kate Chmiel from Museum Victoria says, " For us museums, it's about making our collections more accessible by putting them online. Obviously we can not put everything on display, and we can not let everyone Into our stores, so it's the next best thing ." 
  • a good way to exploit the potential of social media to create awareness for the collection content. It is also a way of using Twitter for something useful, and small and flexible format of collectionfinshing is actually an advantage. You decide when you have time to participate and can make your contribution at any time.
  • a chance / reason / excuse for people who like (their) collections that, for once, dig a little deeper into what they contain. It feels good to show off the cool stuff that are in there and let others enjoy it.
  • ability to communicate with colleagues at other institutions. Often even those who do not participate in the collectionfishing leave valuable feedback and comments on published pictures. And it is worthwhile to talk to people outside your own workplace, establish new contacts, and compete in a friendly way for who finds the best, prettiest, ugliest and craziest picture.
  But above all it is fun. Anyone who wants to join?

Johanna Berg, Digisam

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