By Andrew Jackson, Web Archiving Technical Lead at the British Library
At the UK Web Archive, we believe in working in the open, and that organisations like ours can achieve more by working together and pooling our knowledge through shared practices and open source tools. However, we’ve come to realise that simply working in the open is not enough – it’s relatively easy to share the technical details, but less clear how to build real collaborations (particularly when not everyone is able to release their work as open source).
To help us work together (and maintain some momentum in the long gaps between conferences or workshops), we were keen to try something new, and hit upon the idea of Online Hours. It’s simply a regular web conference slot (organised and hosted by the IIPC, but open to all) which can act as a forum for anyone interested in collaborating on open source tools for web archiving. We’ve been running for a while now, and have settled on a rough agenda:
– Mostly focussing on our Web Archive Discovery toolkit so far.
– for Any Other Business, and for anyone to ask for help if they need it.
This gives the meetings some structure, but is really just a starting point. If you look at the notes from the meetings, you’ll see we’ve talked about a wide range of technical topics, e.g.
- OutbackCDX features and documentation, including its API;
- web archive analysis, e.g. via the Archives Unleashed Toolkit;
- summary of technologies so we can compare how we do things in our organisations, to find out which tools and approaches are shared and so might benefit from more collaboration;
- coming up with ideas for possible new tools that meet a shared need in a modular, reusable way and identify potential collaborative projects.
The meeting is weekly, but we’ve attempted to make the meetings inclusive by alternating the specific time between 10am and 4pm (GMT). This doesn’t catch everyone who might like to attend, but at the moment I’m personally not able to run the call at a time that might tempt those of you on Pacific Standard Time. Of course, I’m more than happy to pass the baton if anyone else wants to run one or more calls at a more suitable time.
If you can’t make the calls, please consider:
- reviewing the notes from the calls and adding any questions or comments;
- joining the #oh-sos channel on the IIPC Slack to join the discussion around the meetings;
- reviewing our Trello board, and commenting on/voting for items of interest;
- contributing to the Awesome Web Archiving List.
My thanks go to everyone who as come along to the calls so far, and to IIPC for supporting us while still keeping it open to non-members.
Maybe see you online?