Aggregate then Curate

Social Media Participation Model

Participation; As part of the process of engaging interest in the MOSI-ALONG project we have looked at a number of strategies concerning participation in content curation, telling stories, using artefacts, bringing people to MOSI and creating “mini-MOSIs” as Drew Whitworth calls them, using a Cabinet of Curiosities approach.

Social Objects; This artefact based approach to engaging participation, the Cabinet of Curiosities, was stimulated by Nina Simon’s discussion of object-centred sociality in The Participatory Museum. We have used this metaphor as an engagement strategy, but it requires users to develop confidence in using social media in a range of cultural contexts. One of our project partners is MIMAS who have a brief to develop a technical approach to underpin the use of social media. We have had a number of conversations on this and have developed a model called “Aggregate then Curate” 

Aggregate then Curate; Along with Shiraz Anwar at MIMAS we have jointly developed this process to allow people to engage to a greater or lesser degree in  MOSI-ALONG whilst allow the widest possibilities for their interest, skills  and activities to develop and have purpose. We have developed a 7-stage process to capture this recorded here in outline. Full information on the attached document. Updates to follow as we test this in more detail;

Aggregate then Curate; It is possible to describe this process in more detail.

1 Physical Creation; In some respects this might not be seen as a separate stage but it is included to both reflect the start of the social object continuum identified by Nina Simon and also to recognise that the objects being used in this process belong to the participant and not to the project or to the partner institutions.

2 Physical Aggregation; This stage is prompted by the project social aggregation concepts of ‘cabinets’ and ‘history’ and is the start of the narrative process of telling stories or providing the histories of the object. Currently this is a social process carried out by the participant and a support worker such as a Community Learning Champion.

3 Digital Creation; Once objects have been identified and brought along to the project by a participant then a digital representation can be created. Currently this is carried out by Peoples Voice Media and their ‘Community Reporters’ in order to guarantee that a sufficient amount of digital resources are created within the project time frame so that we can learn more about the aggregation and curation process. In the second phase of the project Digital Learning Champions will directly support participants as they create their digital artefacts which means that they can begin to develop participants digital literacies in various ways.

4 Digital Aggregation; The more interesting, and complex, phase of the MOSI-ALONG project begins as we attempt to aggregate the digital content produced using different social media, such as Twitter and YouTube. This process of the participant ‘collecting’ digital resources in the aggregation phases may be supported by a Digital Learning Champion, or carried out with the help of Peoples Voice Media.

5 Digital Sequencing; Sequencing is when the aggregation process takes on a more structured form and may involve working with third party sources, such as others with similar interests in, say local history groups, or the museum MOSI itself. This is when coherent stories might told by individual participants, or perhaps broader narratives might be addressed collaboratively through the aggregation process. We expect participants, either individually or collaboratively, would be supported by Learning Champions at this stage, and this would reflect not only another development stage in participants digital literacy but, more deeply, in terms of their information literacy in a community context.

6 Social Media Aggregation; The use of a social media aggregator, such as a blog or a wiki, or perhaps a more dedicated social media aggregator offered by a provider, would represent a shift in the participants mastery of a range of social media. This would indicate that they have a sufficient range of effective digital skills so that they might use them to curate digital content, as well as negotiate with a number of third parties including groups, such as local history societies, as well as cultural and educational institutions.

7 Learning Accreditation; To complete the Aggregate and Curate process as a learning process that can be recognised by third parties, it will also be necessary to identify accreditation strategies, which will be carried out by LSEN and Manchester First in the forthcoming Academic Year 2011/12.

For more detailed reading Aggregate then Curate has been formalised into an academic paper . The project was presented as part of the Social Cities of Tomorrow which captured the lessons learnt from MOSI-ALONG. Everything is a Metaphor also discusses issues to address in the planning stage.

About fred6368

Visiting Researcher at the London Knowledge Lab Member of the Learner-Generated Contexts Group Social Improv & #Heutagogy Contextualist & CyberSalonista Participatory City Beatles & World Music Fan Working on #WikiQuals
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9 Responses to Aggregate then Curate

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  2. jennymackness says:

    Hi Fred – it has been interesting to read about this project and to see some of the video outcomes. You have probably written about this somewhere – in which case I apologise for not having picked it up – but I would be interested in hearing more about why you/your team feel that ‘participation in content curation’ is important – in relation to the work you have been doing with museums – and what applications this might have to other areas of content creation.

    • fred6368 says:

      Hi Jenny, I think I meant to answer this as an email but here is the public reply – on why participation in content curation is important. Firstly because of andragogy, and my first view of web-based learning is that it is driven by discussion (groups), so designing for participation is part of the learner owning their learning. Secondly in the Emergent Learning Model (upon which MOSI-ALONG is based) resources have a particular role and learning is better enabled by content curation and creation. Thirdly in the project we were using Nina Simon’s Participatory Museum and the idea of “object-centred sociality” resonated. According to Simon curating objects that you own empowers you to tell stories in a way that already curated objects do not. So we created the “digital cabinet of curiosity” model as a framework for people curating their own objects with their own stories. Hope this helps

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