Why my context book assignment cost me $50 and why that’s ok

TL:DR – If you make a crowdfunding video, make it crystal clear where people can donate. Also, crowdsourcing may open new avenues of access for special collection materials while engaging masses of people in the work of the library.

Nope. I’m not buying a paper off the internet for my report on Too Big to Know. Aside from being too professionally ethical to do that sort of thing, purchasing an online paper for a HYPERLINKED LIBRARY class would be beyond stupid.

My journey to being separated from $50 started with me looking for videos to go with my context book report. I plan to bring up MoonZoo and Notes From Nature as two examples of citizen science projects that are relevant to libraries. Both projects are from the Zooniverse team that Weinberger mentions in Chapter 7 (Too Much Science) back when Galaxy Zoo was the only Zooniverse project around. MoonZoo was a project from the original astronomy focus of Zooniverse and Notes from Nature was a citizen science project that was extremely library-like.

My original idea was to embed tutorials from both projects into my report to give people a feel for what using volunteers at webscale might look like. I quickly found an appropriate MoonZoo tutorial and added it to my draft. I found two videos on YouTube relating to Notes From Nature. One was a tutorial for bird transcriptions I did not use because it only featured one of three possible collections. The other was this appeal to help fund a $10,000 project to improve communication and outreach for the Notes From Nature project:

This video is mostly well done. It presents a useful overview of the Notes From Nature project. Towards the end of the video it explains how similar projects might be used to liberate material in manuscripts and other special collections. In between they clearly articulated why they needed $10,000 and what they intended to spend their money on. They explained why they were crowdfunding the outreach and engagement project.

So far so good. By the end of the video I wanted to support the outreach and engagement project. The only problem is that I didn’t know WHERE to go to donate. At the time, I noticed nothing in the video directing me where to go. I looked at the extensive description on the YouTube page, but did not see a donation link. So I went to Kickstarter – not mentioned in the video but a prime destination for crowdfunding. No luck there. Then I tried a search for [notes from nature crowdsourcing] which led me to this article. It was the funding video, so I initially thought I was in the right place.  But there was no donate link and I realized that this was merely a news site. So then I tried [notes from nature donate]. That led to a Tweet from UVAInnovation that led to the correct donation link. Once there, I donated $50 to what I consider to be a very worthy project with good medium-term implications for libraries. I also tweeted UVAInnovation to put a donation link in their YouTube description.

In retrospect, I think the donation link was up for 5-10 seconds in the video, but it was a University of Virginia URL and I didn’t recognize it for what it was until I found the actual donation site. I think it might have been instantly recognizable to the UVA community, but not to others. This may be a potential pitfall of using your own custom built crowdfunding site rather listing your project on a Kickstarter or similar site. I wonder how many other people watched the YouTube video, got impressed by the project, but then couldn’t figure out how to donate.

Anyway, now I think I can complete my context book report at no additional charge.

via MOOCing Up North http://ift.tt/17x86k3

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