The course offers an introduction into the use of crowdsourcing and social media when implementing cultural heritage projects, with a special focus on engaging the public in the design, conduct, and dissemination of research.
Crowdsourcing – also known as citizen science – is becoming more and more common in the humanities and heritage domain as a tool for processing vast amounts of data. Members of the broader public have been involved into the collection, digitization, transcription, and description of heritage within crowdsourcing projects run by various cultural heritage organizations – galleries, libraries, archives, and museums. However, it is more than just a framework for generating content. It is a powerful tool for creating a community of interested individuals who are ready to work towards a specific shared goal.
Across industries, including the fields related to cultural heritage, social media is turning from a “nice to have” to a significant component of business strategy. Cultural heritage organizations increasingly recognize the power of social media in reaching and broadening their audience. Engaging the public with the help of these tools benefits both the audience and the organizations. The audience has easy access to the collections and knowledge, and they can learn through direct engagement with the help of interactive, collaborative digital tools. For cultural organizations, social media is an efficient way to present their work and exhibits and to involve the audience into the formation and curation of the collections.