Week 3 Reflections

After completing Week 2’s lesson I was left with the belief that the internet was full of people following their passions – and that the online documentation was simply part of that passion. Whether they are finding, collecting or using ‘stuff’ or information, the whole process has taken over our free time. Crowdsourcing is often just a way to finance such activities and gives others an important sense of being part of the whole process.

Week 3’s coverage of online search results is certainly eye-opening and not surprising. I’ve felt that many times my google searches have picked up on subjects I’ve discussed in emails with friends, and that facebook advertisements pick up on topics that friends might share on my feed. I probably do this myself – unfollowing friends who post political views in opposition to my own – and create my own bubble.

Mitchell Whitelaw’s article ‘Generous Interfaces for Digital Cultural Collections’ explores search queries and how much information is withheld when we don’t know what we are looking for. My own experience is rather focused – I very rarely go browsing in online or actual collections. I’m more inclined to book a private session to view a few items, visit a particular gallery to view one part of a collection or follow leads online to find answers for a particular research question. My problems with the easier access to many overseas collections is that they are now deciding what part of the object I want to see. If I look at a garment the museum has already assumed that I wish to view the outside features, and may no longer allow appointments for me to see interior construction details. On the other hand, the online viewing platform has made it easier to identify the items which I will then try to make appointments to view for further investigation.

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