Managing the Crowd
Rethinking Records Management for the Web 2.0 World
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Readership: This is a thought-provoking book which questions received wisdom and suggests radical new solutions to the very real issues RM faces. Every records manager needs to read this challenging book, and those that do may never think about their profession in quite the same way again.
|Imagine a records management (RM) future where the user community collectively describes the value and properties of a record using the wisdom of the crowd; where records retention, description and purpose are determined by their users, within general boundaries defined by the records manager. It may sound far-fetched, but could represent a way forward for managing records.
It has never been more apparent that RM as traditionally practised will soon no longer be fit for purpose. With the increasing plurality of information sources and systems within an organization, as the deluge of content increases, so the percentage of the organization's holdings that can be formally classed as records declines.
In the Web 2.0 world new technology is continually changing the way users create and use information. RM must change its approach fundamentally if it is to have a role to play in this new world. This provocative new book challenges records managers to find time amidst the daily operational pressures to debate the larger issues thrown up by the new technological paradigm we are now entering, and the threat it poses to established theory and practice.
A range of stimulating ideas are put up for discussion: why not, for instance, embrace folksonomies rather than classification schemes and metadata schemas as the main means of resource discovery for unstructured data? Adopt a ranking system that encourages users to rate how useful they found content as part of the appraisal process? Let the content creator decide whether there should be any access restrictions on the content they have created?
Table of Contents
PART 1: THE NATURE OF THE CHANGING WORLD 1. The big picture: Web 2.0 and current trends in IT Questions addressed in this chapter What is Web 2.0? Similarities and differences compared to Web 1.0 IT trends: blurring the boundaries IT trends: the exponential age 2. The reality check: surely change is endemic in IT? Questions addressed in this chapter Change as the only constant in IT The familiarity of the office of 1997 The first IT paradigm The second IT paradigm 3. Web 2.0 and Office 2.0: enter the third paradigm Questions addressed in this chapter Blogs Wikis Collaborative editing tools Social bookmarking and tagging 4. Welcome to the world of Office 2.0 Questions addressed in this chapter The scenario Outsourcing e-mail Perceived limitations of the client-server based document management system A successful wiki pilot Online applications: the next logical step Keeping up with insatiable user demand Boundless potential PART 2: IS RECORDS MANAGEMENT NO LONGER FIT FOR PURPOSE? 5. The need for critical professional self-examination Questions addressed in this chapter The importance of continued professional reinvention The gulf between theory and practice 6. ‘Not all information sources are records ...' Questions addressed in this chapter The inherent value of records The consequences of our focus on records The dangers of being cocooned from change The power and value of information 7. The centralized command and control ethos Questions addressed in this chapter Records management as a bottleneck The records manager as jack of all trades, master of none Folksonomy vs taxonomy The death of the classification scheme? The difficulties of applying a classification scheme within the Web 2.0 enabled office Problems of scalability 8. ‘Regardless of format…' Questions addressed in this chapter Did the concept of management ‘regardless of format’ ever really make sense? A world of silos The decline of the common underlying storage facility Integrated Office 2.0 suites 9. Appraisal, retention and destruction Questions addressed in this chapter Definitions The origins and traditional rationale for retention management The pros and cons of random selection Why not keep everything? What about the smoking gun? But keeping everything is not a panacea either 10. The problems with applying existing approaches to appraisal in the Web 2.0 world Questions addressed in this chapter Appraisal theory and reality Scalability Scope and detail Failure to adequately assess information value alongside evidential value The role of the user and demands placed on them Conclusion: one size does not fit all