iCommons wants your heritage

iCommons is running an event on 23 September at the Rosebank Mall called iHeritage:

iheritage logo

Welcome to iCommons’ iHeritage project. Thanks for stopping by.

As part of the celebrations around Heritage Day in September 2007, iCommons has just launched a project called iHeritage. The aim is simple – to build an online repository of South African culture and heritage – as lived in the day-to-day lives of ordinary South Africans, to be added to the growing collection of indigenous content on Wikimedia Commons.

Why are your putting the content on Wikimedia Commons?
Wikimedia Commons is a repository of free content images, sound and other media files. It’s a sister-project to Wikipedia, which is fast becoming the first place people go to find out about stuff. We like to think of material on Wikimedia Commons as the illustrations for Wikipedia articles. We like the idea that anyone looking up South Africa on Wikipedia will be able to see and hear and watch the material that will come out of this project.
We also wanted to put the content somewhere free and easy to find, so that learners and teachers will have easy access. And, quite frankly, we couldn’t think of better place to put the wonderful images and sounds of South Africa.

Sounds like the best project ever. How do I get involved?
We want your memories. School photos, old posters, interviews with your granny, holiday snaps, wedding pictures, memories of old Joburg, bus tickets, old band demos – all those bits and pieces that lie around at the bottom of your drawers, that you can’t quite bring yourself to throw away. We’re giving you the chance to put them online, where they will be stored forever on the Internet, the biggest desk-drawer in the world. As long as it can be digitised, and uploaded, we want it.

You can upload your content to either Wikimedia Commons, or, if you want, to Flickr. Either way, you’ll need to categorise or tag your contribution with the following tags: iHeritage and South Africa. That way, people will be able to find your contribution easily. You can use other tags as well (describing the places, people and events in your photo/audio/video) but those two are the most important. For a very helpful how to, have a look at Wikimedia Commons’ “Perfect upload” page.

Right, I’ve loaded it up. But I’m no fool. What about the licence?
Can’t get anything past you, can we? You’re right, you need to think about how you want to licence your contribution. if you’re loading it onto Wikimedia Commons, your work will need to be licensed under either: Creative Commons Attribution; Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike or a GFDL licence, or it must be in the Public Domain.
If you are loading your content onto Flickr, you will also need to choose from the range of possible licences that Flickr supports.

Well, this was fun and all. But I’m lonely.
Have no fear, cultural warrior… you’re not the only person loading content into this wonderful repository. The iCommons team, and some devoted volunteers will be having a content sprint on the 23rd of September, in Johannesburg, South Africa. We’ll be camped out at the Mall in Rosebank, collecting content, translating it into the 11 official languages of South Africa and uploading it. So come by. M&A will be offering a 10% discount to anyone with a ‘I’ve been scanned’ sticker – so come and have coffee with us!
You guys are amazing!
Thanks. We like you too. If you have any questions, suggestions or huge amounts of cash for us, drop us an email: iheritage@icommons.org


Special thanks to the following iHeritage sponsors:

iHeritage_button_site.jpgOne of the ideas behind the event is to spark an ongoing effort to preserve our growing heritage for future generations by participating in this initiative. There are a few simple things you can do if you would like to add your photos or other content to this heritage database. The first thing is to license the content you are willing to share using a Creative Commons license. Consider using the Creative Commons Attribution or Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike licenses which will enable iCommons to include your content into the database directly (I do suggest you read up on these licenses before you apply them because they do enable other people to use your content in certain ways). The next thing you can do is start tagging that content you want to share with the tags “iheritage” and “southafrica” (some services won’t allow “south africa” with a space between the words but you can always try both). As the project develops further, content will be aggregated using these tags as well as the services the content may be uploaded to.

logo.pngIf you are a blogger and you are keen to support this initiative, place the “I’ve been scanned” button on your blog with a link back to the iHeritage page and perhaps even publish a post about it yourself. If you are a Jaiku user, you are invited to post updates about your experiences of the event and your uploads to the iHeritage channel on Jaiku. To post to the channel post your messages using the following format:

From any Jaiku interface you can post to a channel by prefixing your message with the channelname.
#iheritage Hello everyone!

If you are not a Jaiku user, you can sign up for free at jaiku.com and I believe you can also sign up using your mobile phone by going to m.jaiku.com. You can also participate by sms by sending an sms using the format “#iheritage Hello everyone!” (without the quotation marks) to +467374940501 (this is an international number so sms’s sent here will cost more than normal). If you are not a Jaiku user and you send an sms to the channel using this number Jaiku will respond with instructions to set up an anonymous account.

The plan is to also project the Jaiku channel and screenshots of the upload process on a screen on the day. I am a big fan of Jaiku and I use the Jaiku Mobile application for Nokia Series 60 devices which you can find here. It makes posting to Jaiku incredibly convenient and easy.

Disclosure: I am a fellow at iCommons and I have been part of the planning for this event so of course I support it! You will find me there on the day helping people with the licenses and having their content uploaded. I’ll also be posting frequently to Jaiku!

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  1. […] Mall. If you are curious about what iHeritage is, take a look at the iHeritage page and also at my previous post about it. Be sure to check out Heather’s post on her blog […]

  2. […] Mall. If you are curious about what iHeritage is, take a look at the iHeritage page and also at my previous post about it. Be sure to check out Heather’s post on her blog […]

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