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This wiki space contains archival documentation of Project Bamboo, April 2008 - March 2013.

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Questions that need to be addressed to shape this direction

  • How can PB determine the boundaries of its remit re: advocacy in "high-commonality problems" (such as identity management, IP, promotion and tenure)?
  • How can priorities be set?
  • At the different phases of PB's development, what are the concrete methods of advocacy - who and how
  • What is PB advocating for? And to whom? - resources, legitimacy, institutional
  • What standing would PB reps have in internal discussions?
  • How would PB acquire the necessary standing?
  • Certification and legitimacy of dig scholarly practice - PB's role? Is it even possible?
  • How does technology change scholarly practice - what are new characteristics?
  • How will PB work with societies, accreditation boards, etc; who else will PB collaborate with?
  • Should PB be evangelistic and idealistic, and how much so can it be?
  • What are risks? What is moral responsibility?
  • How can PB come into an institution and tell them what to do?
  • Risk of mixing directions for Bamboo (things it should try to do) and things that Bamboo has to do to be a project (there has to be outreach). If you want to influence pedagogy of humanities scholarship, that's a mission you decide you want to take. They're not both directions - you can say Bamboo should advocate for digital humanities, or it can do marketing of what it does

Direction name

Is Advocacy the best title for this group?

Leadership is one option; catalyst is another.  Clearing house role.

Through the work Bamboo is doing as a whole, they're demonstrating leadership and have already been a catalyst. May not need a separate group to think about leadership and catalysts.

Do we want to make a distinction between a leadership function for Bamboo as a whole and a working group that deals with issues around advocacy of principles?

Perhaps an "advocacy" group would be bringing forward/articulating the principles out of the work of other groups (Standards, Services, etc.). 

Thinking about this in two parts in be helpful.  The role of this working group could be:

Practical application / how can we lead by example, what would we need to do to make that happen (this is the clearing-house and best-practices role). A part of this working group could be charged with creating a kind of top layer, to give access to information about best practices, standards, demonstrations - gathering from or pointing to other working groups.

Abstract application/ what is the mechanism for the principles (which are larger than this working group) to be collected, facilitated, and articulated. Principles coming out of working groups could be evaluated and some suggestions sent back (for example, an urge to come up with principles such as a commitment to openness).

Consensus is that LEADERSHIP is a better term for this group.

Risks and Rewards

Risks: Changing our title from advocacy to leadership is a reaction to the risk that Bamboo cannot be an advocacy organization - we believe that it's risky for Bamboo to position itself that way, at least at first, before we've demonstrated our utility.  

To avoid this risk, we decided to focus on the positive, non-directive side with leadership.

Rewards:  Access to resources, data, scholarly networks, etc. that will promote the mission of project bamboo


Generally, we thought that the facilitator of this working group needs to stay in close touch with all the other groups to ensure effective gathering of their principles. The boundary needs to be porous with other directions and working groups.

In Scope

IN: become a provider of information about those issues, what we consider best practices and effective

Related to Bamboo

Out of scope

OUT: advocate for particular policies of promotion & tenure, fair use, copyright at this stage - that may come in the future, at least in terms of intellectual property.

Top priorities to address by W3 (Jan 2009)

Top three things that this working group can do:
1)    Collect and articulate a set of principles from the other working groups.
2)    Start the clearing house by populating the wiki with examples, best practices of other digital
3)    Longer term, become a voice for bigger themes such as fair use, orphan works, copyright and intellectual property issues.

We want to underline that this role or direction can be phased -- we can start with advocating for Bamboo itself, using our leadership position to articulate the principles being developed by the directions.  A more explicit advocacy role may develop with time, around issues like fair use, orphan works, and other intellectual property issues.

Another issue that may not be clearly carrying through from the original work on this direction is about advocacy for the digital humanities in terms of scholarly credit, tenure and review, and so on. We thought that by modeling good projects, preparing a clearing house of best practices -- not only on principles of building digital services and tools, but also on evaluating them -- that PB would avoid appearing to dictate particular behavior. One aspect of the clearing house we suggest for this direction is to gather or point to examples of how digital scholars can be effectively evaluated.


# Given the scope, what is a rough outline of work through Workshop Three?

Set up a space in the wiki for collecting principles.

Rough outline of work: We're suggesting that this working group coordinate with all the other groups to gather their principles and articulate them. Collect principles from the other groups. Establish the common set of principles for Bamboo.

Collecting the categories, the kinds of data, the resources that would be in the clearinghouse:  defining it, suggesting how you'd build it.  What are the broad categories that would structure a clearinghouse, what are the things that would be included? Functional specifications. (Must-haves, nice-to-haves, could have)

# What milestones are critical?

By 12 November, establish a section in the wiki to gather principles, create a call for them.

Ask for messy, early guiding principles from each of the other groups (contributed to the wiki?)  We are asking for output from the groups - discussed whether we could ask for that in particular forms so as not to get a huge assemblage of contributions. But realized that we may get some contributions from groups but also from individuals. (Recognized here that the process will involve comfort with this ambiguity.)
December 1: send out another call

By December 12: Virtual meeting. If we don't have contributions, we could look at their work and say "Here's what we see as implicit in the work you're doing, please respond to this."

By January 3/4/5 - :  check-in/teleconference late in this three-month project to ensure that big issues are not left out (our original interest in issues of pedagogy, for example)

# What will it take to accomplish this?

Who does this work? (Are we all volunteering for this working group?)

This is a small group, tenuously formed by people who just happened to volunteer for this today. We need to get participation from the ongoing leadership of Project Bamboo.

We need not only buy-in from the Bamboo leadership - they need to participate in this process.

Before Bamboo can advocate for anything or anybody anywhere, it needs to know what it stands for. Before January, it makes sense to work at drafting and articulating those.

# Identify demonstrator projects if necessary

(1) 3-hour project would be a visualization or presentation of these emerging principles, so if you need to talk with your institution about Bamboo, you'd have an introduction to the project. (This might be similar to the Institutional Partnership group's "2-minute elevator speech" demonstrator.)

(2) 3-week demonstrator project -- An information architecture/website design for a clearinghouse of information that's being gathered by the various parts of Project Bamboo. (We anticipate that the wiki model is not going to be scalable for the larger project.)

# Are there any parties that should be involved in the discussion / consulted (toolmakers, industry)

Leadership council.

Faculty POV would be coming through the other groups, whose principles this group would be articulating.

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