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

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16 April - Discussion of Poll #1






3.1- Scholarly Network





3.2- Scholarly Narratives





3.3- Recipes / Workflows





3.4- Tool & Content Guide





3.5- Educational & Curricular Materials





3.6- Bamboo Community Environment(s)





Discussion has moved here.

17 April - Table Discussion of Section 3


  • Discussion about narratives - selected for usefulness?
  • Danger they could not express the potential of tools for research; this is what they're doing now
  • Also see they're useful; not useful necessarily for user requirement gathering
  • Useful for sharing things with faculty, what this is all about, explaining how it's all tied to research, use of resources
  • Discussion of recipes/workflows - both names problematic
  • Found at Oxford some researchers who are resistant to gathering workflows (particularly in sciences)
  • "Recipes" aren't appropriate/useful, either
  • Danger of the recipes/practices - deal with a workflow for a certain project
  • At some stages, people need to stop and discuss
  • There may be a role for a humanities center / technologist that doesn't get represented
  • PB playing role of moderator? Not feasible for every university to set up their own humanities center / technical expertise
  • Expertise of individual researchers in California - but different funding model?
  • Role for the Network - but problems w/ how it's set up
  • Facebook Scholar? Questionable
  • Virtual help desk? Fulfills main requirements for scholarly network?
  • Discuss (technical) problems that are raised, research in humanities
  • Registry of people with expertise
  • Institutions need to see value of PB, for teaching and research

  • Found that in terms of section 3, parts 1/3/4 seemed to be immediately promising ones
  • Benefits of those were focus of conversation
  • Benefit 1: enabling scholars to make use of non-textual materials (3D object visualization, GIS, etc); crucial to future development of humanities research
  • Providing recipes: tools and services for helping possibly technically naive people - a useful service
  • Network: not a social networking orientation
  • Authorization level - successful level of collaboration between institutions
  • Use of IT services for archiving material (possibly even unpublished research outcomes); this is important
  • Supporting work of upcoming scholars in particular is important

  • Humanities faculty just saw a lot of benefits in section 3
  • One risk: came more from technologists; lack of incentive for participating

  • Education/curricular: overall, should be a much better program of how research/education are combined - this is a false divide
  • Strong emphasis needed on education, particularly in light of certain political conditions
  • Institutions interested in PB who will probably drop out if there'es not enough emphasis on education, especially small liberal arts
  • In many ways, rethinking significance of education can augment many of other categories within forum
  • Thinking about service development re: recipes - this is a big industry for PB
  • Relating teaching-based skills to new/newly digitized collections
  • Digital humanities more readily at other institutions
  • Tools/content - fundamental area; many resources are there
  • Having a guide/index is crucially necessary
  • How is this related to Service Atlas?
  • Capacities of each of our institution
  • This could advertise/promote collections not well-known
  • How many collections that have been newly digitized/enabled need to be advertised, searching cross-disciplines, etc
  • Working together for this kind of awareness, interoperability of collections
  • Recipes: strongly in favor of this
  • We can instruct people at different steps of their research process
  • Recipes valuable for people starting out on new projects - how to approach digital research and reduce myriad possible research paths to refine what's a good first step
  • Also important for advanced research (mapping, cross-disciplinary work, etc)
  • Might be important for PB to consider how systems could test recipes, make them more efficient, make relationship w/ cloud more efficient
  • A lot of what's been said about scholarly narratives/network has been covered
  • Narratives: humanities center - how important they are to the process
  • Opportunity for self-reflection w/in narratives - shouldn't exist in only one form
  • Iterative process, rewriting narratives - part and parcel of work in the humanities
  • Scholarly network: data suggests that new users to social networking sites like Facebook are often generationally older
  • But once they're involved, they're even more regular users
  • So schol network could be a really useful way to address generational differences in the humanities/digital scholarship

  • A question about overall balance/focus in Bamboo between real infrastructural kinds of services and social networking/extension of social networking to try to change practice in humanities
  • See pieces of both here, not sure any of us are comfortable w/ the balance
  • Interesting discussion about the scope of digital humanities
  • Clear that part of the scope of PB is "traditional humanities disciplines employing digital tech"
  • Very helpfully reminded that there's a whole new set of disciplines that take humanistic studies to tech artifacts and activities of various kinds (Cave studies at Brown)
  • How much of that is in the scope of PB, and how is it going to be supported?
  • Had a discussion about the narratives/recipes/etc - suggested these are more complicated than they look
  • In one sense, they're scholarship in their own right
  • Could make a journal out of them if you did it the right way
  • Have problem in terms of incentives for producing those in the context of PB as currently defined
  • Set of issues about how those tie to scholarly practice, how transparent people want to be about methods/data, when are/aren't prepared to share material in the lifecycle of conduct/publication of scholarly work
  • No uniform answers
  • Whole collection of issues
  • Also a point made about how these things may interact in messy ways with institutional policy (commercialize technology through tech transfer programs)
  • Might be able to use some of the activity in PB to help establish some norms in this area
  • Was a set of points made about the role of commercial tools/services, how we want to make use of them when they work and try not to reinvent
  • Some of that in the plan, but focuses more on clouds than extant services
  • At the same time, there's a point where we need to be more mindful of long-term stability of services
  • They're becoming an integral part of communication of scholarly work; what's the exit strategy if the service goes away?
  • Preservation and continuity issues; something like Flickr - wonderful access mechanism that people confuse with a permanent storage method
  • If we're successful, we'll create what is "new backwaters" in the humanities - places where there are unique needs not filled by kinds of things that PB is going to generalize into infrastructure
  • Got to recognize that - it's a risk
  • A very interesting strategy question about the extent to which you're trying to connect people in given disciplines; collection of disciplinary activities across institutions, vs. seeking to develop interdisciplinary collaborations and tools/services to explicitly support that
  • Different problems in requirements/definition/etc.
    Question from Shel at Berkeley:
  • Fundamental concern not that services are unstable, but there's more of a danger of what we define as stability
  • Infrastructure cost to enable them
  • Cultural adoption paradigm in humanities community, and how they've worked historically (library, etc.)
  • PB process is a lengthy one; how might these things be adopted?
  • Measured in months, not years; 6-8 months at a time, before evolution builds on to an extension/new tool of what we build
  • Finding a way of building ecosystem that allows little barrier of adoption, coordinated movement from service to service
  • "Bamboo Certified Service" - allow us to influence services being developed in commercial/higher ed communities
  • PB Certification - visibility, funding, but there's requirements for sustainability, standards, etc.
    Answer: Very wise set of comments; volatility of services is going to be real
  • Was having a discussion about the history of reinvention here and frustrating lack of ability to reuse work over 20-30 year period
  • As we move into more volatile service environments, challenge is going to become greater in some ways
  • This question of migration across services is very real
  • Content side, we probably need strategies that think in terms of preservation environments/use environments
  • Content kinds of issues
  • Need to develop a mentality that lets us be more liberal in our willingness to replicate content in different settings for different uses
  • Very important issues

Librarians / Archivists / Content Providers / Other

  • Section 3- developing ongoing understanding of how scholarship evolves, etc.
  • What are user needs, really?
  • Librarians have discovered on their own, but doing collaboratively would be useful
  • Help break down silos
  • Helpful to understand how materials are used, what materials are used
  • How we can do new preservation strategies
  • If scholars have OCR texts, need markup - which versions to bring back in
  • Lots of concerns about different parts of what's in section 3
  • Concern w/ 3.2 recipes - narrative/recipe model might be a little linear
  • Very important for round-trip feedback process
  • Think about recipes more broadly? Is naming the best sell?
  • Research scenarios, perhaps?
  • What's the value for some of the things, especially in the forum, for individual scholar
  • Why would scholar want to use PB schol networking, rather than Facebook?
  • Think about how we can leverage existing systems - can we interact w/ Facebook, get them to make things available to us, or add things to profile?
  • A lot of these systems are very siloed, lack exit/interoperability strategies
  • Don't think that data is important, should survive organization
  • What if Facebook were replaced tomorrow?
  • Important thinking about tools/content guides that are published
  • Hard for Bamboo to do
  • Need to be careful to not make a top-down guide approach, but more of a bottom-up thing
  • Can describe my tool, and how I used it - more important to scholars
  • Short-lived tools, as compared to interoperability standards, exchange standards
  • Having bottom-up approach: things scholars can recognize
  • If a scholar talks about how he uses a tool, that's more interesting than a 3rd party referring to it
  • 2.5 - a little artificial
  • Not try to classify content as educational or research
  • One person's research is another person's classroom

  • Something built on social networks, sharing knowledge in the way we actually talk
  • Developing relationships
  • Information on what we do - scholarly interest
  • Talked about providing information about ways in which facilities and resources are being used
  • Existing technology used in slightly different ways
  • Opportunity to actually share unused interests, even personal interests
  • People with similar hobbies
  • Scholars used to working alone; using technology to help combat isolation, work together
  • Couple of concerns: narratives
  • Could be difficult to abstract things, prioritize needs
  • Level of adoption that might come out of it
  • Are they representative - these are individual views?
  • International collaboration - not something we personally experience as an issue, but worth highlighting


  • Diverse group of institutions
  • Came to standard response: this area would put people in touch w/ each other, create social network, help others move forward in digital world
  • Looking at posters, focus on research, looked at other areas in proposal - teaching/learning didn't get a lot of mention
  • For liberal arts institutions - concerned about this
  • Divide between research and teaching/learning
  • Strategically, since the cloud is taking away a lot of services the IT side would provide (e-mail, course management systems, etc)
  • This changes the strategic game; we can communicate w/ faculty re: projects and not be swept aside
  • On risk side: for academic tech folks, what the real value is here at a small place?
  • What value does this social network have for academic technologists at a small liberal arts university?
  • But it helps us more easily pass the buck somewhere else - "could you help me with my random project?" "Eh, go to Bamboo" - we're not saying no
  • Risk: this is all talk? Fear, uncertainty, doubt might prevent faculty/others from taking advantage of these services
  • Would people really come? What's the incentive for people to take advantage of these services?
  • Area of domestic recipes (I like the comment) - recipe discussion for small liberal arts, a recipe that works at a research university might not work at a smaller institution
  • If the recipe means "get some fresh halibut at the store", and we're a small liberal arts university in the mountains, we're not going to find fresh halibut
  • What value recipes would be across diverse institutions?
  • Benefits of technology: keeps us focused on core mission of university, which is exciting
  • Risk: appears to administration like it's tech for tech's sake
  • We have to show a clear value to participants/administrators
  • Need to have a 1-year implementation forces us to do that

  • Wondered what the grouping was about? Figured out we were technologists; but are we different from others?
  • Long history of attempting to have links like networking, forums, etc in the sciences
  • Talked a little about differences; in humanities, humanists are more interested in process
  • Technology can help with that
  • Sciences evolved a lot of the technology, there's a lot of evolution for people in the * sciences to leverage
  • How is that different/same?
  • Humanities is a little bit different, but now being able to see ahead of the game, now there's a notion that we need to make the leap
  • Leap comes in in some ways; "there's a tool that already exists", and it comes with a "yes, but"
  • What the advantages from the technology can do in section 3
  • Community design of tools/applications
  • Forum: along with narratives/recipes/etc are benefit
  • Software development - coming up w/ user base, and how to plan/design/build
  • Come back the other direction - getting hte info of what exist, what's possible, back out to the communities
  • Number of training opportunities - where to go for training to understand what tools are available
  • Figuring out what the scholarly questions are
  • Where the technologists are trying to be collaborators, rather than just tool creators
  • On risk side: still has problem of falling into us/them (tech vs. humanists)
  • Community design - how is this going to work out?
  • How are we going to implement this?
  • Some notion there's a risk in the sense of tools that are developed - seen as being of limited scope, don't get uptake because it's not quite the right tool
  • Focus on too small sets of data/application
  • Come out and establish that this is a tool, connect w/ narrative

  • Convinced table to agree there's a problem here
  • Looking at 7-10 year program, why we're doing Bamboo
  • Have to go back and justify to administration why they should be invested in PB
  • Maybe we don't need to hassle them with document, we need something that catches the excellence of why it's worth coming together
  • Risk in document is the document itself - creating high expectations of what PB can develop
  • Benefits - faculty might be grateful to us
  • We should get on with what you can do with a million dollars a year
  • Not publish a document re: what we'd do with 20 million dollars, because we're not going to get it
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