Project Goals (Susan, Efi, Lincoln)
The project goal sets the direction of the project: without it those that work on it — from project staff to volunteers — may find their work does not have a stated, demonstrable end goal. Goals can be manifold, from bringing individuals nearer to heritage and the past, to improving digital literacy, to promoting ways for the public to collaborate with us, choosing to use their creative capital on heritage and research projects.
Volunteers should be made aware from the beginning how their contribution will be used. If part of the goal is to ‘transform’ the content into data so that further insights can be had in the aggregate, this in itself can be a project goal in creating knowledge and knowledge resources. This knowledge can be reused within the project itself, to secure the sustainability of the project, to further develop or expand it, or to provide opportunities for others to build on it (be it the content or the technologies used).
Project goals for participatory projects change more the project evolves through different phases. Sometimes there is reuse of what the volunteers have contributed to and the project goals are hence redefined. Sometimes this repurposing is planned before the project begins. In this sense the life of a participatory project can be quite different from the more traditional digital projects.
Projects also provide opportunities to the public to learn the technology and to be involved in academic/heritage research. In terms of experiencing the technology, there is a real difference between participating in the project and merely looking at the project outcomes, such as a project website. Participatory engagement in digital projects gives a much richer experience of the technology to the volunteers.