Sharing the community’s stories for current and future generations

Estimated read time: 2 minutes



20130615-153316.jpgI’ve been  thinking about how we can share the community’s stories and preserve them for future generations. Some organizations are certainly doing some of this for their networks. EasternIowaNews.com did some of this in 2009 but its database of 2,700 stories is no longer publicly available. I know other community members are interested in the topic, but how can we make it community wide? Something that is sustainable.

In a nutshell: What if we – as a community – create a site that allows us to share stories. The site would be owned by a group – a community – and as people’s situations and interests change the community site is still there. It doesn’t go away because one owner decides to shutter a site. The presentation also talked about how we would need some power users who help us move this forward.

BarCamp Cedar Valley 2014
BarCamp Cedar Valley 2014
This is a PowerPoint that I presented at BarCampICR #3 in Coralville, Iowa, on June 15, 2013, and also at BarCamp Cedar Valley in Cedar Falls on Feb. 1, 2014.

I actually helped plan BarcampICR #1 in Iowa City a couple of years ago, but wasn’t able to attend it because of a family commitment. It was good that I finally made one.

My session was one of the first three to run simultaneously. I had 20 minutes to get through the PowerPoint and leave room for discussion.

Right before I got to the part of a slide that said “Thoughts? Questions? Comments?” people started throwing out ideas. Kind of cool how that worked out…

20130626-203422.jpgSome ideas mentioned:

  • Content needs to be structured somehow. Who has the time to read every story? Perhaps structure around interests, geographic areas, etc.?
  • Who curates content? How does content get shared?
  • Even if we have one community space how do people find it?
  • What’s in it for the person who is sharing stories? Why would they?


  • Writing feels like school. People are more likely to just read. Video or audio recording could be one way around this.
  • What about the stories that you don’t want to share publicly? Where do they go?
  • How about gatekeepers?

The structured content piece and how to find content is especially interesting. Of the 15 or so people in the session I saw several taking photos during the presentation. Where did those photos go? I don’t know. How can I add to their thoughts (assuming they shared a thought when they posted the photo somewhere? I assume they were posted somewhere)?

If I missed something here feel free to drop me a note and I’ll add it.

Great session and morning. It went by fast.

What is a Barcamp?

People show up, write their ideas on a grid and the community picks what sessions will be presented. Two to three presentations run at the same time and attendees attend what interests them most.

The full board of presentations

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