Managing the Crowd

“Imagine an organisation where users are free to describe the content they create as they see fit. Where they help decide the retention and disposal of every record that they create or use, based on how useful and valuable they deem it to be. Where, based on a combination of their thoughts and actions, they are responsible for determining who can use the information they create and who cannot.”

Steve Bailey, a former colleague, opens his new book, “Managing the Crowd, rethinking records management for the web 2.0 world”, with the above scenario, which for many records managers, is a recipe for chaos.

The book covers a wide range of topics such as web 2.0 trends, the nature of change in IT systems, and approaches to the appraisal, retention and destruction of records. Helping records management professionals come to terms with a web 2.0 reality that many would not have wished for. Perhaps what is most useful in this volume is Steve’s 10 defining principles for Record Management 2.0 (even if I don’t like the 2.0 title). I won’t put everything down, but Steve identifies that RM 2.0 must be:

  • Scaleable
  • Comprehensive
  • Independent of hardware, software and physical location
  • Extensible
  • Potentially applicable to all recorded information
  • Proportionate, flexible and capable of varying levels of detail and quality
  • Benefits led
  • Marketable
  • Self critical
  • Acceptable to, and driven by the RM community

This approach seems highly pragmatic and achievable, and I recommend reading the book for further information. It’s available from Facet Publishing and Steve’s blog  is also a worthwhile read.

One comment

  1. I just went through the Web2Rights site content- very interesting. Funny thing is good record keeping in software- creating a bill-of-materials that goes into a software (or any digital content for that matter) project and identifying the intellectual property ownership and copyright attributes of the components- is foreign to all developers!

    We have been using an automated solution that keeps track of software in a project, identifies IP-right attributes of the bits and pieces of code that are used, and flags potential issues to the users. It is amazing what you can do once you have accurate records of what has gone into a project, who brought it in and when (background vs foreground IP) and who owns the copyright, what kind of license is needed, etc. btw, Good blog.

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