Radical Trust

I first heard the term radical trust in relation to libraries. It is used by Darlene Fichter in her blog in relation to the idea of library 2.0.

Library 2.0 = (books ‘n stuff + people + radical trust) x participation

Radical trust

It is the idea that knowledge comes from many different places and when we publish our stuff (in this context we are talking about content from the cultural sector), then we need to be open to the idea that people should have free and easy access to it and that they may want to do interesting things with it that we had not considered.

This is a paradigm shift for the cultural sector in many ways, as the traditional view is to keep your digital collection to yourself, on your own site and not offer it up to others (non experts) to transform, comment, edit – the belief in the voice of authority as the most importance source of knowledge.

Well for those of you who believe that Darlene is right, then have a look at the work of Seb Chan and Jim Spadaccini, who have been researching Museum Bogs. Their paper, also called Radical Trust’ was presented at this years Museums and the web conference in San Francisco.

One thought on “Radical Trust

  1. Hi Jane,

    The case for ‘radical trust’ (in this sense facilitating a challenge to traditional notions of expertise, as you say) is compelling – but still very challenging for many of us in museums in an offline context, let alone as part of Web 2.0.

    Museums have, of course, been employing museum 2.0 principles for years – if not necessarily mainstreaming them to the degree that large amounts of interpretation are produced via the ‘perspectivist’ aproach.

    I can see how traditional-minded experts get worried – at least, I can to a degree. Perhaps we need to determine more precisely the role of the ‘expert’ as an editorial function – someone capable of taking a balanced and critical approach to content creation 2.0, much as would an editor of a learned academic publication.

    Our curators / professionals might not write all of the words or select all of the objects in future – but their facilitation is likely to remain all the more valuable… once we have all learned to stop worrying and love all things 2.0, that is!

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