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2 minutes to read Posted on Wednesday October 10, 2012

Updated on Friday July 13, 2018

Europeana Business Plan 2013 – Distribute and Engage Workshops

Four interactive Business Plan Workshops were held at the Europeana Offices in the National Library of the Netherlands (KB) in The Hague from 25-28 September. 

Partners and Network members, representing a wide range of roles, organisations and countries, were invited to share their ideas and priorities for the coming year. Each workshop focused on a strand of Europeana’s Strategic Plan - Aggregate, Facilitate, Distribute, Engage.

The workshop conclusions will be further discussed with the participants, Europeana Network Officers and the Europeana Network at the Annual General Meeting in Berlin on November 27 and will feed into the Europeana Business Plan for 2013.

Today’s blog looks at what happened at the first two workshops: Distribute and Engage.

Breandan Knowlton

Day One: Distribute

Europeana’s strategic ambition for Distribution is to ‘make digital cultural heritage available to users, wherever they are’. With the release of the data under CC0 Public Domain waiver, we are now in a much better position to achieve this aim, but this is only a starting point.

The topic for this workshop was: ‘How to build an "eco-system for distribution" that capitalises on the opportunities of open data, together with the partner network’.  

To explore this, the group discussed their associations with and recommendations for the following channels: the Europeana portal, virtual exhibitions, the Europeana  API, widgets, Wikipedia, social media marketing and the Thematic Channels project.

Some reflections on the workshop from attendees were:

'Europeana should be the incubator, where the great ideas are developed.'
Lizzy Jongma (Rijksmuseum)

'The API is the skeleton of the eco-system. It is a push for creativity and we evolve with the alteration of this tool.'
Ghislain Guillaume (CVCE)

'Widgets mean power to small institutions. They are a good way to improve their websites.'
Marco Rendina (FRD)

'Wikipedia is a fast moving train.  Libraries, museums, archives should move with this train and not try to stop it.'
Christopher Natzen (National Library of Sweden)

The group reflected that it would like Europeana to focus more time on becoming a strong ‘enabler’ than on reaching end-users directly. This would make the API crucial and the developer community a target market. It was also suggested that the partner network be empowered to use widgets, social media and virtual exhibitions and that a way of reporting object usage statistics would be useful.

Day Two: Engage

Europeana’s strategic ambition for Engagement is ‘to cultivate new ways for users to participate in their cultural heritage’ and ‘to broker new relationship between curators, content and users’.

The workshop addressed the question: ‘What should Europeana do to encourage end-user participation?’


A discussion focused on ideas for stimulating further user participation with the following engagement tools: 1914-1918 Collection Days, hackathons, Wiki editathons, Wiki Loves Monuments photo contests, the Europeana HTML5 Popcorn Remix, a digital storytelling platform, the Pinterest project and Europeana Thematic Channels.

Groups were asked to assess the level of feasibility, required investment and potential positive impact of the concepts. New ideas were welcome in this session. Ultimately, a specially designed matrix was used to separate the concrete ideas from the not-so-feasible ones!

The group suggested amongst other things, that Europeana should combine offline and online interactions, continue the Wikipedia and collaborative social media projects, combine different concepts and build on and develop concepts that have been successful in the past. Europeana could also think about how end-user participation is measured.

These were two very inspiring days for us, and we look forward to continuing the conversation online and offline in the coming weeks.