So what’s it like for you?

We want your thoughts and opinions. What’s it like for you, as a Londoner, during the 2 weeks of the Games?

Use the hashtag #citizencurators to tweet your point of view. A moment, an observation, an annoyance, something that made you laugh, something that speaks of what its like to be in London while the Olympics are on.

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The #citizencurators team

We are thrilled to announce our team of #citizencurators. They will be recording their life in London during the Olympics through twitter.

We had applications from all across London and from all sorts of Londoners – and we decided that 12 was too few to choose. The tweeters we invited to join us as our #citizencurators come from North, West and South London as well as ones who are living and working right in the Games Zone.

But anyone can be a tweeter for #citizencurators. Just tweet whenever you think there is something you want to share and comment on during the Olympic fortnight. Please join us if you want to by using the #citizencurators hashtag. Or to ask us more please tweet us @citizencurators.

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Representation & the Digital Divide

We received the following comment via email. It raises a really interesting question:  how representative can a project be of Londoners’ experiences that exists solely on a social media platform? The original email is in italics below followed by our reply.

Dear friends   [...]
I’m wondering how representative this project can be of people’s
experience during this period – after all, it’s confined to people who use Twitter, thereby excluding a large proportion of Londoners who are too poor, or too “un-techy” to do that. (Few of my very ordinary neighbours would have any idea about Twitter; there are lots of people with no internet access and who are too poor to afford a mobile phone – I don’t have a mobile phone, for example, and have no internet access at home.)
Since it’s especially the poorer and more vulnerable people in society
who are going to suffer most from the imposition of the Olympics on London -
although few of us will escape the consequences entirely – then it seems
absolutely inevitable that the input you receive will be extremely
unrepresentative of the experiences of Londoners as a whole.
Many thanks for your response.
Best wishes

Our reply:

Many thanks for your email. [...] Your email raises some really interesting and important questions regarding the digital divide or digital poverty in London.

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So what do we want our #citizencurators to do?

We want a group #citizencurators who will each take on a distinct role. Each of these will give the Museum of London an insider view of London life.


(1) The citizen journalist. We are looking for 6 people to record their experience of the Olympic fortnight in London. We want our 6 to consistently tweet using the #citizencurators hasthtag in a way that will create a running story about what is happening in their lives, what activities they are engaged in, what London is like to be in and what interests them. This will be as text but could also include images, links, audio. This will provide us with an ongoing ‘tweet-journals’ – giving a concentrated indepth view – but from a social networked perspective rather than traditionally sole-authored ‘diaries’. We’ll collect the entire stream and the interactions and conversations so that we preserve the dialogues over the two weeks. Obviously we are asking people who are going to be our citizen journalists to guarantee a certain amount of ‘twitter-time’ per day. Continue reading

Why ‘citizen’ + ‘curators’?

We had a spate of responses on Twitter when we started the call for #citizencurators – asking why we were using the terms. What did the project have to do with citizenship and was it an appropriate use of the term curator?

All good questions. Firstly, why ‘citizen’?

The project is essentially asking how Londoners live through a major event. We thought of using the term Londoners, or specifying that we were looking for the involvement of residents, people who worked in London and people who had connections to London. But the term citizen made most sense. We want to connect with people who have a clear sense of being part of, and belonging to, London. And this is not just locational, it is also political. The Olympic Games is much more than a global sporting event, obviously. Packaged as London2012 it is presented as a manifestation of civic identity. Through funding, governance and marketing it is less held at less than an arms length from the national and city governments. There is no doubt that all Londoners are experiencing the event of the Olympics, and all its ramifications and its impact on their life within London through direct or indirect channels. And they are experiencing this as citizens of London. Continue reading