iSay is a two-year network funded by AHRC under the Digital Transformations in the Arts and Humanities theme. Focusing on Visitor-Generated Content (VGC) in heritage institutions, the network will convene four events during which  heritage professionals and academics will share practices and discourses on the politics of moderation, control, legitimisation, adoption and use of VGC; and will explore the radically new models of visitor participation that are emerging within heritage practice in the digital mediascape.

A wealth of projects across the heritage sector have been seeking to capture and disseminate VGC. We are seeking to bring those projects together in order to understand the implications of such activity both at a process and at a product level, both on visitor participation and on visitor content. iSay events aim to:

  • uncover the ethics and the practicalities of ‘generating’ visitor content;
  • question the various frames within which VGC is encouraged and facilitated;
  • problematise the term ‘visitor-generated content’ itself, to unpack inherent assumptions about power and influence;
  • expose, critique and learn from past practices; and ultimately
  • re-conceptualise traditional practices of collecting, archiving and capturing VGC as live processes of dialogue for the co-creation of heritage.

iSay will use this website to disseminate information about the four events. But the website will also be an inherent part of the discussions by hosting post-event summaries and inviting you – the heritage practitioner, the academic, the museum studies student, the museum technology developer, the museum visitor – to build on those discussions and on their outcomes and to take VGC further.

So, watch this space – and spread the word!

Giasemi Vavoula and Jenny Kidd

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