Every so often I find myself emailing people who have requested links and/or information about creating community content around a particular subject or issue. I’m thinking it would be better for me to share that information with everyone, so I’m going to start copying it into blog posts here. One topic I get asked a lot about is local heritage, and how bringing this online can generate discussion and get people sharing their memories. When people ask me about heritage, I usually send them the following:
- People really react to a bit of local history on a community website. Look at the comments on this post of a photo of 1970’s Digbeth. People remembered the flyover and reacted with their own personal stories about it. Similarly with William’s post about the Beaconsfield Buildings in Kings Cross – people started commenting about their families’ connections to the building, and people tracing their family trees are now coming to this post via genealogy forums.
- Old photos and interviews with older residents who’ve witnessed changes over the years are always popular. Rescue Geography is a project all about collecting and curating people’s memories of a place, you could explore that for some ideas.
- The Birmingham Irish Heritage Group contribute regularly to Digbeth is Good, which helps bring their activity and a taste of their events to wider audience.
- Another interesting site is: http://ourhistory-hayes.blogspot.com: ‘A site dedicated to the work of Hayes Labour Association, Hayes & Harlington Labour Party, Hayes Communist Party, Trade Unionists, and working men and women of West Middlesex.’
- Last but not least Seaside Voices is a project talk about local are delivering in partnership with Community Media Assocation, People’s Voice Media and UK online centres. We’re working with four UK online centres in seaside towns to help facilitate an online discussion of their town in its past, present and future. The Seaside Voices websites for Bridlington, Morecambe, Newlyn and Shanklin are examples of sites that will not only look back at the history of a place, but also delve deeper to highlight current activity and look ahead to what’s in store in the future.
If you know of any other good examples of heritage sites, or local heritage content on community websites, please share and comment!