As we have just received word about the Open Anthropology Cooperative officially transitioning into becoming an archive of the past, I would like to take this closing opportunity to introduce the Collaborative Anthropology Network!
For all of those who would like to continue what was started here and open up the full potential of what technology and anthropology has to offer, the Collaborative Anthropology Network is a new project based entirely on open source technology for a radically customizable social networking site, tailor-made around an interest in anthropology and online-collaborative ethnography that is meant to serve as a virtual ecosystem of collaborative ethnography and anthropology-related social activities - think part facebook, part academia[.]edu, part wordpress.com/wix, part edX/Coursera with an additional ability for users to tag the entire site to the letter on an individual or collective scale and collaborate in a built-in project management application, all on both mobile and desktop. Everything will be integrated with the main social networking site and will be organized and designed to cater to the highest expectations of an anthropology audience while offering fantastic exposure opportunities for the full diversity of the field and its practitioners with minimal technological know-how.
As of this posting, February 3rd, 2020, version 1.0 of the site is currently at the end of the development stage and will be kicked off as a pre-launch invite-only for select user testing and group content creation!
Stay tuned by visiting https://collabanthnetwork.org
We are currently waiting for a major update that is expected for the membership and multisite component of the site. When that is released it will require additional development work and customizations to fully integrate it with the rest of the site. None of that can be done until after the update, but it only represents a couple of weeks of work. In the meantime we are working on designing and finalizing the homepage and putting together some very useful documentation on how to use the various components of the site.
Brandon, This is very good to hear about, particularly in these times of remote working. I will look into the Collaborative Anthropology Network with interest.
How does sign up work for the CAN?
Hi Huon, nice to hear from you! Yeah, right now the site is online but it's still in development and is in private mode during that time. There are several of us working on it but one is in Greece and one is in Brazil, so I put it up for easier access for those working on it but nobody else has access. Right now I'm waiting for an extension update on the multisite/membership component before I can finish, but for the most part it's ready! I also plan to open it as an invite-only at first since it will basically be an empty network and there won't be much to look at, so I need content creators to start groups and blogs, and offer feedback. If the OAC ning site is still live I'll post an invitation!
Great. Looking forward to this.
I am again working on some development for the collaborative anthropology network and figuring out the requirements and acceptable protocols to follow before investing in time and money. Specifically, we are beginning to work on the touchy subject of funding and monetizing the site.
The value-proposition of the entire project is as a technological cooperative, research collaborative, and social networking site that will benefit anthropologists and anthropology as a field, so we are very interested in exploring any option that maximizes those foundational objectives. That also means that we will not implement any business model that is unacceptable to the individual researchers - although finding moral workarounds from traditional journal and publishing gatekeepers is a priority ;).
Right off the bat we assume that means NO SELLING OF PERSONAL DATA, NO BLACK BOXES, and NO RESTRICTING ACCESS *see this article for issues with both for-profit research platforms.... Instead, we are focusing on implementing strategies that give users total control and even benefits the user and the field as much as possible. At the same time, we are not ourselves being funded by grants - we're open to receiving funding but we are a misfit outfit that would be unlikely to get funding (at least until we prove ourselves). So we are left to seek out a business model that will cover the operational costs and ensure the project will be able to continue to exist. We also see the lack of funding as a potential benefit and opportunity to test out a cooperative model for the sharing and dissemination of research, which makes the most sense for incentivizing and even furthering the Open Access Movement without the trade-offs of the user-as-product business models of social networking sites or the restrictions commonly associated with being housed in academic institutions.
With that being said, our current proposal goes something like this:
We’re also working really hard to meeting all publishing research standards and protocols, as well as compatibility with technology for automating registration to established repositories for certain uploads using JATS XML and available REST API’s of existing academic services.