Lest We Forget: The UKOLN (and CETIS) Diaspora
Posted by Brian Kelly (UK Web Focus) on 1 August 2013
Supporting CETIS Colleagues Formerly at the University of Strathclyde
A few days ago Lorna Campbell published a post in which she described how “The Cetis Memorandum of Understanding has been terminated and all Cetis staff at the university have been made redundant“. Sheila MacNeill posted a similar story in which she described how “my contract (like my colleagues Lorna and Martin) is terminating on Wednesday 31 July“.
As Sheila described “this has nothing to do with the change of funding between Jisc and Cetis, and that Cetis is going to be continuing after 31 July“. But although CETIS, which is primarily based at Bolton University, seem to have been successful in attracting new funding to replace the lost Jisc core funding, Lorna, Sheila and Martin Hawksey have suffered from the decision at the University of Strathclyde to “no longer continue its relationship with Cetis“.
I’ve known Lorna. Sheila and Martin for many years and have always been impressed by the quality of their work and the strong emphasis they place on community engagement and dissemination. I was therefore happy to provide testimonials on the LinkedIn profiles for Lorna Campbell, Sheila MacNeill and Martin Hawksey. But what of my former colleagues from UKOLN?
Supporting the UKOLN Diaspora
Wikipedia defines diaspora as “a scattered population with a common origin in a smaller geographic area“. From the list of former UKOLN staff it seems there have been no fewer than 76 former members of staff, with just five people remaining (and only two working fulltime).
But how will people find former UKOLN employees? Since the UKOLN Web site was set up in the early days of the Web before AltaVista became a popular search engine!) and has a large amount of content related to management of digital information, the UKOLN Web site has a lot of ‘Google juice’. This may mean that it will be difficult to find information about former UKOLN employees.
In order to ensure that potential new employers or business partners are able to find information about former members of staff the UKOLN Diaspora site has been set up. I
This provides a brief profile page for former UKOLN staff who have chosen to provide their information. The aim will be that a search for, say, “Rosemary Russell UKOLN” or “Natasha Bishop UKOLN” will find their up-to-date information on the UKOLN Diaspora site, rather than the work they were doing at UKOLN ten years ago!
Although aimed initially at staff who have been made redundant, the site will be extended shortly to enable everyone who used to work at UKOLN to provide information on their work at UKOLN, together with their current professional activities and interests.
In addition to widening the scope of the Web site I am currently in discussions with a designer in order to provide a more appealing user interface, which will provide the flexibility needed as the site grows.
If you have worked at UKOLN and would like to provide content on the Web site please get in touch.