Proposed strategies for cultivating online collaboration.
Get the message out: Give a clear explanation what the project is all about: i.e. preserving cultural memories in connection with the local music scene. Invite people to collaborate and contribute towards the archive in their preferred area of music.
Training: Facilitate by create easy to follow instructions how to use the tools used by the group for collaborate, ie MediaWiki, Facebook. Introduce other tools that would help them capture and/or digitise the media as best (ie highest resolution) as possible. Organise instruction on how to use such software and hardware. Organise a scheme by which such specialised hardware could be made available to the groups. This may require funding to purchase such equipment. Other skills to consider for successful online collaboration are planning and negotiation skills, ethical considerations and guidelines for behaviour when dealing with their peer collaborators and other contributors (copyright issues, proper handling of memorabilia).
Identify leaders of existing groups that are already making an effort to preserve or keeping alive their preferred music genre by encourage them to continue doing so and offer (not impose on) the support. Show them that there are other/better ways to doing things and let them know that assistance is at hand if they wish to make use of it (assistance as in making available equipment to digitise mediated memories, and also instruction on ways to improve their skills in doing such a task.
Organise ‘travelling exhibitions’ (say: in collaboration with Local Councils) and invite the locals to come over and add to the information presented. Special space created during the exhibition (with a camera and/or microphone) where visitors are encouraged to talk about their past experiences of the local music, venues they frequented, bands/musicians/artists they followed in their youth, the fashion, the songs, the drinks they had in such venues, the entrance fees, tickets, posters, days and times of the concerts, etc. (Oral histories)
Interview prominent people in the music scene. Organise formal or informal meetings. These could be private or public meetings. Try to accommodate especially if the subject is a veteran. Set up and record the session. (Oral histories)
M3P: Improve the interface making it more user-friendly and inviting. The strength of M3P lies in the fact that all data stored is on a University server and therefore immune to any business deals that would one day loose its data, as happened to Geocities and ight one day happen to Facebook or Myspace.
Funding: Many of the strategies proposed above require funding in order to succeed. Public funding is available to apply for from government and EU entities. However, such funds have to be used wisely.
People tend to collaborate more when their efforts are remunerated. One should stay away from giving/suggesting false hopes of renumeration in any way for their effort of collaboration.