In this era when people expect information at their fingertips and instant response to everything, our local history, local stories and local collections which are so rich in history and cultural heritage are increasingly inaccessible. Issues such as budget cuts and staff reductions are the usual culprits but part of this inaccessibility is also occurring because we are losing many of those precious souls who know those stories.
Some big institutions are digitizing their collections and making them available, but at this point that’s an option only for the largest and best funded. Even then, their systems aren’t always made to work with others, so that users can effectively search archives across the country. In essence, they have created isolated silos of information.
So where does that leave us? Well…I for one like where we are at in collecting and sharing Baca County Stories. Our use of our two Facebook Groups in collaborating to share stories memories and stories has worked really well. Everyone is dispersed geographically, we literally have participants from all over the world. Everyone is also very busy. We/I don’t always have the time to jump on and comment all the time. So although I don’t necessarily like Facebook and the privacy questions its use brings to light I am glad this tool is available to facilitate conversation. If you are really bored and read my technology blog at kentbrooks.com I use a term “Meaningful Social Collisions” in several posts to describe interactions facilitated by social media such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and Facebook. Guess what? You all are having “Meaningful Social Collisions” to record some of what you, our parents, and our grandparents did to give Baca County the rich heritage it has.
I have participated in a couple of oral history projects projects and getting participation is sometimes very difficult. I created Bacacountyhistory.com because I trust me more than I trust Facebook. I must admit we could not have added the rich stories we have without this technology resource facilitating our conversations. This resource would still be worthless without all of you who are jumping in and sharing a few of the stories and thoughts which you have experienced or which have been handed down.
Since it is the last day of 2014 I thought I would thank everyone for comments and participation in telling a few stories about our Baca County Heritage. We have been very fortunate to have the participation we have had on both Baca County related Facebook groups. I have had several comments about how much participation we have had.
- You Might be from Baca County if….
- Wandering Banished Exiled Souls of Baca County
Thanks Sylvia Harrison for starting up “You Might be from Baca County if… and Thanks to Wandering Banished Exiled Souls of Baca County admins Butch Forrest, Debbie Kuroiwa, Jeanette Simms, Jim Womack and Mandy Womack Bonner for wrangling that group (I believe Jim Womack started it but I am not 100% sure).
I would like to offer a special thanks to Cotton Huffman for getting several of these conversations going and to the Plainsmen Herald for reposting a few of the stories which have come about as a result of some of these Facebook conversations.
We may not get everything recorded, but at a minimum we will have alot of fun having these conversations. Feel free to touch base with me if you ready to start writing on Bacacountyhistory.com. If you have forgotten the rules of engagement a refresher is located here. Keep the conversation rolling.
For you data wonks here is the total traffic since this blog was put up February 25, 2014.