[open-humanities] RSC's 'My Shakespeare' - open source with Open Shakespeare overlap

James Harriman-Smith open-shakespeare at okfn.org
Fri Feb 24 17:54:53 UTC 2012

Hi everyone,

I got this email from Royal Shakespeare Company the other day. It's rather
long, so here are the essential points:

- The RSC is creating "a place to imagine the world of Shakespeare through
a C21st lens", an online aggregator of anything to do with Shakespeare on
twitter, fbook, blogs, etc.
- They have contributing blog authors, artists, and data visualisations
(See attachment)
- It will launch in April 2012, and the source code will be made available
- Updates here:

Sounds interesting. Does anyone have any particular areas they'd like to
collaborate on?


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Sarah Ellis <sarah.ellis at rsc.org.uk>
Date: 21 February 2012 21:28
Subject: My Shakespeare [Scanned]
To: open-shakespeare at okfn.org


Hi there

I hope you don’t mind me contacting you.  I’m working on an online project
called My Shakespeare for the Royal Shakespeare Company which will be part
of the World Shakespeare Festival launching this April.  I’m getting in
touch as I would very much like to see if you’d be interested in the
project with the possibility of contributing and linking up with Open
Shakespeare which is a fantastic site. I hope that’s OK.

My Shakespeare is an invitation for international audiences, programmers
and artists to create a global conversation about Shakespeare online.  The
project has been created in response to the amount of user generated
content already existing online with an aim to find meaning, new ways of
visualising data and interpretation.  We are creating a site that will
search for pulses of Shakespeare online which will be achieved through the
searching the channels, twitter, flickr, ebay and google.  It will find the
heartbeat of Shakespeare online and share those findings on a timeline.
The site will ask questions, share findings and be a place to imagine the
world of Shakespeare through a C21st lens.

The site will be punctuated by a series of articles and contributions from
key thinkers, artists and collaborators that will respond to the site
itself and broader topics and themes relating to each contributor.  We will
also commission artists from around the work to create new work in response
to the site which will appear on the site.

The structure of the site will be as follows:

Blog – This section will be for critical thinkers and commentators who
would provoke further meaning and discussion around Shakespeare and other

Main site – dynamic interface showing words which will move around the
screen that you can click on in order to explore the site, once you click
on a word you will go on a user journey experience and receive a
visualisation that shows your word appearing online over a period of time –
1 month, 1 week, 1 day and 1 hour.  There will be a live twitter stream on
the site and you may have a tweet with your word or a flickr image and
you’ll be able to see it on the timeline.  This site will be as dynamic and
playful as possible.

Visualisations – a dynamic clickable slide show of data visualisations
created by BVA and 3rd party programmers – you will be able to share these
visualisations with your social media networks.  We hope to create as many
as possible and explore possible stories and narratives.

Artist commissions – we will commission artists to respond to the site and
they will have an option of working with our technologists Bureau of Visual
Affairs.  This will mean that they can be exploratory online if they wish
or create work which is live and that is documented on the My Shakespeare

Wiki for 3rd party programmers – BVA have generously opened up their site
to invite 3rd party programmers to play with the data they collect through
– twitter, ebay and flickr.  They will create a wiki which 3rd party
programmers can use to source the data in order to create their own
visualisations. These have the capacity to look very different to the BVA

Social Media - There will be a live twitter feed sharing the new
visualisations as they happen which will link to the RSC facebook page.
Audiences will share and we will share with them what we find interesting –
we will invite them to share the links in different ways for example, the
ones they like most.  Programmers will also enjoy connecting with our site
and champion their work and share it out to their networks as well.

I was wondering if you would be interested in meeting up and talking more
about the project.  It would be wonderful if you were interested in
contributing to the site and potentially writing an article or sharing a
series of images or a video from your perspective and the work you're doing
with Open Shakespeare.

All the best and I look forward to hearing from you.


James Harriman-Smith
Open Literature Working Group Coordinator
Open Knowledge Foundation
Skype: james.harriman.smith
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