The archives/RM 2.0 discussion has generated real debate this month, so as someone who has been involved I thought I'd try and pull some of it together, then address one or two of the comments that have been made about my contribution.

ArchivesNext was the first blog to catch my eye with this post. Kate had posted An Archivist’s 2.0 Manifesto previously (inspired by A Librarian's 2.0 Manifesto), but it was the more recent post that really laid down the challenge for us to establish whether 'we need (or already have) “Archives 2.0”'. As David suggested in this post, the comments on Kate's post are equally as important as her original thoughts and I'd strongly advocate reading them.

A few days later,
Steve posted the results of his work with colleagues to come up with A Records Manager's 2.0 Manifesto. Jesse picked up on both this and my subsequent contributions below and started discussion threads on the RECMGMT-L listserv, which are worth reading too.

Finally, some people were kind enough to comment on
my post and Steve's response to it.

[If I've missed anything/anyone out I'm sorry. Feel free to add a comment and point to other resources.]

As I said in the title to this post - blimey!

Where does all this leave us? Surprisingly, perhaps, given the amount of people moved to contribute there's a significant degree of agreement. I don't detect any diametrically opposed arguments. I think we're simply seeing healthy discussion about a development with which our profession needs to engage.

We are all agreed that record keepers should be taking account of the ways that our colleagues create and manage information and records. We agree that this is likely to need adjustment in our practices. We agree that engaging with Web 2.0 is more than simply jumping on a bandwagon. We agree that we can't ignore what is happening around us. We agree that there's an opportunity for record keepers to use this technology themselves to improve record keeping practice and connect with their users.

Where there is a difference is in whether this engagement with web 2.0 warrants the title of archives/records management 2.0; whether we are/should be developing a version 2 of our profession. I entirely take the point that using the 2.0 banner provides a useful shorthand and firmly anchors our discussions as concerning developments in online technology. Steve makes this point very well, saying:

Hopefully the Records Management2.0 title makes it clear that what I am talking about are solutions designed to fit very particular issue – those with their origins very firmly in the technology and movement that we know as Web2.0.'

However, that still implies an evolution of practice rather than a fundamental shift in our purpose and values. As I've said already, the change between the first iteration of the web and the participatory model identified as web 2.0 can be characterised as a fundamental shift, as the development of version 2. I don't think that what we're discussing here represents the same sort of seismic shift in understanding. As such, the use of the 2.0 title is potentially misleading in our case. For me, branding something as version 2 indicates a significant change, rather than a simple shorthand to anchor discussion or characterise an evolutionary development.

[EDIT: All the links in the above should be working now - sorry!]