Farewell Kate July 28, 2014 1 Comment

Our wonderful colleague Dr Kate Cumming is moving on to new adventures. It’s quite a blow for State Records, and especially for the Government Recordkeeping team.

KateKate started at State Records in 1999, after a period working for the National Archives of Australia. As a member of the then Electronic Recordkeeping team, she worked on State Records’ recordkeeping metadata standard and associated guidance (assisted by her PhD in recordkeeping metadata!), as well as the delivery of training and seminars all over NSW. A fantastic communicator, Kate has the ability to break down the most complex of concepts, for any audience. In delivering training and workshops she always inspires her audience as well as informing them. Read the rest of this entry »

How we do digital archiving at State Records NSW No Comments

the tools from maine

Photo credit: the tools from maine by Denise Carbonell

Right now, State Records’ Digital Archives team is moving from project to normal operations mode. As part of this transition we are publishing our methodology and procedures, providing public access to digital archives from the pilot projects that are open to public access, and inviting NSW agencies to start contacting us to initiate migration projects. We’ll also be sharing as much information as we can about our approach to digital preservation and the tools and technologies that underpin that approach. This post describes some of the key technological choices that we’ve made.

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The challenge of applying information governance to Yammer and other social media frameworks July 24, 2014 No Comments

Yammer: "We bought this to illustrate the futility of one-way communication"

Today we had our regular meeting of the EDRMS Implementers Group and the topic for discussion was social media information management.

Managing social media information for all the lovely NSW government records and information managers assembled today is a challenge.

With social media information there is a lot of it, most of it is low level and transactional, some of it is rude and defamatory, a small proportion of it is high risk or significant and needs specific management, and in most organisations there are very few processes, governance arrangements or tools in place to enable all these challenges to be met.

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Why we love blogging – the story of Future Proof No Comments

Blog With Authenticity Without Getting Fired

A little while ago we were asked by another government agency interested in blogging to explain how the Future Proof blog fits in with State Records’ business objectives, and to outline some of the outcomes we think Future Proof achieves.

To us, this form of social media engagement has been really critical in helping State Records to achieve some of its business objectives.

We are sharing our feedback to help other government organisations who might be contemplating blogging or other forms of social media engagement.

 

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Conversations about digital information management and digital disposal July 22, 2014 No Comments

Chatting with a Shopkeeper

Peter and I like to get out and talk to people, to get a sense of how information is genuinely being managed out in different business environments.

Recently we have had conversations about digital information management and disposal with a group of people who regularly work on digital business operations with many different organisations.

We have also recently discussed digital disposal with the excellent members of State Records’ Digital Records Advisory Group.

Here are some of the key observations that we have taken from these conversations.

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IM FAQs – Office 365, social media monitoring, managing digital photos, voice recordings and more July 9, 2014 No Comments

Each week the Government Recordkeeping team at State Records answers dozens of enquiries about all aspects of government information management.

Some of the digital information management questions we have answered lately include:

  • We want to use Office 365 – is it a problem under the State Records Act that corporate information will be stored out of NSW if we do this?
  • What issues do we need to consider when assessing software to manage our digital photos?
  • I am always being asked to justify the benefit of information management. What should I say?
  • What kind of information should I manage out of my social media monitoring tool?
  • Are voice recordings records? If so, how long am I supposed to keep them for?
  • What is the legal status of our corporate Yammer account – is it subject to GIPA, for instance?

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Strategies for managing social media information #smday July 1, 2014 No Comments

delete. Image by M i x y on Flickr CC BY 2.0

Social media is a tool that can connect government services directly with community needs.

Business models are shifting fundamentally and social media platforms are becoming increasingly significant business environments for all sorts of government operations.

As this transition occurs, we need to ensure that government operations continue to have the information they need to support them.

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Systems are episodes in the life of information June 24, 2014 No Comments

Simpsons 500th Episode Marathon - Professor FrinkOne of the issues we are talking to agencies a lot about at the moment is information longevity, primarily the fact that an awful lot of business information will need to outlive the system it is part of.

This concept however, still does not have significant traction or understanding.

In most business environments, systems or services are still regularly regarded as primary, and information is not understood as the constant that will need to be sustained through system or service change and evolution. Read the rest of this entry »

photo by: Doug Kline

NARA’s summary of records management automation approaches June 20, 2014 No Comments

labyrinthine circuit board linesI have previously blogged about the US National Archives and Records Administration’s (NARA) approach to cloud email. NARA has issued a paper which surveys the available strategies for improving records capture through automation. It highlights the advantages, the maturity, and the risks and drawbacks of these approaches.

Continuing in the theme of drawing on good work being done elsewhere, this post is a quick summary of the five strategies to automation which they discuss in the paper. Read the rest of this entry »

photo by: quapan

Deep Time – perspectives on managing long term value digital information June 11, 2014 2 Comments

Toxic HazardJune 9 was International Archives Day. Happy International Archives Day everyone!

Back in 2001, physicist and science fiction writer Gregory Benford wrote a book called Deep Time: How Humanity Communicates across Millennia. In it he asked questions like, in one million years time, what information will we need to leave to the future inhabitants of Earth?

These types of questions are genuinely being asked today by bodies like the International Atomic Energy Agency’s International Waste Safety Standards Committee. This committee sets the program of work and approves drafts of international safety standards for radioactive waste management and disposal.

Radioactive waste is generally buried. For long-lived forms of waste, it will take up to one million years for the level of hazard posed by this buried waste to be fully extinguished.

A challenge then for groups like the International Waste Safety Standards Committee is to determine the best means to protect future generations by warning them where radioactive material is buried. They genuinely need to determine how to keep information accessible and meaningful over timescales of one million plus years.

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photo by: eek the cat