Had a whirlwind trip to Stockholm during the past 24 hours, visiting the Swedish National Heritage Board to talk about how they might setup a Geograph for Sweden.
Gary Rogers and Barry Hunter had arrived earlier in the week to give a talk at a Geographically themed conference, which was very well received and had the highest attendance for the two days of the conference, generating a lot of interest in getting a Swedish version off the ground.
Our very hospitable hosts picked our brains for most of the day about how Geograph was born, how it is run, and the challenges we’ve faced and new ones to come. At the start of the talk I pulled up the geocaching.com forum post by Gary which kick started the whole thing off. It was dated early February 2005, and of course by end of March we had launched a working implementation of the site. While that is indeed fast work, it brought home that “doing a Geograph” isn’t a technical problem, it’s a social one. How do you build a community of people that *want* to take part, that find it fun and worthwhile? Can a government organisation even do that? If not, how can they incubate something that does work for Sweden.
We’ve left them to ponder that one for a bit.
Hopefully, sometime next year, we’ll see a new Geograph being born to our scandinavian friends!
(Written in Arlanda Airport, killing time before my flight back to Blighty…)