Added on 22 February 2019

Most DPC Members will be aware that for many years the Coalition has held an annual members Unconference ‘Connecting the Bits’ with the aim of facilitating networking between Members, and most importantly, of gathering feedback and direction from Members on the shape of DPC annual workplans. Feedback from Members and the DPC Team has been positive and the events have been effective in ensuring that the activities of the DPC are closely matched to the needs of Members.

The program of Connecting the Bits (and its predecessors) has evolved over the years. Initially only a small number of full members were invited whereas it now involves the whole membership of the Coalition. 

Now, as the organization grows internationally there is a need to adapt to meet the practical constraints of members who may not be able to travel to join a face to face event. This same problem exists for many members who, for reasons of budget or circumstances, are unable to travel.

The Unconference has always allowed Full Members to set the context for the discussions, contributing topics for future work, by a series of brief introductory statements. In the last couple of years, we have seen a number of Full Members deliver their contributions remotely. But the introduction of google docs for remotely collating discussion notes hasn’t been so successful, with little uptake from members who had not attended the event in person.

So, we are going to try the process online over a series of events and opportunities for interaction and feedback over a three-month period, as follows:

Step 1: May 2019

As usual, Full Members will be invited to contribute:

  • 1 recent success story from their organization,
  • 1 key digital preservation challenge likely to surface in the next 12 months, and
  • 1 notable example of upcoming work (which may or may not be affected by that challenge).

The difference will be that these presentations will be collated and shared with the Coalition as a series of pre-recorded lighting talks, made available to watch online. The DPC staff will then meet to extract this year’s themes and present them back to our four Sub-Committees as a set of discussion topics.

Step 2: June 2019

Taking their allocated discussion topics, the Sub-Committees will then meet to discuss and prioritize a set of activities which address them.

Once the Sub-Committees have discussed and devised their lists of activities, the DPC team will meet again to collate this information into a first draft of our outline program of work for 2019 – 2020. Where lists of ideas/outputs/activities arise for prioritization, we will turn this back out to the membership at large for input using an online collaboration/voting tool before that happens.

Meanwhile, DPC Supporters will present details of products, services and any updates to their offerings they would like to share with members as a short series of Digital Preservation Futures webinars.

Seeing how member needs manifest themselves through the challenges identified, and comparing needs with some of the available solutions, will also provide the Sub-Committees with an idea of areas which could usefully be addressed by the DPC program, as well as by the Supporters themselves.

Further shaping and validation will then take place:

  • The rough draft workplan will be presented to the Board for discussion, feedback and further suggestions.
  • All other members will be given the opportunity to provide feedback on and help shape the draft in two separate “Members Lounge” specials, timed to ensure that international members around the world will have at least one opportunity of joining at a reasonable time of day

Gathering the feedback from all sources, the DPC Team will then incorporate all further suggestions to produce a final draft program.

Step 3: July 2019

The final draft will be taken to the Digital Preservation Futures Community Forum for final validation.

This event was debuted last year with the aim of facilitating communication between Members and DPC Supporters and was held on the day after Connecting the Bits. With Connecting the Bits largely taking place online, Digital Preservation Futures will be scheduled alongside another DPC event in early-July, providing an opportunity for members who are able to travel, and the DPC Supporters, to network and form positive relationships in a face to face forum.

This process is a trial, so will be reviewed after we have worked through the steps. We want it to be open, honest and inclusive, and for all members to retain the opportunity to feed into the work we do. And we will also be asking for your feedback once complete, so please do let us know what you think.

If you have any questions about the process please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

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