Subject: Blog post from Brad Headland
This post is not officially endorsed by the NAA, rather my own thoughts.
#followanarchive day came to my attention in August 2010. The first couple of tweets I came across included one that carried links to a QR code poster and of course I had to follow the link to see what this was all about. I quickly realised this global event was something that I wanted the NAA to be a part of.
Right there and then, I printed the QR code poster and hung it over my workstation for all my colleagues to see, secretly knowing they wouldn't know what it was. I knew those that saw it would have to ask "what's that?", and took great delight in telling them all about what it was and how it worked. I told them if they had a camera enabled 3G phone they good snap a shot that would take them to this blog. I went about emailing our relevant communications staff about the November 12 event, sending links to the blog (in particular the 'About & Map' pages) in order help NAA to get ready to participate.
Coincidently, during the lead up to #followanarchive day, I applied to be a delegate at the biannual residential for the Council of Australasian Archives and Records Administration (CAARA). The theme for the residential program was, Archives 2.0 - interacting with the future. The program included the benefits of engaging Archives audience through social media channels such as Twitter (the depth of content covered in this residential was extraordinary and went well beyond social media tools). The last day of the program was Friday 12 November #followanarchive day. "What an opportunity was this?" I thought. Twenty-three archivists from across Australasia together in one room focused exactly on what #followanarchive intended, and all logged in to their Twitter accounts ready to tweet about their respective institutions. Awesome stuff!!!!
For the CAARA delegates, the week leading up to Friday 12 November had been long and intense. Consisting of twelve hour days, 9am to 9pm, I wondered how much energy delegates may have left to devotes to tweeting on the 12th. Well I was so excited to see them all take to tweeting about their Archives with such gusto.
I concentrated on tweeting things about the NAA's many websites, online services and the records we hold, like:
NAA corporate website www.naa.gov.au
Mapping our Anzacs mappingouranzacs.naa.gov.au World War One service records
Documenting a Democracy (significant legislative evolution of Australian democracy) foundingdocs.gov.au
Virtual Reading Room - online resource for teachers and students vrroom.naa.gov.au
Australasian Digital Recordkeeping Initiative adri.gov.au
And lots more.
Late that night, southern hemisphere time, my good friend and genealogist @HicksShauna tweeted, "This is the best time ever on Twitter" and I replied, "It certainly is, and we've only scratched the surface of the GOLD we hold"
By now on November 12, it's getting very late in Oz, and I tweet, "The records we hold tell the story of who we are, where we came from and how we got here".
I then say goodnight to all and post one last tweet with the most important link (I think) I posted all day, The Open Archives Initiative http://www.openarchives.org/
I'd like to thank Charlotte and all those who took the time to participate in #followanarchive day for creating and fostering awareness in this space. A truly historical moment in Archive's history. I'd also like to propose that November 12 from here on be known as International Archives Day.
Brad Headland, Web Services Manager, National Archives of Australia (NAA)