Collaborative books on living together and heritage by the inhabitants of Pays de Brest


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About the project Edit

Wiki-Brest is a desire to write collectively to make the heritage of Pays de Brest visible, so that stories can be told in a variety of ways such as, storytelling, interviews, testimonials, and photos. The project brings together citizens, neighbourhood newspapers, associations, artists, librarians, teachers, etc. with a multimedia collaborative writing network in the style of Wikipedia. Wiki-Brest establishes a link of solidarity between the people of the Pays de Brest, through its innovative uses, co-production of content about the territory and developing initiatives. Through the richness of content available online such as, references and Wikipedia links, Wiki-Brest highlights the territory and its inhabitants. It also showcases the expertise about the collaborative project as well as the multimedia and Internet uses in Brittany.

In what ways is this project unique and creative? Edit

Wiki-Brest is a project of social appropriation, which focuses on residents and associations. This project builds social ties and increases the visibility of many facets of the community and the human and cultural heritage of this region. Just like Wikipedia, experiment on new ways to organize and collaborate. The "Multimedia in Pays de Brest, innovative practice and social ties in the territories" axis, following in the Centre de Resources’ footsteps, is part of the country’s responsibility to the region.

What is the social value of this project? Edit

Wiki-Brest is a social appropriation project. It relies on the citizens and associative structures of the Pays de Brest, this project aims to promote the region and its inhabitants. Each new contribution to this wiki leads to the discovery of a new aspect of historical, geographical, or cultural significance. This is an information tool for inhabitants of Pays du Brest, but also for visitors who wish to discover the life and history of the town.

This is also a project that has local citizens at heart; the many articles that describe their initiatives are meant to remind them of their vitality and to foster their expression via internet and multimedia tools. The opportunity to talk about their personal lives, neighbourhoods and work, helps to strengthen the social ties and sense of belonging to the territory that goes beyond the differences between districts and towns. The project also reaches out to remote ICT users via the Brest Hotspot network, which is used by people in the region who do not have internet access at home. The project also boasts a broad community network and hundreds of introductory workshops on how to publish content.

What is the potential of this project to expand and develop? Edit

Given its territorial dimension, this project can be reused and adapted to a number of areas. Wiki-Brest was the first wiki territory to emerge in France. Many other sites have since been developed including, Wiki Toulouse (November 2006), Wiki Armor (May 2008) and, most recently, Wiki Grenoble (December 2010).

What was the triggering factor of this project? Edit

In 1997, the City of Brest created a policy to favour equitable access to internet in the region. This policy addresses issues of social cohesion and regional solidarity. Hence the installation of Points of Public Accesses to Internet in districts, associations, libraries and city halls. Today a network of 100 public points of internet access are available in the city; the only network of this kind in France.
Since the creation of Cooperative Centre project of Resources for the public access to internet in the Pays de Brest in 2004, the City facilitates the network of the public internet access through the Pays de Brest.
In this context, which gave importance to the networking of local actors, Wiki-Brest was developed based on an interest in the open, collaborative approach used by Wikipedia, the use of wikis as a collaborative tool by actors in the Brest region, and a desire to increase social appropriation of the use of the internet to cultural and collective ends.
It is on the occasion of the first edition of the “Écrits Écrans Publics,” an event geared toward public multimedia expression in March, 2006 when Wiki-Brest was first presented as a project to create a collaborative space for writing, heritage, culture, and community living in the Pays de Brest. During the 2006 Fête de l’Internet that the first pages were developed for Wiki-Brest.

What is the business model of this project? Edit

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