World Digital Preservation Day – Be the Yeast

Along with the DPC, Artefactual is celebrating World Digital Preservation Day today.  As a company, we have always had a penchant for cake and so it seems natural to extend that love of baked goods into our passion for digital preservation.

With the right combination of ingredients amazing (and delicious) things can be made from simple components.  Bread is made from 4 basic ingredients: flour, water, salt, and yeast. Of course you can add more to a bread recipe to change the character and flavour of a loaf but at its heart, bread is simple.  Of these four components, however, one of them is critical to making the bread rise; to make it grow: yeast.

The idea of critical yeast vs critical mass has been described elsewhere and Heyley Lever’s blog post about building a movement provides a great summary of the concept as articulated by John Paul Lederach, a theorist on conflict resolution and change.

Generally people believe that a critical mass of people is required to bring about change, but Lederach has said that getting a small set of the right people involved in the right places is the key.  

Of all the ingredients in bread making, yeast is the smallest. But smallness has nothing to do with the size of potential change. What you look for is the quality of what happens if certain sets of people get mixed…. a few strategically connected people have greater potential for creating social growth than large numbers of people who think alike.

Preserving our digital materials is a goal for all, not a few. The theme of iPres 2022 and this year’s WDPD is ‘Data For All, For Good, Forever’ which is ambitious.  Digital preservation is a movement; it’s on a global scale.  Everyone needs to do it but to get to critical mass, we can act at a small, high quality, bubbly or active level. 

Artefactualities are baking today and we are going to share some personal stories about baking and our thoughts about working in the digital preservation domain.

The smallest ingredient in bread can make the biggest impact. Be the yeast.