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DISCLAIMER: This site is NOT an official JISC site but rather the notebook-wiki for the jiscEXPO Programme Manager (David) to keep track of the various projects taking place within this programme. As this is a notebook it is only intended to make sense to its author and should be read with the proviso that it is in notes and therefore incomplete. Please contact to get context for the various notes.

summary of awards given at the programme meeting event
Updated Jul 15, 2011 by

This is post 1 of 3 on the #jiscEXPO Programme Meeting that took place in Manchester over two days (Mon July 11th & Tues the 12th). To see the other posts on this meeting please see the end of this post.

And the winner is...

It was my pleasure to announce the winner of five awards at the #jiscEXPO Programme Meeting, including:

  1. Best Project Blog Post of the Year
  2. Best Project Blog (Overall) of the Year
  3. Best Project Manager of the Year
  4. Best Project Developer of the Year
  5. Best Project Product of the Year

Best Project Blog Post of the Year

This award category was about celebrating a single blog post that made a splash in the community and got people talking about a new idea. All the project deserve thanks in this area as they all did more posts than I requested them to do as part of their Grant responsibilities.

The nominees included...

And the winner was...

Joe Lambert and Dan Smith (of the #musicnet project) for their post(s) on "" which caused a great deal of discussion and additional meetings for me, but none the less got a very important topic about sustainability of identifiers kicked off at the political level that enabled further action.

Best Project Blog (Overall) of the Year

This award category was about celebrating a project that used their blog to create a narrative and engage their reader throughout the course of the project. Obvious things like pictures, diagrams and bite size postings were used, however more than anything else it was the well formed and laid out content that made it a pleasure to engage with on a week to week basis.

The nominees included:

And the winner was...

The #luceroproject for their comprehensive description of what it was like to implement linkeddata in a University context, including everything from discussions with other departments on how to open up their data to a list of data and tools that other institutions could reuse if they wanted to implement their own as a common Open University Data Warehouse. I'm glad to see that this blog will continue to produce guidance as the OU pursues the use of into the future.

Project Manager of the Year

This award category was about exemplar skills in project management. I've often spoke about what I call the "flux capacitor of projects", and indeed it is the project manager who holds this capacitor together:

I would argue that it is the role of the project manager that is often the most difficult as we could really use more "Usability Experts" (UXers) to support the user so that the project manager doesn't have to wear two hats. None the less, the Project Managers in this category managed to do both and to do it very well despite the burden of being everyone to everything.

The nominees included...

And the winner was...

Mark MacGillivray who had to manage an exuberant #jiscopenbib project team, let alone the fact that this project was filled with very smart people with very distinct opinions - Mark was able to carefully listen to these opinions and make sense and clarity out of them so the wider world could understand what was going on in the project. Of special note is the 'Final Product Post' that Mark wrote which was highly praised in the review panel (see post 2 of 3: Products, products and products - highlights from the #jiscEXPO Peer Review panel).

Project Developer of the Year

This award is not only about the hard work that a developer often does without any real recognition, but also about the incredibly smart and pragmatic brain of an individual who is getting real things done in weeks, not months.

The nominees included...

  • Pete Johnston who is as clear a thinking individual as you'll ever meet and demonstrated that chaotic vocabularies can be made sense of if a pragmatic viewpoint is taken. (See more in post 2 of 3 on products, products and products)
  • Alex Bilbie is an up and coming developer who is just starting to do things that are starting to impress. I'd watch this developer closely as he will be doing truly amazing things in the coming years (if there was a newcomer award, Alex would have gotten it).

And the winner was...

Alex Dutton who was truly an inspiration in terms of hard work, not only in his project but in about a dozen other initiatives that had nothing to do with what he was getting paid for; rather, Alex is just one of these developers who quietly gets on with doing good stuff without having to be asked to do it. I've spoken about the need to better understand the capability of developers (we are not the borg despite out geek chic uniforms) and Alex is one of the few developers that I would say is just starting to creep up into the status of "guru" as I've spoken about in this post on "Good, Great and Guru Developers". I hope to see Alex in many more projects as his skills and hard work are invaluable to our sector.

Project Product of the Year

For me this award is the top award a project can win, because this award is about delivering value to lots of real end users. None the less, it should be said that these awards were really about thanking people and so my gratitude is equal to all the projects regardless of which type of award given out.

The nominees included:

  • The #jiscOpenBib project for collecting, triaging, organising, exposing and visualising the largest open bibliographic store in the world. The non-stop political efforts by Peter in going around to everyone in the sector and asking for their bibliographic data so the project could open it up; the care that Will took in organising the data on Bibliographica; the support by Rufus for sustaining the data and the conversation on OKF systems; and, the diligence of Ben in working with the data and making it less error prone and reusable, let alone building some truly visionary prototypes that some are starting to seen as the beginning of a "map of scholarship".
  • The #musicnet project for their alignment tool which was a perfect example of solving a real problem. Not only did the developers advance this tool to a feature rich tool, but they also did real world user testing to make the tool a functioning part of the project. A special call out should go to the user of the tool, David B. who held the true turnkey solution of having the music brain behind the tool for creating a comprehensive list of composers that were disambiguated via the tool. I can only hope that we can get other institutions to consider using this tool to create more authority files.

And the winner was...

...and this is actually going to be a surprise as it wasn't one of the "officially funded" #jiscEXPO project (rather this was an honorary project who were there participating in the programme without actually being awarded any money!)... talk about cost savings for JISC ;-)

The team made up of Dave Challis and Chris Gutteridge! - These guys amaze me because they just want to make stuff work for real people. They've not only engaged the most students of any of the projects but also have been tireless in their efforts of knocking on various doors throughout their campus and asking for data to use to make things better. Most importantly they have a spirit of "just do it" (which is exemplified by their blog). Because of this combination they not only produce real world tools that actually work which are actively used by end users, but are also actively being called up by Senior manager's in their institution to create further tools because they are serving real users needs. Thanks guys - your informal participation throughout the year was "value add" for the entire sector. I look forward to seeing many more in years to come.

I would stress that these awards were informal and intended as a 'thank you' from a JISC Programme Manager to the projects who actively went above and beyond their remit IMHO (apologies to any projects who I did not give awards, please know you all were an enjoyment with which to work :) .

Of course there were many other great products in the #jiscEXPO programme, but I'll explain all of those products via post 2 of 3 in the series: Products, products and products - Highlights from the #jiscEXPO Peer Review Panel.

Would you like to read more?

Post 1 of 3: And the winner is... - The #jiscEXPO Awards Dinner

Post 2 of 3: Products, products and more products - Highlights from the #jiscEXPO Review Panel

Post 3 of 3: Going forward from here... - What does JISC plan to do about linkeddata?

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