I’m Rowan Wilson, and I am project manager for Listening for Impact. I’ve worked at OUCS for nine years on a range of externally funded projects in the areas of digital archiving and preservation, free and open source software licensing and open educational resources. Before landing at OUCS I ran a web design team at a small internet service provider and on the side wrote pot-boilers about UFOs, vampires and true crime.
One thing that annoys me about the web is the disconnection between producers of content and its consumers. Back when I worked in a technical role at the Oxford Text Archive in the early noughties, it was clear that we received visitors from all over the world and a good many of them. Still it was hard to understand exactly what their motivations and interests were. Why, for example, did a range of US military IPs regularly download tens of copies of Oliver Twist? We did not have the resources to look into it, and so our literary contribution to the security of North America remains something of a mystery.
This project promises to allow us to really get to grips with the impact of Oxford’s podcasting activities. We know that our material is used by millions globally, but we want to know more about who, how and why. This will help us improve what we do and show the value of sustaining it.