As I started work as a digital learning object designer for the European project BioMinE, I didn’t know much about biohydrometallurgy and realized there were others knowing so much more. The material I was able to produce and publish was not that competent relative to what experts working with these issues for many years could produce. Therefore it was natural and also expected of me to involve experts - or, rather, that experts would contact me when they needed special help with illustrations and other advice about learning objects.
Pre-BioMineWiki times were characterized by communication problems:
At first we tried to encourage partners to produce material at their local computer. Therefore we tried to supply partners with suitable software which they needed to install on their local computer. The software cost a lot of money, even though it was not heavily used. A lot of information was sent between them and me as attachments in e-mails. Sometimes partners were writing explanations and text that other partners already had been dealing with simply because they didn’t know about each other. How could they? Often, a lot of material was composed on a local computer before it was sent to me for comments or publishing. People who may have made use of each other didn’t cooperate - one hand didn’t know what the other hand was doing. When replying to e-mails I often repeated answers I had already given somebody else at another occasion.
I think you would agree that, as time passes, published material goes out of date if it is not updated now and then - and few people want to read yesterday news. What was going to happen with the published learning material that was produced when the project was finished? Was it going to end up like one of those web-pages "last updated -95"?.
I decided that my role was to present experts with a tool which enables them to publish material on their subjects themselves. As publishing with this tool is so easy, it is also a short and informal procedure to do updating - BioMineWiki was born.
--Anna Bauer 20:21, 30 December 2007 (CET)