Jon Voss is the Historypin Strategic Partnerships Director. Together with global collaborators and the Historypin team, he’s helping to build an open ecosystem of historical data across libraries, archives, and museums worldwide. His innovative work at the intersection of technology and cultural memory is also getting him closer to his childhood dream of perfecting time travel.
Jon has a long track record of innovating solutions and community engagement on “big picture” problems. In the mid-nineties, his early work on social responsibility led him to develop new business practices for music festivals and rock stars through his work with the Tibetan Freedom Concerts and artists like the Beastie Boys, David Crosby and Wyclef Jean.
A decade later, he helped religious communities and other institutions develop and implement technology infrastructure and strategies that fit with their beliefs, cultures and daily practice. He served as the IT Director for the San Francisco Zen Center before running his own IT consulting firm for 7 years.
As part of his role with Historypin, Jon is actively involved in a number of collaborative projects that reach across the technology and cultural heritage sectors. In 2011, together with the Internet Archive, he created the International Linked Open Data in Libraries, Archives & Museum Summit, which he continues to chair. He represents Historypin in the National Digital Stewardship Alliance. Prior to joining Historypin, he brought together humanities practitioners and technologists at the first Bay Area THATCamp (“The Humanities and Technology Unconference”), which was hosted by WordPress.
Jon speaks frequently at a wide range of conferences on topics including Historypin, the power of open cultural heritage data, Linked Open Data, and bridging the generational divide. He also facilitates meetings using Open Space Technology, a method of organizing sometimes known as unconferences.
He’s spoken at SXSW Interactive, Where2.0, American Library Association annual meetings, Data2.0, SemTech; and he’s led workshops at the Smithsonian, New York Public Library and the Internet Archive, to name a few.
Best keynote ever!
@sibylschaefer at #saa12
Dealing with technical foobars at the beginning of his lightning talk with grace and charm, Jon had the audience on his side well before the technicians had their equipment sorted out. He went on to present with all the qualities we associate with We Are What We Do – information, insight, illumination, enthusiasm. I only wish we could have him back every year.
Courtney Johnston, Co-Convenor, National Digital Forum, New Zealand
Jon brings both passion and a sense of fun into his clear, insightful presentation. Our audience of rare book librarians, archivists, curators, and library administrators ranged from little knowledge of linked open data to those who actively work on projects based upon its principles. Jon was easily able to inspire us all with his energy and enthusiasm.
Shannon K. Supple, Reader Services Librarian, William Andrews Clark Memorial Library, University of California
We were excited to have Jon visit our museum in Melbourne, Australia. He gave a great talk, introducing Historypin and the concepts of linked open data to a mixed audience of information technology, curatorial and collection management staff. Our organisation was so inspired by the Historypin project and the organisation behind it that we decided to get involved, and now have over 9800 photos on the website. Jon’s passion is infectious and his talk left the audience feeling enthusiastic and motivated to act.
Dr Elycia Wallis, Manager, Online Collections, Museum Victoria
Top image: Paul Hagon