A CLOUD software engineer from Seaforth is hoping to ‘harness the power of the community’ to create the ‘highest quality encyclopedia of Sefton history’ online.
Sam Cousins, 25, who has worked at companies including Everton Football Club and Yodel Logistics, currently works in the health industry.
He was fascinated and inspired by online Facebook local history groups - but was dismayed that searching for ‘high quality information about local landmarks was hard and a bit of a guessing game.’
He has now created a new free site, Sefton Digital, which is live now. It which will allow members of the community to share ‘gems of information’ such as photographs, stories, videos and memories from across Sefton, including Seaforth, Waterloo, Litherland, Bootle, Crosby, Ford and Southport.
As well as recognising people for their contributions, they will also pay ‘bounties’ for information, photographs or videos on hard-to-find topics or items of particular interest.
Sam Cousins told the Champion: “Our site is and will be, entirely, completely and forever free.
“Over the years many different community members have shared their photos, stories, videos, and memories of Sefton and our local area for free. Our goal is to archive as much as this knowledge as possible forever, and keep it open and free for anybody interested in our local history.
“We need help. Sefton is a big place, and a lot of knowledge about our local area only exists in our head. I think so many little gems of information are locked away in peoples heads about our local area and the mission of our site is to provide the highest quality encyclopedia of Sefton history.
“I want the site to remain free, and open forever, and also be led by the community, to ensure that we don’t lose these gems of local history knowledge.
“I have a small team building the site, and I’m leading them in building a modern, well crafted website and putting money behind getting things right.
“Now is the perfect time to harness the power of our community for a project like this, and the site has been set up so every post can be commented on, while being searchable and easy to navigate.
“Users can comment on posts, submit content and ideas for us to consider making a post, and we also pay bounties for information, photographs or videos on items of particular interest.
“The site is intended to be a comprehensive digital archive of local history, as well as a forum for community members to discuss, share, and collaborate on extending our local history knowledge.
“We need community members to contribute as much knowledge of possible before it’s lost forever.
“To reward our community for contributing, we offer the following.
“Firstly, a Community Contributors Badge. Ranked in Bronze, Silver, and Gold, these badges let everybody in the community know you have contributed.
“Second, Contribution Bounties. From time to time, we will offer a cash reward for hard to find items. Look out on archive posts for active bounties.”
To find out more, go to https://www.sefton-digital.co.uk