While the archive was initially imagined as digitally storing ethnographic data that is relevant for researchers in Nairobi/Kenya, the archive has been thus far used less for this and more as an analytic workspace for the working group. This includes archiving our conversations, and allowing for collaborative analysis and sharing of particular artifacts. Workflows are definitely experiential in this regard and not efficient (time-wise). The technical learning curve and also investment of time to upload materials makes the archive less about comprehensiveness (or being easily searchable…) and more about putting diverse materials together and creating a digital trail that others might (eventually) be able to discover and build new connections to.
For RDS, the most helpful part of the archive might be the persistence of a particular essay (our COVID-19 essay, for example) so that even if we don’t work on it for a while, we know it is there and we can easily jump back in and keep contributing into it again. So it is durable over time (whereas documents in Google are easily lost in the flood of materials in a google drive and seem less obviously permanent and public-facing).