Migrating content to Museum3.org

For the past 4 years I’ve used this blog to explore shifts in communication practices in cultural organisations. During that time we established Museum3 as a social network and as that has grown, it has become clear to me that this blog is now more of an archive as most of my engagement occurs on Museum3.

So, for those of you who come to this site in the future, please feel free to consider it an archive which reflects on the changes as they have occurred. If you are interested in what is happening now, please visit Museum3 and if you are interested in my musings on what the future might look like, particularly one which is more focused on the connections between critical making, crowdsourcing, design and cultural institutions, I continue to post about new research here.

Crowdfunding for creatives

Here at RMIT listening to a presentation by Fundbreak
It’s a new platform for creatives to source funding for projects.
You can find successful example in Diaspora, a uni on ny concept for looked at Facebook and privacy concerns
Posted project for 10000
Got significant Press coverage
Raided over 200,000US in50 days!
Numbers of supporters and customers for new platforms

5% transact fee for service if project is successful

Encourage by keeping target to min and use rewards

Collaborative cooperation of a network of people to support an initiative

Social, creative,

Examples
Sellaband
Kickstarter
Indiegogo
Growvc
Kiva
Artistshare

Growth in social networks
Funding sources are becoming limited

Can be used for
Presales
Gauge demand
Fund projects
Engage with fans
Have fun

Selling the experience to supporters

Key to success
Networks and true fans
Engaging with supporters – keeping them up to date -viral marketing
Exposure -
Online and offline communities

Looking for proposals,

Allsorts Online – exploring connections between broadcasters and museums

I had the good fortune to participate in the Collections Australia Network forum “Allsorts Online’ in Adelaide recently. The forum brought together an interesting array of individuals to explore what it means to be online now and, interestingly, the lines between collecting organisations and broadcasters. The event culminated in a panel session which explored the lines between the collecting sector, academia, media and the arts, suggesting that the blurring between these sectors brought new challenges, many of which have yet to be fully explored.

Prior to that though, speakers from within the broadcast sector provided some insights into the connections and potential partnerships between the collecting sector and broadcasters. This is the first forum I’ve seen where this discussion could take place in such a generous and spirited way. Thanks to CAN for their insight in preparing the session!

Professor Adrian Frankin (Collectors ABC) speaks about the collecting sector.
Collectors are obsessive, knowledgable: the Antique’s Roadshow presenters are often presented as ‘mad folk’: psychotic bow tie wearers with odd mannerisms and peculiar hairstyles. Yet,as Adrian reminds us, the collectors themselves are often more
knowledgable, if not such good television! Collectors on the other hand has taken a different approach. It has elevated collectors and collecting to heroic figures. When you see the collection and hear what they have to say, you can see why collectors
should be embraced as important figures in Australia’s culture.
Collectors as a critique on modernity.
widespread sense of loss- move from solid modernity to liquid modernity where certainty, continuity were rendered obselete.
re-aesthetisiation of arts and crafts
Many of the Collectors begin by collecting something which was important to them in their childhoods, holding onto a sense of loss. Collecting is a form of memory, holding still the look, feel of culture past through it’s objects.
Collecting as a technology for protecting our memories.

Chris Winter Head of Innovation, ABC New Media Services
Old Stuff, New Stuff, Some new ways of telliong old stories
opens with a twitter note: “No strings attached – public broadcaster seeks relationships for collaboration, converation and new ideas”
spreadability – put your content out there where people are hanging around
‘A daily dose of history’ widget for Iphone – daily 1 min of history
talks about how some agencies are nervous about others telling their stories
Chris introduces amazing examples of media archives in Scandanavia. The building is both an exhibition space and a functional archive. The facade is made up of screens which show blurred images from the archive. It looks like an amazing architectural experience!

Dr Susannah Elliot
Australian Science Media Centre
The blurring lines between journalism and citizen journalism
evidence-based science into the media
no specific science agenda – only agenda is to promote evidence, only deal with mainstream issues (recycling, climate change, bushfires, health, obesity, cancer etc)
to catch a news wave, you need to see it gathering – and react quickly!
how do people know what’s credible anymore?
helping scientists to visualise their findings – making them easier to understand to general public
could we connect museums to daily news?
a dynamic space where visitors can engage with latest issues?
could an online forum be made accessible to museum visitors – a place
where people can hear from scientists, perhaps even interact with them?

Sarah Keith,
National Client Solutions Manager, SBS
Sarah began by showing a showreel of archive footage from SBS. It was

ironic that the reel contained images of Malcom Turnbull circa ‘the

eighties’, on the very morning when his future changed.
But I digress,
SBS and Regional Arts collaboration – working with Skoda
SBS cannot do intergration but can do articulation. Whilst I can’t be certain of what this means in marketing terms, the upshot is that their collaborations seem to need to be larger than product placement. I’d be interested in how that works on a broader scale.

The session was a particularly insightful discussion of the potential for partnerships across the two sectors and the depth of content which could enable greater, more complex stories to be told. You can find the full program at http://www.collectionsaustralia.net/news_item/299 and you can follow the twitter tag at #allsorts09

The Business of Design @ the Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum

I’m here at the Times Warner Center in New York where 500 of the most connected design professionals in the city are here to listen to four leading interdisciplinary professionals speak on the subject of how business can implement design to spur creativity, innovation and better business practices.

The event has been organised by the Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum (CHDNM) as part of National Design Week (NDW). NDW launched in 2006 and since then it’s grown to incorporate events across the country.

NDW brings together design professionals to explore what it means to be a designer and what the future role of design in business might be.

Panel:
Chair: Daniel Pink – Author or A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future

Bill Moggridge, 2009 Lifetime Achievement National Design Award Winner, co-founder of IDEO
Sam Lucente, Vice President of Design, Hewlett-Packard Company
Jeanne Liedtka, Professor, University of Virginia’s Darden Graduate School of Business

Below is a summary of the day’s presentations.

Q1 – You’re all working at the intersection of business and design, how did you get here?

GL – Was looking for more exciting way of developing strategy. I became interested in the relationship of design to invoking behaviour that we want to achieve.
BM – Discovered industrial design as balance of artisan and science.
SL – Studied science and was interested in art. Was looking for combination and found industrial design. Then studied computer science to understand how to shape software as well as materials and processes for shaping products

Q2 – In business world how much of these two cultures come together? Maintaining products and innovative ideas?

GL – Looked at successful leaders over three years. Those who could navigate two worlds and navigate corporate bureaucracy were most successful. The ‘smiling submersives’ – quietly worked out how to inhabit the system and get things done. There is always a tension between inventing the new and sustaining the old. Base business that fuels the business. Organisations are designed for predictability and control. This gets in the way when you ask people to innovate. How do we help managers?

SL – Seeks out people who can innovate. Corporations that innovates makes room for those people: those who can navigate, find funding for projects, etc.
They typically have diverse educational backgrounds.

SL described three area of design which are significant to his practice: Design to differentiate, simplify and innovate. Typically designers focus on differentiation – strong brand etc. Simplify is about efficiency across product lines, where are there efficiencies in production across the supply chain? How can that supply chain serve the customer? Innovate – This requires repetitive, scalable tools to innovate: ie: new markets, design thinking models – observation, imperatives around insights, principals based on insights, then into solutions

BM – innovation lives in overlap between technology, business, people (middle of)
Where you start? Design starts from people and moves into the overlap. Balance between three is always present. In the past, someone else was telling designers how to bridge these areas. Now you have business teams which include these interpreters allowing innovation to flourish. Interdisciplinary practice, interest in collaboration

SL – collaboration and passion to change
Capture the collective IQ of a team. When you apply the right methods you can innovate

Q3 – How and when do we develop these abilities?

GL – The dominate value in business is often ‘don’t look stupid, don’t make mistakes’. This leads to a set of choices which narrows opportunity

Q4 – How do you innovate in large companies without looking stupid?
GL – You don’t do it through a “prove it to me in a powerpoint presentation”! In that case you’re using data from the past to justify future uses. Empowering people to do things, prototype small, demonstrate success.
We use experience mapping – notion that greatest opportunity begins by getting rid of the lows.

SL – Design can lower the risk of innovation. Design archetypes – build reference model for what a particular business would create in the next year. Financial models, physical model that takes supply chain into consideration – showed them how to innovate without risk. We now have 40 business cases which now lower the risk of innovation.

Audience question – guess who! At the moment there is a rise in literature which situates design within new business models, two of the authors of these methods are here today, Verganti’s design driven innovation is another. We’ve been talking about risk aversion; not being seen to make mistakes. Yet one of the most innovative industries of our time, software development, has been built outsourcing mistakes and testing them in a broader environment for a long time. Sam spoke earlier about a collective IQ of a team. We’re living in an increasingly participatory culture so what I’m interested in is how do you incorporate a larger basis, a larger collective crowdsourced intelligence into the design process?

SL – Changes are so disruptive that centralisation doesn’t work. We focus on wiring the social network – halo video conferencing systems, sharing data real time – understand what you’re creating from an emotional point of view – strong brand story into design behaviours. Working with competitors who are also partners, industry standard components. Work with customers in collaborative ways.

BM – Crowdsourcing is the success of the decade. People having fun designing their own contributions. Structure that enables crowdsourcing needs to be understood

GL- Dialogue and debate – you need to be able to engage in dialogue – hypothesis-driven discussion and invite doubters in and ask what data they need

Question from audience: How do you repurpose failure within business?

BM – Prototyping is an essential tool, it embraces failure. You want to see what’s wrong quickly and move on. Incremental innovation has something behind it while radical innovation you don’t have that basis. Embracing failure on the way to success.

DP – uses the example of writing a paper. Each draft represents prototyping and a type of failure – failure to achieve the final product in one go. Each draft is a way of testing the veracity of the final product

SL -Fail early. Products that can be described as conceptual failures can drive 70% of costs. HP have invested in immersive interaction. In infancy of this system.

Crowdsourcing and museum futures update!

Over the past few weeks I’ve been developing different streams of the past two arguements; crowdsourcing design and the future of the museum. Following an event which I organised with AIMIA in Melbourne, Anthill suggested a piece for their magazine. The subsequent article: Is Crowdsourcing killing traditional design practice was published on 1st Sept and has received a fair bit of comment. I’m particularly interested to explore the potential for designers to expand their practice and capacity through social networks! ABC Radio By Design has invited me to speak on 7th October. I’m pretty keen to get more comments on the value of this concept so please feel free to add your thoughts!

On another tact, ABC Radio National’s Future Tense program aired part one of the Future of Museums series. Frank Howarth (Director of Australian Museum), Louise Douglas (General Manager, Audiences and Programs at the National Museum of Australia) and I spoke on issues of relevance and communication. Thanks to the ABC for this opportunity! You can download the podcast and/or transcript at http://www.abc.net.au/rn/futuretense/stories/2009/2666242.htm
Part Two airs on 10th Sept at 8:30am!

Over the next few months there are many papers to write and I look forward to your feedback on all of these issues!

Feeling glum after GLAM-WIKI

GLAM-WIKI conference, Canberra 6-7 August

Two days in Canberra with some of the most thoughtful and proactive professionals in the GLAM (galleries, libraries, archives, museums) sector should have left me on a high. Yet somehow, this conference, organised by Wikimedia to explore potential relationships between them and the cultural sector presented more questions than provided answers.

The crux of the conference seemed to be this:
Wikimedia has global reach for its extensive resources. It also has a veritable army of volunteers who give freely of their time.
GLAM has extensive collections, many of which remain under-documented; hundreds of over-worked professionals and is considered the custodian of institutional cultural knowledge.

The obvious question seemed to be: how could these two sectors come together to their mutual benefit.

On the face of it, it sounds like an ideal relationship:the opportunity to broaden reach, tap into networks of volunteers and an opportunity for wikimedia to not only be the largest source of online information in the world, but with GLAM within the ranks, the most trusted and reputable.

So why so glum?

Andew Lih’s “The Wikipedia Revolution. How a bunch of nobodies created the world’s greatest encyclopedia” provided me with some insight. In it he discusses the central tenants of Wikipedia: good writing, neutrality, reliable sources, verifiability.It is the second, ‘neutrality’ that seems to go to the heart of problems with an otherwise perfect relationship.

Bernice Murphy, Director of Museums Australia suggested that there were bound to be interesting tensions if wikimedia wants neutrality given that GLAM has been working for the past 40 years to deconstruct neutrality. I’d go so far as to to say that the
notion of uncoupling the voice of neutrality in order to voice cultural interpretation as partial, constructed, contestable is infact the very thing that the ‘new museology’ is built on!

So how do we get around that one?

Another point, made by Paul Flemons from the Australian Museum was that the attibution issue has to be front and centre and content uneditable if GLAM is to contribute to Wikipedia. (snomelf [+] Fri 07 Aug 11:23 via Tweetie) As an academic, I know where Paul is coming from. Our measures of success include refereed publications, grant research activity and research higher degree completions. Writing for anything other than a refereed journal/conference is simply not recognised.

While many of us in the sector do maintain blogs and nings, we can claim a certain amount of impact in the sector as our contributions are attributed. Additionally, as I can attest from the museum 3.0 experience, we become known in the sector for our contributions and engagement. In the non-attribution world of wikimedia, what impetus is there to contribute given that we are already contributing scholarly research for which we are credited?

I was invited to speak in the education section of the conference and it was here that the questions really flowed! Following over an hour of discussion I remain convinced that what the sector terms educational programs and resources is different to what
wikimedia might consider these to be. Additionally, while wikimedia has access to thousands of volunteers willing to create content, GLAM has hundreds of employed education, public program and outreach professionals who specialise in interpreting
collection specific information and creating engaging cultural experiences. It was suggested that this craft approach to educational programs was unsustainable and this is where I think the tension lies.

I suspect that it does remain sustainable to create institution specific educational programs as GLAM is funded to achieve this; whereas it isn’t funded to create broader, cross-institutional educational resources. (except in circumstances such as The Learning Federation where extra funding is available to achieve this objective)

Perhaps this is where GLAM and Wikimedia could collaborate – in the development of resources rather than programs. If so, then there ar a number of questions that this raises:
What is the impetus for GLAM to connect with wikimedia?
What does free culture mean to GLAM?
What makes GLAM-WIKI outcomes unique?
How does this partnership translate to KPI?
Who owns Wikimedia content created in partnership with GLAM?
Who funds new content development?
Who and how is it branded?
What links are established to connect to original content?
Is wikimedia content supplementing, enhancing, subsuming GLAM?

The broader questions around the development of a value network which draws wikimedia and GLAM together would include:
Who participates in the network?
What is the role of content in that network?
How is value generated?
How do communities collaborate with institutions in the construction of knowledge?
How are these networks maintained in the process of assessing, acquiring, collecting and distributing content over time?

Sp perhaps glum is too harsh an assessment.

We are faced with a unique opportunity to consider new partnerships which on the face of it seem to the mutual benefit of all. Yet I can’t help feeling that unlike the more general social media arguement (ie: social media is about networked communication
therefore a valuable tool for creating, reaching and respondinng to new voices in a three-way communication model) the GLAM_WIKI relationship may need more careful thought (and possibly an airtight pre-nup) if we are to go down this road.

I’d like this partnership to work and would be really interested in discussions and feedback!!!
Thoughts here or twitter (artech05) would be most appreciated!!

Crowdsourcing design: what will this mean for museums?

Across the online environment, there is growing engagement with user-generated content which impacts on designers as they move from sole author and producer to facilitators of the design process. User-driven and open innovation models of collaboration are impacting on the design and development of services and while there is a growing body of theory exploring the basis of this innovation, there are few models for the way in which designers will practice within this environment.

We are currently witnessing transformations in the ways in which clients engage designers and the ways in which designers participate in the development of products, services and experiences. These transformations in design practice are closely aligned to changing audience expectation and a growing demand for user participation in the design process. This is in keeping with a shift from the development of a service to an experience economy. (Gilmore & Pine 1999, Rivkin 2000)

The notion of experience enterprises has been coined in response to the experience economy. It encompasses those enterprises, both commercial and publicly funded, which have at their heart, the mandate to attract new audiences/ consumers/ producers through the development of integrated, multiplatform experiences. For example, both Nike, with its hugely successful Nike + social networking campaign which facilitates the development of communities of runners worldwide and Flickr Commons, the photo-sharing facility developed for cultural organisations to share archival imagery focus on adding value to existing services by creating and sharing in memorable experiences.

In the museum environment, it is sometimes suggested that audiences/creators and producers are willing to pay more for products and services if these are provided in an atmosphere that generates ‘memorable’ experiences. If this is the case and designers have yet to explore the impact of the user/creator on their practice, what will it mean for the development of future museum communication programs?

This posting is a starting point for problematising a broader shift in consumption and production, recognising the profound impacts that these shifts will have on future design practices and in turn, the ways in which they will affect museum programs.

Some of the questions it seeks to explore include:
How will social networking affect design as an enterprise?
What will this mean to organisations which engage designers?
Will services and experiences converge?
Who will drive new models of design innovation?
How will innovation drive new audiences/clients?

This thought-piece hopes to explore the demand-driven environment for design innovation, supported by establishing partnerships throughout the value-chain of development through a participatory process of design which seeks to engage both audiences and users in the design and development of cultual interactive experiences. I am very interested in gaining insights from our community into how this might develop over the next few years. Please feel free to leave a comment here or on twitter. I look forward to your feedback.


About us

This blog examines social media, cultural institutions and digital participation. It's based on the research projects Engaging with Social Media in Museums and New Literacy, New Audiences. Regular contributors are Angelina Russo, Lynda Kelly and Seb Chan

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Lynda and Angelina at the Conference

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