Following a successful, highly entertaining and (dare I say it) educational conference, I’ve been at a slight loss as to how to communicate it to those who weren’t there. In time, we will place the recordings online and I’ll upload images to the museum3.0. I’ve also got the twitter feed which is an invaluable record of the issues as they were addressed. So, in an effort to create a comprehensive, useful document, I’ll be uploading reflections on each of the speakers along with the websites they discussed in their presentations. I’ll do this over the next week as, from experience, I know that faced with an entire conference full of links and ideas, chances are, we don’t get the time to go through them properly.
I was delighted with the quality and diversity of the speakers. There is a certain leap of faith that occurs between establishing conference themes, sourcing the speakers and then wondering whether your internal organisational structures will mean anything to anyone else!!! This was most definately the case with the Culture 2.0 session. I knew why I’d invited Graham Durant and Colin McLeod to speak in the same session.
I was convinced that although they were speaking from different realms, their common interest – capturing and maintaining an audience – would mean that they could speak to the issues of the session in provocative ways. The underlying principle was that cultural and commerical organisations are now no longer just using the same tools (marketing, exhibition, events) etc. they’re occupying the same spaces (Facebook, YouTube) etc. Few of us, organisations and individuals included can hide behind the ivory tower for much longer. In academia we’ve had to get used to being more public (had you told me I would be writing in this way 5 years ago, I’d have had a few unpublishable comments to make!) But, as we see the value in new technologies, we tend to use them. I for one, haven’t washed clothes by hand for a good thirty years! But I digress… So with that as the preamble, here are summaries of their presentations:
Professor Graham Durant
Graham’s insightful and thoughtful presentation focused on the evolution of co-creation and its potential impact on cultural communication. Some of the main points included:
-cocreation enables people working together wherever they are
-we need to get used to living in a beta world – adapting to change as issues arise
-we can use our institutional web presence to communicate & reach audiences and once there, we need to develop culturally appropriate content
-we need to experiment with new partners
-we need to go where our audience is rather than wait for them to come to us
Graham questioned why museums weren’t, for the most part, placing more emphasis on shifting their resources to meet the new demands of changing audience expectation. As a Director a highly successful Science Centre, it was telling to hear his thoughts on resource management and future needs. Questacon has a growing presence in social networking spaces including a YouTube channel. The presentation was developed using Michelangelo’s ‘Creation of Adam’ as the background image. Details of the painting were used to emphasize particular points – a delightful detail which contextualised the complexity of the case within an historical understanding of both aesthetic and economic concerns.
Graham’s mix of historical reference and contemporary issues was, in itself, a metaphor for the great challenges which the sector faces. The knowledge sector is built on 19th century ideas of enlightenment through civic education and Graham’s presentation suggested that fundamental shifts in communication – from one way to co-creative, wer a necessary part of the evolution of the institution. His summary slide described some of the reasons the sector might choose to participate in social networks and discussed some of the downfalls of that participation. Judging by the the trememdous initiatves which Questacon is involved in, I would suggest that Graham has found a way of balancing these complex issues!
Dr Colin McLeod
At first (as documented by the Twitter feed and subsequent blog feedback) it appeared that some audience members were questioning what the General Manager, Marketing, Communications and Public Affairs at the Australian Football League was doing, speaking about Culture 2.0.
The crux of Colin’s presentation was the need to be clear about the value that can be brought to experiences, events and partnerships when exploring social media. As the largest sporting body in the country with close to a million participants from AusKick (entry level football education) through the clubs to the national league, the organisation needs to maintain its focus – so how might they connect with cultural content and what place does social media have in their business plan? His main points included:
-social media allows AFL to connect with fans in ways that engages them,allows audiences to express themselves and AFL learns from this process
- AFL needs to keep engaged and stay relevant – social media is a constant challenge for them
- AFL likes social media as it challenges way they think about engagement & participation, making the old new again through new connections
- Social media questions the values the AFL want to share and how they want to engage with community
Colin described a project AFL had undertaken in conjunction with researchers from Queensland University of Technology ( Dr Mark Pennings) and Swinburne University (me). This project linked the AFL with State Library of Victoria and Melbourne Cricket Club through the development of two online exhibitions which discussed the origins of Australian Football (1848 – 1898). The sites were linked to a ning site where viewers could become active participants, sharing their knowledge, stories, images and objects with a broader community. Colin emphasised that in such partnerships, the value came from enabling the audience to share their stories and to connect to content within the library.
Colin also discussed the power of social networking in relation to supporting sporting endeavours and building communities. He used the ‘My Football Club’ example, ‘the world’s first and only web-community owned football club’. In 2008, the online community purchased the Kent based, Ebbsfleet United football club for £600,000. Three months later Ebbsfleet united won the FA Trophy at Wembley. Colin used this example to illustrate the power of shared values and community engagement.
In his closing statements, Colin told us that he’d been asked to speak about a great many things in his time, but never about culture – and for this he was thankful!
Australian Football’s Origins – Interactive Exhibition
Australian Football’s Origins – social network ning site