Archive for April, 2009

When social media and formal learning collide…

The other morning (I can’t remember which one now – timezone changes and all) I had a new experience in relation to research dissemination and teaching. I was invited to develop a guest blog post for the University of Manchester’s digital heritage course blog site
Having (re) experienced the late night US lack of internet connectivity, I eventually managed to send the blog post to Kostas Arvanitis and set myself up for the skype conversation to follow. It was an interesting experience. The students had been discussing the blog post in their class and towards the end of the session Kostas rang me on Skype and asked me some questions which had arisen during the session. With a poor connection and no sense of who was in the audience, I basically did a radio interview wondering how much was actually being sent down the skype line (often poor at the best of times). After we were cut off mid-way we tried again and successfully finished the session. I appreciated the opportunity to discuss some of my most recent ponderings on the shift from cultural to value networks and look forward to further discussion on the course blog.
In hindsight it was a tough session, particularly with the poor line. Even so, it’s a format I’d like to explore more fully. The blog post has posed some more questions which I will be exploring there and elsewhere. Thanks to Kostas and the students. I do hope we can do it again!

Here at Museums and the Web 2009

I’m here at Museums and the Web in Indianapolis. Seb Chan and I delivered the Planning for Social Media Workshop yesterday. The slides can be viewed on the M&W site later today. I’ve been summarizing this morning’s session. Thanks to some killer jet lag I can’t promise to be awake for the afternoon session. You can follow the twitter feed at #mw2009. If you would like to follow me (when I’m awake) or to comment on this blog post, it would be great to do so either here or on Twitter. I’m artech05.

Opening Plenary
Maxwell Anderson, The Melvin & Bren Simon Director and CEO, Indianapolis Museum of Art
Moving from Virtual to Visceral

It is imperative to make behind the scenes available to audiences before and after visits.

Finding ways to keep volunteers engaged is a worthwhile effort

Exhibitions are curator’s conceits. They are only one way of communicating museum programs.

Looking and learning are only part of what visitors do: they also park, shop, eat. Museum needs to be sensitive to the whole visitation experience

Choice and opportunity are critical to visitation

Viewing art is analogous to watching drag racing – moments of viewing

Experiential environments can be compromised by excessive orientation

Virtual solutions as simulacrum- do we become caught up in our own obsession with technology?

Take our visitors to the movies rather than just show them the credits

Telling stories is the key issue

Wetting our appetites online

Urges us to maintain educational mandate of the museum rather than commercial intrusions

Encouraging voyeurism- how did this come to pass? Take cue from television appetite for behind the scenes

Allow audiences to see themselves in the narratives we deliver – an empathetic response

Present museum statistics online

Could steve project change the language of art criticism?

We should allow tagging to influence our decisions

Artbabble.org – not just enjoyment but incrementally, these recordings can become part of visual record

Visual traditions are not owned by curators

Most of what we acquire in museums is accidental- donors etc.

Flickr Commons – how long will it be around. Make sure we have something sustainable in-house

Look for experiential hooks – what makes visitation meaningful to audiences

Encourages push-back to ‘big banana’ curators
Serendipity is so much part of accessioning

Be reflective of what matters, not just what can be measured

Next steps…
More engagement
Not just access

Non visitor is such an important part of museum program- making a case online is experiential substitute for being onsite

Museum visitation can be transformative. Build intergenerational experience of museum visitation

manderson@imamuseum.org

Organisational Change
Chair Mia Ridge, Science Museum UK

Organisational Change for the On-line World: Steering the Good Ship Museum Victoria
Tim Hart and David Methven

In sourcing model – build capability in-house
How do we bring the organization along in the change?
How should we change our work practices? What are the key objectives?

At Museum Victoria an online strategy was created from information logic map
Drivers, objectives, benefits, changes

Organisation wanted ownership of their processes

Online planning group
Framework
Schedule
ICT restructure

Online planning group
Endorses projects
Ensures adequate resources and schedules

Framework
Understands online
Works and manages
Evaluates
Establishes measures of success

Online experiences
Information
Participation
Relationship

Collectish – organise and share yr collection
Connect with other collections. Result of the recognition that relationships are part of the new agenda and core business of the museum.

Down to Earth: Social Media and Institutional Change
Vincent de Keijzer and Patricia Deiser

Make use of audience participation

What will benefit staff? How do you seduce them?
Start talking to people inside museum- create online platform for internal discussion

Continuous access to cultural heritage project
Ideas, proposals, projects, experiments

“It must be remembered that there is nothing more difficult to plan, more doubtful of success nor more dangerous to manage than the creation of a new system. For the initiator has the enmity of all who profit by the preservation of the old institution and merely lukewarm defenders in those who would gain by the new one.” Nicolo Machiavelli

Who benefits most from the solution to the problem? Make them the project leader

Next steps…
Build the community from within the organisation

After the Heroism, Collaboration: Developing an Inter-Departmental Interpretive Goals Process at SFMOMA
Stephanie Pau and Peter Samis

Organising learning and mobile space

Creativity within IT team could be better utilised if folded into broader processes

Curators provide outline of interpretive goals of project

246 and counting
Architecture and design exhibition showcasing current acquisitions

The art of participation
The artist describes his silent sonata: “It seems idiotic but that’s what I did”

Frida Kahlo
Reaching out to new audiences

Evaluations showed that audiences were interested in
Artists own voice
Art curators and critics
Not so interested in other visitors voices

Tap on artwork and hear about the work – very popular

Mobile content via cell phone very problematic
Expensive for travelers
Wireless is intermittent
Dialing into content creates barriers

Next steps…
Promote with museum wide strategy

Thanks to Mia Ridge for chairing the session.


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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