Archive for December, 2009

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


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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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