More teens are creating and sharing material on the Internet
January 04, 2008 by LyndaK

The Pew Internet Project released a new report today on Teens and Social Media. Some highlights from Pew’s media release:

  • 28% of online teens have blogs and blogging growth is almost entirely fueled by girls.
  • Super communicators rise as email fades as a communication tool for teens.
  • Content creation by teenagers continues to grow, with 64% of online teenagers ages 12 to 17 engaging in at least one type of content creation, up from 57% of online teens in 2004.

Fueled by new technologies, websites, and social network domains such as Facebook and MySpace, large numbers of teens share and create materials online:

  • 39% of online teens share their own artistic creations online such as artwork, photos stories, or videos
  • 33% of online teens create or work on webpages or blogs for others, including friends, groups they belong to or school assignments
  • 28% of online teens have created their own blog, up from 19% in 2004, and almost completely driven by the popularity of blogging among girls
  • 27% of online teens maintain their own webpage 26% of online teens remix content they find online into their own creations

Girls continue to dominate most elements of content creation. Some 35% of all teen girls blog, compared with 20% of online boys, and 54% of wired girls post photos online compared with 40% of online boys. Boys, however, do dominate one area – posting of video content online – online teen boys are nearly twice as likely as online girls (19% vs. 10%) to have posted a video online somewhere where someone else could see it.

These findings are highlighted in a new report from the Pew Internet & American Life Project, “Teens and Social Media.” The report is based on a national phone survey of 935 youth ages 12-17 in December 2006. The margin of error for the survey is 4 percentage points.

The survey found that content creation is not just about sharing creative output; it is also about participating in conversations fueled by that content. Nearly half (47%) of online teens have posted photos where others can see them, and 89% of those teens who post photos say that people comment on the images at least “some of the time.” Teens who post videos report a similarly large incidence of feedback, with nearly three quarters (72%) of video posters receiving comments on their videos. See more in their report

The new corporate intranet, Web 2.0 style
December 5, 2007 by LyndaK

Received this link from Martin Stuart-Weekes. Really interesting. I have heard of another company (was it Deloittes??) that developed applications based on Facebook-type approaches as their intranet. Love their idea of “Facebook Fridays”!

[Seb comments:] This report may also be of interest:
http://research.ittoolbox.com/surveys/survey.asp?survey=purchasing_smt_survey2&p=1

Our industry partners in the news
November 23, 2007 by Angelina

A recent article in The Australian, Frank Howarth, Director of the Australian Museum, discussed the ways in which the internet is changing the organisation. Lynda Kelly, Tim Hart and Sebastian Chan contributed their expertise to the article, particularly in relation to issues of authority and voice, access and digital preservation and audience expectation. We’ve been discussing these issues throughout the project and it is encouraging to see them appear in a national paper!

Social Design Best Practices
November 7, 2007 by LyndaK

Got this link via Russ http://bokardo.com/archives/googles-social-design-best-practices/ The principles they are talking about are very relevant to the work we are doing in social media and museums I think.

Museums in Australia
November 06, 2007 by Angelina

NMA3NMA2NMA1

I’m here at the National Museum of Australia in Canberra where a 3 day conference is underway around the theme of Museums in Australia. Organised by former Australian Museum Director, Des Griffin, the conference presenters are, for the most part, authors invited to contribute to an exciting new book to be published by the National Museum. The edited book, Museums in Australia, slated for publication in 2008 draws together researchers and practioners to discuss significant changes in the sector over the past 40 years.

I have been invited to contribute a chapter on ICT in museums and the paper Media Museum: developing social networking and digital content creation draws on both my PhD research and our joint research into social media in the museum environment.

A number of excellent speakers including Tim Hart, Museum Victoria; Viv Szekeres, Migration Museum SA; Peter Stanley, National Museum of Australia; Jennifer Barrett, University of Sydney; Phil Gordon, Australian Museum; John Stanton, University of Western Australia and many others discussed issues pertinent to their discipline specific knowledge. We look forward to telling you more about the book as it progresses!

Special thanks to Caroline Butler Bowdon, Head Curator, Museum of Sydney for reviewing the article and making the time to join us in Sydney to provide her feedback!

Second Life and the ‘view of the child in museums and galleries’
November 04, 2007 by Angelina

This post is based on information provided by Bob Banks, Daniela M. Romano, Cathy Burke and is the result of email conversations between Susan Groundwater-Smith, Lynda Kelly and Jerry Watkins.
For those of you on Facebook, you may be interested in UK Second Life Educators group. Recent projects in the UK suggest that Second Life may an interesting space through which to explore how young people design and building museum / gallery spaces. Second Life could be viewed as both a prototype and evaluation medium for the following reasons:

  1. Realising a museum / gallery in a different medium naturally draws forward questions around the purpose, use and value of the space.
  2. As teams develop the space, the discipline of adapting the design and using feedback from real visitors, provides an invaluable research opportunity.  

There are a number of museums and galleries in second life FOR young people – most associated with “physical” museums. While there aren’t many examples of young people creating their own museum / gallery spaces, there are a couple of inspiring examples from other contexts. Global Kids Island on Teen Second Life UNICEF Festival in Teen Second Life. A space for anyone up to the age of 18 to design a world fit for children. Another example is a 3D wiki designed by Hiro Pendragon. The wiki allows users to collaborate on designs for the redevelopment of a real-world park. The wiki has been used in the virtual redevelopment of a park in Queens, New York.

Other projects under development:
– At University of Sheffield a current project involves building a “Virtual Show control System’. This involves the creation of a design tool to support exhibition planning to allow designers to visualize and test different effects (such as sound, light and imagery) during the planning stages of an exhibition. The idea is that the designer will be able to ‘walk through’ the virtual exhibition and see it from the view point of the visitor in real-time whilst having the options to experiment with different effects to test their effectiveness in order to create a personalized experience for the visitors.
– At University of Leeds, research is underway to explore how children (age 7-11) can help practitioners understand more about the child’s experience of visiting and learning in museums and galleries. The research aims to identify what a gallery designed by children would be like and what we can learn about gallery design from the result. The researchers are investigating forms of digital technology which will allow children to build and arrange exhibits.

We’d be interested in other examples!

4 responses:
The Grid Live » Second Life News for November 4, 2007 Says:
November 4, 2007 at 4:05 pm e
[…] Second Life and the ‘view of the child in museums and galleries’ For those of you on Facebook, you may be interested in UK Second Life Educators group. […]

Pino Monaco Says:
November 6, 2007 at 12:18 am e
In September, the Visitor Studies Association (http://www.visitorstudies.org/) newsletter presented a study by the Arizona State University on the learning and cognitive impact of an educational MUVE interface systematically designed from a cognitive processing perspective. Pertinent literature was included.

Angelina Says:
November 6, 2007 at 1:15 pm e
Thanks Pino. I’ll have a look!
Cheers Angelina

Lynda Kelly Says:
November 7, 2007 at 4:44 am e
The work of the Knowledge Media Research Centre in Tubingen, Germany (which I have blogged about here is also very relevant. I’m lukewarm on SL actually. I think there are plenty of current websites that offer many of the SL features without all the technological problems. Have you ever tried to get in to SL?? I did and it was a complete failure!

New Pew Internet Data on Parents and Internet Use
October 26, 2007 by LyndaK
Pew Internet & American Life Project has just released a new report on parents and their use and regulation of the internet in the home. Parents view the Internet less favorably than in 2004; teens are more likely than their parents to say tech devices are helpful. Parents are engaged with their children’s media consumption, but have less positive views of the internet today than they did in 2004. A new data memo issued by the Pew Internet and American Life Project based on a telephone survey in October-November 2006 found that 59% of parents think the internet has been a good thing for their children, down from 67% in 2004. The majority of parents check up on their teens’ Internet use
– 65% say that they check to see what websites their teenagers visit. An even larger percentage of parents have rules about media consumption
– 77% of parents have some sort of rule about what their regulated their teenage children’s media use.
The majority of parents also say that digital technology makes their lives easier, but their children are even more positive about the benefits of digital devices. 88% of teens report that information and communication devices make their lives easier, compared with 69% of their parents.”
The full report can be found here http://www.pewinternet.org/PPF/r/225/report_display.asp

I also wanted to add in some data I collected recently in an online survey of what over 2,000 Australian adults were doing online. I asked about monitoring their childrens’ internet use. Of those with children (n=703):

– 68% of their children access the Internet

– 87% of these parents (n=477) responded yes to the question ‘Do you regularly monitor their internet use?’

Although I didn’t go into detail of what “monitoring” actually means (given the constraints of the online survey), the results are still very telling.

Cultural Institutions online
October 24, 2007 by Angelina

The Australian ran an interesting article on the uptake of ICTs in cultural institutions. While it is good to see such an article in a major Australian newspaper, the article falls short of identifying the changes afforded by social media. Second Life is discussed as a contested space and issues of visitation and audience numbers are described. Overall the article didn’t really delve into the possibilities too deeply and didn’t provide any critical dimension to the uptake. Regardless, it is an interesting read and can be found here!

3 responses:
Lynda Kelly Says:
October 24, 2007 at 4:44 pm e
There is an article in the current Museum News about Second Life and museums. Having been at a presentation on SL last week I became even more convinced that the hype around it is not worth it, and we are better focussing on providing excellent social media experiences which is a more acheivable outcome. SL has too many technical problems and I don’t believe offers anything that you can’t already get on the web anyway.

Lynda Kelly Says:
November 2, 2007 at 5:13 am e
The Australian will be doing an article on this topic in tomorrow’s paper (Saturday) I believe. They interviewed me and our Director (Frank) for it. Hopefully it makes it into press.

Angelina Says:
November 4, 2007 at 10:50 am e
That’s great Lynda! Let us know if it makes the paper!

Facebook! Learning in Museums and Galleries
September 13, 2007 by Angelina

Facebook. I’m truly surprised at the power of this social media site! Putting aside the Scrabble, the continuous poking and Fun Wall messages, I’ve found it to be valuable for work-related networking. Learning in Museums and Galleries is, as the name suggests, a group focused on sharing knowledge around the sector. With 200 members (30 more than last week) the group instantly connects you to a community of professionals with similar interests. I think the power of this group has to do with the potential scale of networks. As we know, it takes years to develop professional networks yet this group introduces you to 200 members instantly. I’ve had a number of invitations to international events in the past few weeks and I’ve even posted some myself. It’s worth having a look at!

4 responses:

Lynda Kelly Says:
September 14, 2007 at 11:59 am e
Couldn’t agree more. I love how seamlessly the professional, the personal and the just plain silly can all be linked together in the one place. I have found the levels of my email have dropped as I use Fb to connect with people that I’d otherwise spend emailing. It is particularly useful when travelling and for uploading images if, like me, you find Flickr a bit hard to use. I’d be interested in doing some research into this, perhaps as part of our ESM grant?

social media consultant Says:
September 21, 2007 at 2:57 pm e
its not like that its totally up to u how you are using this technology . every technology has its positive and negative impacts

Lynda Kelly Says:
October 17, 2007 at 9:54 am e
One thing about Facebook I have found personally is that I now no longer blog as frequently as I used to. This was causing me some stress until I read this post which makes some really good points about blogging. I especially liked point #2 which reminds us about the right type of readers not the number of readers.
I also received this rather interesting diatribe (? I guess that’s the word?!) about social networking sites…

nlablog Says:
October 24, 2007 at 7:09 am by Angelina
Interesting diatribe! Who says those old-fashioned slightly left of centre types have all but gone! Social networking prior to the corporates was something that only those ‘in the know’ could really be involved in. The new back and front ends make the process accessible to those with the means to participate – whether that comes int he form of training or access to networked computers. Barriers to participation at the level of user-interface have all but gone.

How can cultural organisations create markets for the creative industries?
August 12, 2007 by Angelina

John Holden from Demos recently published a new report Publicly-funded culture and the creative industries. Throughout his discussion of the value of publicly-funded culture, Holden suggests that cultural organisations are important to the innovation and enterprise agendas of the creative industries due to their ability to:

  • act as brokers;
  • act as a source of legitimacy for emerging creative talent and creative industries’ products;
  • provide a memory resource;
  • utilise their education departments for the distribution of culture to a wide audience;
  • provide spaces for networking.

Yet Holden admits that little work has been done to probe how the relationships between publicly-funded culture and the creative industries function.

I consider this to be a significant report for our research because it describes the lack of connection between theory, policy and practice in the cultural organisation sector. It also goes some way to addressing the issues which we have been investigating, particularly in relation to the rise of user-generated content and participatory design strategies within cultural institutions, particularly in reference to how cultural organisations:

  • act as trusted cultural online networks;
  • distribute community knowledge; and
  • view their role as custodians of cultural content. (Russo et al 2006)

Cultural organisations are at the forefront of negotiating changes to notions of voice and authority and are well positioned to provide skills and training to enable cultural participants to engage with culture in creative ways.

Holden makes an interesting point in relation to how the creative industries are viewed by the cultural sector. He proposes that the underlying contemporary notion that art and commerce are contrasting ideas is in some way a re-interpretation of Enlightenment ideas of the connections between creative skills and economic endeavour. He uses the establishment (in 1754), of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (now commonly referred to as the Royal Society of Arts) as an example of the seamless union of art, design, craft, manufacture and commerce suggesting that the creative industries are the embodiment of this Enlightenment ideal . He cites examples including The Great Exhibition of 1851, in the establishment of the V&A (which started life as the Museum of Manufactures), in the writings of William Morris and in the post-war ‘Britain Can Make It’ exhibition. In Australia this is most readily seen in the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences, now known as the Powerhouse Museum Sydney.

Holden proposes a typology of interactions between the creative industries and publicly-funded culture suggesting that it:

  • can help to theorise the creative industries;
  • is embedded in networks that interweave with the creative industries;
  • displays direct linkages with commercial culture and the wider creative industries (sometimes called ‘spillover’);
  • develops human capital skills that are applicable across a wider field, into the creative industries and beyond;
  • encompasses models of individual practice that can be applied in the creative industries and beyond;
  • includes organisational models and practices that can be used in the creative industries;
  • is a vital part of the infrastructure of cities, where creative industries are generally concentrated;
  • operates as an attractor for the location of creative individuals and businesses;
  • provides spaces and places for the development of creative industries’ networks and serendipitous exchanges;
  • has outputs that become the stimulus, and sometimes the inputs, for the creativity of others.

If this is the case, then it suggests that cultural institutions can be considered a driver of the skills, knowledge and practices which can direct creative industries policy into audience-driven engagement and can lead innovation and forms of enterprise formation. At the same time, Cunningham et al proposes that

the quality of linkages and the lack of clear public policy signals and frameworks, together with a number of other critical issues mark the innovation system as embryonic at best. Public policy needs to address the significant framework shifts required to capture the innovation potential of digital content industries by moving, for example, from a situation of unrelated cultural policy and higher education policy to a more fluid, dynamic but more challenging mix of more coordinated program initiatives.

Increasingly, the New Literacy, New Audiences research points to the need to engage with cultural policy to extend the theoretical underpinnings and practical applications which have driven our research agenda. I am very interested in pursuing this both through this project and more comprehensively in the next ARC Linkage ‘Engaging with social media in museums’ where the questions of fluid, dynamic, audience-driven communication will essentially require a comprehensive understanding of the legitimacy and value of digital content in the innovation debate.

One response:
Stuart Cunningham Says:
August 13, 2007 at 10:44 am e
This is a thoughtful reply to Holden, who I think has produced a very positive essay on the relationship of publicly-supported cultural orgs and the creatives industries (CIs). But Angelina’s comments don’t go directly to the question of the enabling/facilitation of commercial/business outcomes that Holden points to. This is the nub of Holden’s essay.

Pew Internet releases Teens and online stranger contact report
October 17, 2007 by LyndaK

“The report released Sunday found that teenagers who create social networking profiles and post pictures online are more likely to receive contact from online strangers and that girls are more likely than boys to have unwanted encounters. Girls, teens who post photos online and teens who create social networking profiles report higher rates of online contact by people unknown to them than boys or teens who do not post photos or maintain social networking profiles, according to recent analysis by the Pew Internet & American Life Project.

Although several factors are associated with high levels of stranger contact, the large majority of these interactions are benign – just 7% of online teens have ever had an interaction with a stranger that made them feel scared or uncomfortable. Among teens who have been contacted by someone they did not know, girls are much more likely than boys to find the communication scary or uncomfortable. While social networking teens are more likely to be contacted by strangers in the first place, they are no more likely to find these interactions scary than other online teens.”

The full report is at http://www.pewinternet.org/PPF/r/223/report_display.asp

4 responses:
Tama’s eLearning Blog » Pew Report: Teens & Online Stranger Contact Says:
October 17, 2007 at 2:12 pm e
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Seb Says:
October 17, 2007 at 6:32 pm e
Oh come now . . . . don’t you know “playing online leads to straying online!”
Obviously Aussie kids are more at risk than Americans.
http://www.netalert.gov.au/

Lynda Kelly Says:
October 19, 2007 at 9:49 am e
Yes! It is really tiresome because many parents who don’t have much web experience are really influenced by these fear campaigns. Michael Duffy in the Sydney Morning Herald has written several pieces critiquing the Australian Government’s approach on tis issue (but I can’t find them now!).

nlablog says:
October 24, 2007 at 7:03 am
and teenage girls who sit around the pool in their bikinis are probably more likely to be accosted by strangers than those sitting at home on their MySpace accounts!

I’m not convinced that parental monitoring is the way forward. The report seems to overlook that teenagers with enough nouse to upload photos, make friends and chat online may infact be smart enough to manage unwanted contact. The article does support this to some extent, suggeseting that
“profile-owning teens see some level of unwanted contact as a known downside of maintaining a social networking profile and view it as a relatively minor “cost of doing business” in this environment.”

I agree with Lynda. It is tiresome and doesn’t contribute anything positive to the debate. Social networking is probably more inter-generational than the report suggests and possibly less threatening to users than to those critiquing the effects!

University of Edinburgh researchers leading the way!
by Angelina 28 July 2007

While I was in the UK recently I met with Dr Sian Bayne, Jen Ross and Professor Brian Martin from Higher and Community Education, University of Edinburgh. The researchers were recently chosen to work with the Victoria and Albert Museum on the development of research which documents the impact of the National Museums Online Learning Project which is managed by Carolyn Royston. Carolyn was a participant in the ‘Planning for Social Media’ workshop which the NLA team delivered at Museums and the Web in San Francisco, April 07. I’d been speaking with Carolyn about the similarities between our two projects and she introduced me to the University of Edinburgh researchers! The purpose of the NMOL project is to better utilise the digitised content within the ten participating national museum and gallery websites. The project focuses on using existing databases, articles and functionality to encourage users to engage critically and creatively with museum and gallery collections. Some tools and further functionality will be created to encourage this process. The target audiences for the project are schools and lifelong learners.
As you can see, there are some interesting research parallels between NMOL and NLA and to that end; we’re hoping to develop a research collaboration which includes co-publication and possibly a large collaborative grant. I’d like to thank Sian, Jen and Brian for their hospitality! I had a lovely time in beautiful Edinburgh and look forward to extending our research collaboration!

Pew Internet Report on Online Video
by Lynda 26 July 2007

“WASHINGTON, D.C., July 25 – Fifty-seven percent of online adults have used the internet to watch or download video, and 19% do so on a typical day. The growing adoption of broadband combined with a dramatic push by content providers to promote online video has helped to pave the way for mainstream audiences to embrace online video viewing. Three-quarters of broadband users (74%) who enjoy high-speed connections at both home and work watch or download video online. The Pew Internet & American Life Project’s first major report on online video also shows how many video viewers have contributed to the viral and social nature of online video. More than half of online video viewers (57%) share links to the video they find with others, and three in four (75%) say they receive links to watch video that others have sent to them. Video viewers who actively exploit the participatory features of online video, such as rating content, posting feedback or uploading video, make up the motivated minority of the online video audience. Young adults are the most active participants in this realm. In all, the survey asked respondents about ten different types of online video content:

  • 37% of adult internet users say they watch or download news videos online
  • 31% say they watch or download comedy or humorous videos online
  • 22% say they watch or download music videos online
  • 22% say they watch or download educational videos online
  • 19% say they watch or download animation or cartoons online
  • 16% say they watch or download movies or TV shows online
  • 15% say they watch or download political videos online
  • 14% say they watch or download sports videos online
  • 13% say they watch or download commercials or advertisements online
  • 6% say they watch or download adult videos online

Professional videos are generally preferred to amateur productions online, but amateur content appeals to coveted segments of the young male audience.”

Full report: http://www.pewinternet.org/PPF/r/219/report_display.asp

Culture on demand
by Angelina 14 July 2007

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport in the UK has just released a commissioned report entitled Culture on Demand, Ways to Engage a Broader Audience. The report draws together quantitative and qualitiative data to determine: important drivers of demand for culture; tactics which address these drivers; motivation and experience which drives demand and to suggest practical ways to engage a broader audience. The research will inform forthcoming policy decisions, the development of objectives and how the Department relates to the wider sector.

Does Europe want a digital museum?
by Angelina 11 July 2007

Here at the EVA conference an in-depth presentation of the European Digital Library (EDL) initiative was discussed. This enormously complex project is based on the notion of a multi-lingual single point of access to Europe’s cultural heritage. This new cultural portal will draw materials from the museums, libraries archives and audio-archives sector. Jill Cousin discussed the two main project objectives which are: to produce prototypes which enable users to access materials in multilingual manner; and to establish a legal foundation for multi-organisation collaboration. Expected results include: more visible community of cultural professionals in the sector; roadmap; a proposal for funding to create a fully operational European Digital Library service beyond Nov 2008.

The project is built around three major work packages: Human, political and intercommunity interoperability; technical and semantic interoperability; users for usability. The website: http://www.europeandigitallibrary.eu should be live in September 08. David Dawson, Museums, Libraries and Archives Council, UK. discussed MICHAEL: Multilingual Inventory of Cultural Heritage in Europe which catalogues digital collections and links them to the education community but does not provide item level access to object collections. It provides a map of where content is and how it is managed. David discussed the technical frameworks and guidelines which will enable the extension of this initiative into the European Digital Library Project. In particular he described the network interoperability and actions which the European Commission has asked all member states to take to: increase digitisation; enable access; tackle IPR issues; and enable preservation.

In the UK, EDL will be strategically rolled out following a number of stages including: national strategy for implementation; content aggregated into the People’s Network Discover Service Infrastructure; and then integrated into the redevelopment of the 24hr Museum. David finished by asking what about museums? How will they interface with the EDL project? He suggested that museums are a diverse community with emphasis on interpretation and mediation. So is there an ambition for a European digital museum? Suzanne Keene suggested that perhaps museums have yet to come to terms with the notion of access to collections, that their focus on creating exhibitions on their own terms in some way has slowed the process of engaging in digitisation and access. The general discussion which followed revolved around the following issues:
How can museums be best represented?
Do users want a European digital museum?
Do you want a European digital museum?
If we had one – what could it be used for?
What content should we priorities?
How important are learning resources/mediated content?
How do we make sure it is interactive?
If we allow co-creation based on digitally accessible content, do we need to create toolkits?
What types of interaction do we want to encourage?
It was suggested that rather than build the ‘one-size-fits-all’ European Digital Library (at a cost of over 23 million Euro) perhaps the museum sector could spend the next few years creating focused multi-organisational initiatives which utilise cross-European collections and enable small institutions to participate. It will certainly be an interesting project to watch. In the meantime, if anyone can come up with a name which reflects the participation of the sector (obviously there are a few organisations who are troubled by the singular reference to libraries) I’m sure the development team would like to hear from you!

Notes on EVA
by Angelina 10 July 2007

This morning, at the EVA conference in London, I gave the next iteration of the Planning for Social Media in Museums workshop which Jerry, Seb and I first delivered at the Museums and the Web in San Francisco in April. Thanks to Professor Suzanne Keene from University College London for the opportunity to give the workshop at the EVA conference. The updated workshop has been informed by Jerry’s research into participatory design and the discussions we had at our recent Industry Partner symposium in Canberra. In this iteration, the strategic tools provide museum professionals with a roadmap for developing discussions internally and for collaborating across departments to consider how social media can add value to museum experiences. We will be delivering the next iteration of the workshop together at the Museum & Gallery Services Qld State Conference at the Gold Coast in September.

PictureAustralia: Ourtown
by Angelina 13 June 2007

Fiona Hooton, Manager of PictureAustralia “invites the community to add their perspectives on Australia’s rural and urban spaces, to juxtapose the contemporary with the historical, and to illustrate domestic and work spaces by contributing images to the new Flickr group, PictureAustralia: Ourtown.” In 2006, National Library of Australia began an innovative collaboration whereby individuals were encouraged to join Yahoo’s Flickr photo-sharing groups and upload images which made reference to the NLA collection. Ourtown continues the continues the successful partnership and to date, has resulted in an active community of more than 700 contributors and 20,000 photographs. Read more about this initiative!

Fiona Hooton will be speaking at the Social Media and Cultural Communication conference in Sydney, February 2008.

New Demos Report on participatory culture and cultural institutions
by Angelina 03 June 2007

Demos UK have just released a new report, Logging on. Culture, participation and the Web. which explores online participatory culture and cultural institutions. The report can be downloaded free at the Demos site. The report looks at the convergence of three trends:technological change; the ways in which people engage with culture and the policy aim of increasing democratic participation in culture. The report pays particular attention to audiences which have been historically difficult to reach. Demos assert that the common issues with these trends is the shift from ‘passive consumption to participatory engagement. This discussion is an interesting reflection on the many issues which the NLA research has explored over the past 18 months.

Seb Chan has provided some extra reading links for this report on Fresh +New.

The BBC and YouTube – a case-study in cultural debate!
by Angelina 23 May 2007

Paul Gerhardt from the BBC Creative Archive discussed this instance of YouTube/BBC debate at the recent Video Education and Open Content symposium at
Columbia University New York. It goes like this, John Sweeney, BBC journalist was involved in a ‘row’ while making the BBC Panorama film “Scientology and Me” Here is an excerpt of his story surrounding the filming of this documentary. “Scientology has fought many battles to keep its secrets off the web, now they are using it to attack my investigation into them. Scientology has prepared an attack video, and they have shown the Scientology v Sweeney shouting match to anyone who would watch it.” You can watch the BBC’s film which was first aired on BBC One on May 14 2007. Its 29 minutes long and can be accessed from the above website.During the production of the film Sweeney lost his temper. Here is what he has to say, “As often in life, I snapped over something completely different and quite trivial. Top Scientologist Tommy “Don’t mention the word cult” Davis had been goading me all week, and on the seventh day I fell into his elephant trap. He shouted at me and I shouted back, louder. If you are interested in becoming a TV journalist, it is a fine example of how not to do it. I look like an exploding tomato and shout like a jet engine and every time I see it makes me cringe. I apologised almost immediately, Tommy carried on as if nothing had happened but meanwhile Scientology had rushed off copies of me losing it to my boss, my boss’s boss and my boss’s boss’s boss, the Director-General of the BBC”.

This has resulted in an extraordinary chain of events:
‘BBC reporter losing it’ posted on YouTube on 10 May 2007 had 752,014 views, 748 comments and has been favoured 748 times.
‘BBC reporter John Sweeney’s excuse for losing it’ was posted on YouTube on 12 May 2007. It had 122,647 views, 68 comments and has been favoured 43 times. ‘BBC reporter losing it (unedited) + BBC defense’, posted 13 May 2007, had 167552 views, 1424 comments and has been favoured 164 times. A number of other video reponses have been uploaded.

This controversial instance presents some real challenges and opportunities for the BBC. Of the almost million viewers how many might be existing BBC viewers? Has this instance inadvertently ‘captured’ a new BBC audience?How will the BBC deal with future events? Will they be seen as promotional/ authoritative opportunities?

To date, Paul tells us that these and other questions remain unanswered! Yet this example goes some way to exploring the issues of voice and authority which we have been writing about and presenting in recent times. We talk about insitituions gaining authority by providing voice and in this instance I think there is a real opportunity for the BBC to capture an interested niche audience and provide opportunities to continue scholarly debate. It’s also interesting in relation to the recent NLA blog on Radio National’s Politics and the Internet.

Politics and the Internet
by Lynda 22 May 2007

Interesting Radio National piece: “No one really knows if the Internet will be a force for a new kind of democracy, or just another (albeit miraculous) technology. Shifting sands in demography, voter behaviour, and the world wide web, are all challenges for political campaigners. Pitfalls and successes abound.” Reporter Sharona Coutts.

Museums Australia 2007: thoughts

by Jerry 19 May 2007

Lynda Kelly has already written in detail on her experience of the conference as a whole on the Audience Research blog, to which I have only a little to add.

The MUSETECH presentations were well-chosen. Michael Parry (ACMI) gave an excellent progress report on the Victorian Cultural Broadband Network and stressed the policy-driven nature of the project. At the other end of the scale, Dr Joanna Cobley (the Museum Detective) described the relative ease of DIY cultural media in the form of museum-related podcasting. I argued that specific communication strategies are required the implementation of social media as a form of creative engagement by the museum.

It was of course only after I’d given my presentation when Lynda merrily informed me that Nina Simon has already reached similar conclusions regarding strategy on her Museums 2.0 blog. I approach the question of social media in museums from my background in communication strategy and recently I’ve started to become increasingly disappointed by the lack of adherence to or – even understanding of – such strategies in this sector. I’m relieved to see that Nina (a museum experience designer) is also emphasising the importance of strategy.

I used my second presentation to the Ideas and Design session to address the issue of voice vs. authority. Simply put, should the museum operate as the hub of a cultural network and engage communities of interest in conversation, collaboration and co-creation? Or should the museum continue as a bastion of cultural authority which does not seek the opinions or knowledge of non-experts (via social media or any other means)? Using the Wikipedia example, I suggested that a non-scholarly online knowledge base is far and away the most-accessed online reference in the USA precisely because it acknowledges and encourages community voice. Check out the April 2007 Pew Internet report Wikipedia users by Rainie and Tancer.

Jessica Harden’s Notes from AAM 2007 in Chicago reflect elements of this voice and authority debate: “It astounds me that while missions of museums seem to embrace this fundamental democratic notion of being for and about the people, senior professionals are so reluctant to accept visitor voices and embrace or even incorporate visitor generated ideas into the fabric of their institutions.”

Hear, hear, Jessica.

A Typology of Information and Communication Technology Users
by Lynda 14 May 2007

A new Pew Internet report. Their summary “Fully 85% of American adults use the internet or cell phones – and most use both. Many also have broadband connections, digital cameras and video game systems. Yet the proportion of adults who exploit the connectivity, the capacity for self expression, and the interactivity of modern information technology is a modest 8%. Fully half of adults have a more distant or non-existent relationship to modern information technology. Some of this diffidence is driven by people’s concerns about information overload; some is related to people’s sense that their gadgets have more capacity than users can master; some is connected to people’s sense that things like blogging and creating home-brew videos for YouTube is not for them; and some is rooted in people’s inability to afford or their unwillingness to buy the gear that would bring them into the digital age.

These findings come from the Pew Internet Project’s typology of information and communication technology (ICT) users. The typology categorizes Americans based on the amount of ICTs they possess, how they use them, and their attitudes about the role of ICTs are in their lives.”Ten separate groups emerge in the typology.

Full report A Typology of Information and Communication Users

Hiding messages in plain sight
by Lynda 16 February 2007

A technology that can “hide” information in plain sight on printed images has begun to see the first commercial applications. Japanese firm Fujitsu is pushing a technology that can encode data into a picture that is invisible to the human eye but can be decoded by a mobile phone with a camera. The company believes the technology will have spin off implications for the publishing industry.

See more

Council of Australiasian Museum Directors Annual Survey Highlights
from Creative Economy http://www.creative.org
Posted 09 February 2007

A museum visit may not seem an immediate candidate for the list of quintessential Christmas activities but research undertaken by the Council of Australasian Museum Directors (CAMD) tells a different story. CAMD’S annual survey shows that total attendances at CAMD’s twenty-one museums rose to over 12 million in the financial year 2005/06. Over 9.1 million of these visitors went to one of Australia’s major museums and 2.9 million to New Zealand venues.

See more.

New challenges for museums
Posted 09 February 2007

Neil MacGregor, Director of the British Museum, participated in a debate “Memory and Universality: New Challenges Facing Museums”, held at UNESCO Headquarters. See more.

People flock to museum websites across Australia/NZ
by Lynda 08 February 2007

New figures from the Council of Australasian Museum Directors show that 2005-06 was “a tipping point” for the 17 Australian and four New Zealand museums covered by the organisation. For the first time, 14 of the 21 museums had more virtual visitors than those who walked in through the door. Though total attendances rose to a record 11.8 million, a healthy 3.5 per cent increase over the previous year, web usage rose dramatically – to 34.6 million virtual visits.

See more.

Where did Americans get their election information?
by Lynda 19 January 2007

Twice as many Americans used the internet as their primary source of news about the 2006 campaign compared with the most recent mid-term election in 2002. Some 15% of all American adults say the internet was the place where
they got most of their campaign news during the election, up from 7% in the mid-term election of 2002.

A post-election survey by the Pew Internet & American Life Project and the Pew Research Center for The People & The Press shows that the 2006 race also produced a notable class of online political activists. Some 23% of those who used the internet for political purposes – the people we call campaign internet users – actually created or forwarded online
original political commentary or politically-related videos.

Download the full report.

New Pew Internet Report on Teens and Social Networks
Posted by Lynda 13 January 2007

More than half (55%) of all of online American youths ages 12-17 use online social networking sites, according to a new national survey of teenagers conducted by the Pew Internet & American Life Project.

The survey also finds that older teens, particularly girls, are more likely to use these sites. For girls, social networking sites are primarily places to reinforce pre-existing friendships; for boys, the networks also provide opportunities for flirting and making new friends. A social networking site is an online place where a user can create a profile and build a personal network that connects him or her to other users. In the past five years, such sites have rocketed from a niche activity into a phenomenon that engages tens of millions of internet users. The explosive growth in the popularity of these sites has generated concerns among some parents, school officials, and government leaders about the potential risks posed to young people when personal information is made available in such a public setting.

The data memo, written by Senior Research Specialists Amanda Lenhart and Mary Madden, is based on a survey conducted by telephone from October 23 through November 19, 2006 among a national sample of 935 youths ages 12 to 17. The survey asked about the ways that teenagers use social networking sites and their reasons for doing so. Among the key findings:

– 55% of online teens have created a personal profile online, and 55% have used social networking sites like MySpace or Facebook.
– 66% of teens who have created a profile say that their profile is not visible to all internet users.
– 48% of teens visit social networking websites daily or more often; 26% visit once a day, 22% visit several times a day.
– Older girls ages 15-17 are more likely to have used social networking sites and created online profiles; 70% of older girls have used an online social network compared with 54% of older boys, and 70% of older girls have created an online profile, while only 57% of older boys have done so.

Teens say social networking sites help them manage their friendships:
– 91% of all social networking teens say they use the sites to stay in touch with friends they see frequently, while 82% use the sites to stay in touch with friends they rarely see in person.
– 72% of all social networking teens use the sites to make plans with friends; 49% use the sites to make new friends.
– Older boys who use social networking sites (ages 15-17) are more likely than girls of the same age to say that they use social networking sites to make new friends (60% vs. 46%).
– Just 17% of all social networking teens say they use the sites to flirt.
– Older boys who use social networking sites are more than twice as likely as older girls to say they use the sites to flirt; 29% report this compared with just 13% of older girls.

“Both boys and girls rely on social networks to keep close tabs on their current friends, but older boys are much more likely to use them to meet new friends and flirt in the comfort of an online environment,” says Mary Madden.

Digital Content – some UK examples
by Angelina 09 December 2006

While I was in the UK I met a number of interesting people who have kindly sent some links to projects, think-tanks and reports which could be of interest to readers of this blog. Mike Lowndes, Interactive Media Manager at the Natural History Museum, London is a leading researcher and practitioner in the use of Semantic Web. Here are some of his links:
Museum Computer Group UK provides a forum for discussion between museum, gallery, archive and HE professionals who work with computers and new technologies. This group meets at least twice a year, produces a newsletter and has an e-mail discussion list. For those of you interested in UK trends, this is an extremely interesting site. You can download Mike’s paper An Introduction to the Semantic Web from Museums and the Web 2006.

For those of you interested in RSS feeds, Jon Pratty from the 24hour Museum will be presenting at Museums and the Web2007. His workshop, Hands-On. Exploring RSS feeds in a cultural context will be timely addition to the Web 2.0 debate.

Pew Internet Report on Internet As Resource for Science
Posted by Lynda 22 November 2006

Fully 40 million Americans use the internet as their primary source of news and information about science and 87% of online users have at one time used the internet to carry out research on a scientific topic or concept. As a primary source for science information, the internet is second only to television among the general population.

For Americans with high-speed internet connections at home, the internet is as popular as TV for news and information about science. And for young adults with high-speed connections at home, the internet is the most popular source for science news and information by a 44% to 32% margin over television. The national survey conducted by the Pew Internet & American Life Project in collaboration with the Exploratorium benchmarks how the internet fits into people’s habits for gathering news and information about science.

For the full report, please visit: http://www.pewinternet.org/PPF/r/191/report_display.asp

Games People Play
by Lynda 17 November 2006 

As a museum learning specialist and a parent of an 11 year-old boy I have become very interested in the ideas behind gaming and how that could be used in a museum context. Found this useful article today

Also found a few papers on Museums and the Web, one dealing with gender  and another on real-time environments  and there looks to be an interesting experiment at Questacon but – while the paper has interesting technical detail – it doesn’t really talk about what the users experienced and learned.

Has anyone else looked into this do we know?? 

The Web 2.0 report you have to have!
Angelina 23 Jun 06

Jim Spadaccini from http://www.ideum.com has produced a comprehensive survey of museum blogs and community-based sites. For those of us trying to keep up with developments in this field, Jim’s research couldn’t have come at a better time! The report itself documents blogs from Science, Art, Children’s and History Museums. It includes museum-related sites which will be of general interest to many.Possibly the most distinctive and well-designed audience-focused blog site is Ontario Science Centre’s Redshift Now. Not dissimilar to The Science Museum of Minnesotta’s Science Buz which won this year’s Best Innovative or Experimental Application at Museums and the Web 2006, Redshift Now has an edge which is hard to beat! Redshift Now displays daily museum news, Field Diaries, Science Briefs – a series of quirky scientific discoveries and The Redshift Report which includes cleverly targeted pod casts.What I find most appealing about this site is that it cleverly integrates site-specific experiences of visiting the Science Centre with online experiences, particularly through “The Amazing Aging Machine”! On your visit to the Ontario Science Centre, you enter the Amazing Aging Machine and your photo is taken and then digitally aged before your very eyes! You then print the photo or download it from the web within 30 days of your visit. Now who wouldn’t be rushing to visit this exhibit?What is significant about the design of Redshift Now is that it sets a new standard in museum blog design (young as it is)! The site has a real sense of belonging to the museum proper; it isn’t text heavy and takes advantage of simple technologies to provide the impression that this is a signifcant part of the museum’s communication! I can see it appealing to young people and probably more importantly, to curators. I’d recommend it to museum professionals who are trying to conceptualize how to connect community creation programs with their collections.

And if all else fails, visit the site just for the “Water Cooler – Science you just have to talk about!” This clever integration of topical world-class research as office chat site is superb – and yes, we women in the sector are waiting for the most recent link to the New Scientist article to become a reality!

Links
Web 2.0 report
Redshift Now
Science Buzz

Content Wars
Angelina 19 Jun 06

Max Anderson is no stranger to the media landscape in museums. As current Director of the Indianapolis Museum of Art and former president of the Association of Art Museums he speaks eloquently about the changes which social media have brought to museum culture. A managerial equivalent to Stephen Weil, Anderson provides a unique insight into both commercial and institutional cultural content debates.

In this article – for the Art Newspaper – Anderson sets the contemporary museum landscape as one which embraces audience engagement without fear. He suggests that this doesn’t diminish curatorial scholarship but serves it up in a more accessible format. Furthermore, the partnerships created between museums and producers will produce licensable high-resolution content which can be shared across institutions. Folksonomic protocols will be developed and a range of marketing and promotional services will grow from these initiatives. It is a delightful view of the democratisation of the museum, one where the audience is finally heard!

Anderson’s view of the content wars is as intriguing as it is difficult to instigate. With an impressive record for increasing audience numbers and project donations we can only watch and see whether Indianapolis Museum of Art will lead the way in the uptake of social media in art museums.

Links
Maxwell Anderson Who Will Own Art Museums’ Content?
Indianapolis Museum of Art

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5 Responses to “Reviews”


  1. 1 Seb August 12, 2006 at 8:53 am

    re “Content Wars”
    Angelina Russo put me on to this interesting short think piece from The Art Newspaper Oct 2005. Whatever solutions are preferred, the landscape looks like this: museums will ultimately embrace file-sharing, and overcome their fear of loss of authority. Curatorial scholarship will likely find its way near the top of the information pyramid, but is best served up in a more accessible format if it has the public at large in mind. Furthermore, the way forward will likely be with a combination of free content and licensable, high-resolution multimedia content, most economically built by consortia instead of by one museum at a time. The content will have to be updated, open to folksonomy protocols that encourage end users to contribute to databases, and that emphasize live features (real-time tours of shows and behind-the-scenes experiences) that people will pay a modest amount for. Museums will begin focusing on those things that younger audiences will be prepared to download for a micro-payment or subscription, alongside ample free offerings.

  2. 2 LyndaK August 15, 2006 at 6:38 am

    Seb, I too found this is an interesting and accessible article, however there was also one sentence at the end of Anderson’s piece that museums and galleries shouldn’t forget: “And in the process, we can all hope, this will spawn demand in a new generation for the experience of original artworks in museum galleries.” We need to be maximising the best of the real stuff that museums hold coupled with the best ways to privide addtional content in ways that engage a range of audience (those who are techno-literate and those who are not).
    I recently commissioned a study of online memebership – what users were doing online now and what they would (and mostly, wouldn’t) pay for. We found that users have very strong views about public institutions and at this stage were not prepared to pay anything (not even a small cost-recovery fee) for any content that they perceived they had already paid their taxes for. We also found quite high levels of suspicion around giving out any kind of personal information over the net (even just email addresses and even among younger users) as people still don’t seem to trust that their information won’t be used somehow in the wrong ways.
    However, the landscape is shifting I guess, and it will be fascinating to track these views over time.

  3. 3 Megan Sheehy November 13, 2007 at 11:24 am

    Some really interesting information on this site. Thanks! I am doing my Masters on history and Web 2.0, so if you have any articles or info you think may be of use, please shoot me an email or leave me a comment on my blog.
    Cheers
    Megan

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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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