Friday, May 18, 2007

Museums and Web 2.0

While at the MA conference I have been asked by several people here what Web 2.0 is ... this is worrying! My straw poll of museum professionals at this conference revealed that noone has heard of Web 2.0, let alone doing any thinking about what it might mean for museums. So I promised to send them something, and have blogged it instead (I have been kind and sent them an email also!).

The three things I recommend people view/read are:
* The Machine is us/ing us
* Nina Simon's blog post about implementing Web 2.0 in museums
* paper discussing organisational barriers and Web 2.0 We are going to discuss this on our wiki

Of course there's lots more but I don't want to overwhelm people! Jerry's papers presented at the MA conference had a great summary of how strategy needs to come before tools so, at the risk of now overwhelming people I would add this to your list.


Jerry Watkins said...

Lynda - I started to get the impression from the conference that some museum people might equate 'strategy' with committee meetings that seem to hinder rather than stall a creative project. Hence some aversion to the idea of a 'strategy first' approach. Do you think this might be the case? And if so, could this explain while more than a few presenters were recommending those interested in new media projects to just 'give it a go'?

LyndaK said...

I think this might partly be the case, as well as people feeling generally overstretched and therefore reluctant to take on what seems to be more work, while not understanding that these tools might actually save time and produce better results for our audiences.

I was very curious too about the idea of just 'giving it a go' - certainly that's what I'm doing with this blog, Mel's project and our audience research wiki. However, it's often easier said than done to 'just do it' as many organisations may not be tolerant of these kinds of experiments. Plus also being publicly-funded institutions there is always that sense that we are representing the organisation at all times.

I know I have some nice management readings that may give clues about organisational change and experimentation but I can't lay my hands on them at home, will look at work when I get back Monday.

LyndaK said...

Also, should have referred to the organisational barriers to using Web2.0 discussion, and the culture of busy-ness discussion at fresh+new.

Jerry Watkins said...

I'm concerned that the 'give-it-a-go' approach in the museum community is producing a set of business-2-business chat rooms. These may be effective in training their originators in the technology and processes behind social media, but do not address the strategy of participation with external communities - which, surely, is what social media are supposed to be all about?

LyndaK said...

I think you're right to some degree, for us we need to start with the b2b before we can move on and think about what tools we may need to use to best work with our communities. I'm hoping that Stage 2 of the Australian Museum Stories project will help us?

Apart from say the Brooklyn Museum, do you know of any who have taken the next steps with social media and co-creation with communities?

LyndaK said...

Also the Telling Lives project.

Chris Larry said...


Curator of the Telling Lives program Richard Rabinowitz recently presented about this project at the American Association of Museums conference. I posted the video he used, the hand out and the discussion questions on the Telling Lives Blog

I love that your a web 2.0 advocate down under, and don't despair they are just as slow to react here in the USA. My blog I run at NYHS is "underground" and they just started "investigating" using blogs. Its fear of giving up control!

Have you and Mel looked into social bookmarking technologies?

Jerry Watkins said...

In terms of what I would call co-creation, there's obviously ACMI's Digital Storytelling project, and the State Library of Queensland's Queensland Stories project. These are both based on digital narrative although ACMI has not progressed as far as it wants in being able to show stories online. And of course there's the perennial BBC Capture Wales project. The V&A site incorporates a number of co-creative 'games' (for want of a better word).

In terms of content sharing strategies - similar to the Brooklyn Museum is National Library of Australia's Picture Australia project, using Flickr for community content contribution. Another use of Flickr was the Pace/MacGill Gallery’s Self-Portraitr exhibition.

MoMA (NY)'s retrospective of the Residents used YouTube to post video clips of work by the finalists, and collect public feedback - another example of a content sharing strategy.

If Australian Museum Stories develops in its current form, I think it will be quite an original and ambitious application of co-creativity.

LyndaK said...

Thanks Chris. I'm downunder and underground! Glad you posted as I tried to put a link into my previous post but was watching TV at tiome and got distracted.

Regarding social bookmarking do you mean like, or are there other things we need to look at?

LyndaK said...

Following Jerry's post, I have placed all those links on my They are all tagged with DST, so search on that.

Jerry, in the late 70s the Residents were one of my favourites - what a strange band! I still have one of their albums on vinyl - Duck Stab one side and Buster & Glen the other - which I got for my 18th birthday (now I'm showing my age...). I've just spent a happy morning looking through my old record collection and found some gems (including the Smiths, who I haven't heard in ages, as well as some shockers of course!).

Thanks for the suggestions in your post and for the memories!

mel said...

bit of an outline on social bookmarking here. I do think it is worth the exercise to experiment b2b, otherwise how do you promote the use of something to the community if you don't understand it yourself? And also, how do you discover areas and ways in which it can be an effective tools without experimentation?

LyndaK said...

Issue Two of the MAG, the magazine of mgNSW, focusses on Information Technology. There is an article by Angelina, Jerry and Seb called Look Who's Talking - how social media such as blogs and podcasts can support and even strengthen a museum’s voice and authority. You can download the whole issue of the MAG from the above link.