The everyday web- social, situated and sensory:social

on Wednesday was the annual Museums computer group – ukmw09 conference, held at the V&A, it was a fantastic day, i came away brimming with ideas, and it provided another opportunity to meet some twitter people in real life, slightly disconcerting at times (sitting next to DSalmon and both of us knowing each others sirnames from our twitter ID’s before fully introducing ourselves – great to meet you in person David).  I took too many notes, and tweeted a lot of the interesting stuff along the way, but here are my unedited notes from the sessions.  I will hopefully do a blog post on each and then do a round up of what i thought about it all and how i shall be planning on taking some of the ideas forward – out of the conference into  the fire…

First Up: Social

Why social? Fed up of listening around twitter and facebook… ephemeral and superficial. But there is a bigger issues that can be discussed. Re contextualising our  culture. Learning from the past to help towards the future. Social is serious. Social tools are very young. Like playdough, can be shaped in new ways because its powered by people. The museum sector has a big contribution to make to the shaping.

British museum and the BBC

Matthew Cock (British Museum) & Andrew Caspari (BBC)

A history of the world  in 100 objects on radio 4. Neil Macgregor presents. Describe and understand how cultures around the world developed, rather than the Eurocentric word view. Jan 18th 2010.

Public service partnership 2010-2012. 100objects covering 2 million years of history.

100 episode Radio 4 series, involving 350 museums, local radio stations, website, Cbbc programmes (relic guardians of the museum… cool name!), plus 100 objects from BM. Using radio as a medium rather than TV for speed, as TV would cost even more time and money, and all they would have is a posh shot of people wearing sandles on exotic locations, rather than a coherent and inspiring story.  Therefore the 100 objects focus is the story rather than visualisations of the object and its context . Big opportunity for a social site and engagement.

It becomes a digital project when the museum community and the rest of the bbc try to extend the project to be more then a radio 4 programme. Take 13 of the objects/radio programme episodes to a  make a childrens programme. Bringing the idea of how objects tell history to a new younger demographic.

500 objects from around the uk, regional museums have buddied up – how does objects show regional importance.  350 museum partners. National and regional radio stations also involved. This instantly reminded me of culture shocks, (I wonder if this involved in the project-if it isn’t it should be) UGC upload objects that tell stories behind the history of the region and how that effects world history.

Create a national conversation about the history of the world. A unique opportunity. Forging partnerships, participation, new audiences for digital museums and history featured pan platform, social media and syndications creating a permanent and enduring online collection.

Being able to travel through objects and travel through time on the website.

Each object has its own page on the website. The primary priority is the ability to listen to the radio 4 programme whilst looking at the specific images.  There will be video, some with 3D for visualisations, related objects, other contributions, comments, public comments. Curators being available  to comment after each broadcast

Cross web searching… bbc website and BM website. Same in regional bbc sites. Spread beyond the nationals.

“Anybody anywhere can upload history.” This is such an open, engaging, inspiring way to open up history to everyone, I love this idea.

Not authenticated people objects – moderation.

Blog – a crucial way to expose the conversation.

Denise Drake – summer university Tower Hamlets

Staying social online- started as a anti-crime initiative. Free summer courses, 127 course, and 2,205course places.

Spotlight – summer uni in all 32 london boroughs commissioned in 2006.

Denise manages 13 active social network sites. Facebook, flickr, myspace, twitter and you tube, as well as tumbler blogs.  Negative comment on facebook – needs to be dealt with appropriately. Need to make this a better experience for people. Ground rules – dos and donts. Working with young people online leads to a lot of issues with child protection.  There is a rule to not add under 18s as a ‘friend’, you have to be careful using images, and ensure online privacy. Young people love being online and seeing themselves online they are uninhibited digital natives.

Web team of 1! It absolutely outstanding work for only one person to do!

Denise uses the following things to keep up to date with what is happening in social media:

e-MINT, facebook developers pages, mashable, twitter keeping up with resources.

However it is problematic working with local authorities. Only  2 of the 32 summer unis, due to local authority access  can actually physically access social media sites – this inevitably squishes a key potential connection to young people.  If you can not connect with young people on their terms how are you meant to understand and interact to the best of your ability?

The Tower Hamlet initiative is facing a new challenge: New brand and new name for 2010:  futureversity. Where things can happen.

Social media re branding causing difficulties. How do you bring your fans/friends/followers to the new branded image?

Nadia Arbach  (V&A)Wikipedia loves art…

User generated collaborative campaign, a way of generating images for WikiPedia in order to update articles with those images.  All happened in February 2009. 16 museums took part, mostly in USA, the V&A was the only UK participant. In 2010 the V&A will lead a proper UK project, Britain loves Wikipedia

The campaign utilised facebook and flickr. As well as twitter as a communication medium.

Photography guidelines change according to institution, and a Creative Commons licence required for all contributions

Thematic photograph lists, for example as it was held in February one of the themes was valentines: lots of interesting interpretations of that came back from some of the images.

Apart from adding a lot of photos for use on Wikipedia and by the museums, Nadia found there were a lot of areas in the museums (and a lot of objects too) which she had either forgotten or maybe never previously discovered. Great way for all to get engaged with art.

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