August 21, 2007 § 1 Comment
Lauren, one of the curators for australianscreen online gave me the heads up about this article at artshub entitled ‘Facebook for museums’. It’s about MESN a new museum specific social networking site started by Kurt Stuchell. There seems to be a focus on ‘authenticity’ of material on the site and the provision of a ‘safe’ learning experience for students.
We needed a more defined and structured platform that would embody the educational objectives of our member museums and present a clear value proposition to art lovers, educational institutions, parents, students, and life-long learners. The purpose is explicit: this is an environment for learning about cultural treasures.
I will keep my eye on this, but my initial reaction is that it is not as immediately as fun as interacting with museums on flickr or facebook – I’ll be interested to see how they motivate the above-listed stakeholders to hang out with them.
June 29, 2007 § Leave a comment
If I’m honest my tagging habits could best be described as haphazard, on Flickr I sometimes tag my pics if I have the time and the head space, but sometimes it doesn’t even occur to me to do so. Social bookmarking sites are brilliant but so far I haven’t really become usefully dedicated to any – more often than not I lazily use my browser to bookmark, not really in the community spirit of things but it’s force of habit I guess. I do however use social bookmarking sites for research purposes, taking advantage of the resources created by those who are putting in the time to build and maintain great lists. For this blog my original choice of wording for tags was more for personal organisation of information than anything else. Almost a year on things have evolved, more posts have been added and I’d like to search my content using wider criteria, also it’s clear that others are occassionally reading ‘making conversation’ and I feel obliged to provide a clearer map of what’s within the blog.
I see how incredibly useful tagging is, especially folksonomic tagging in revealing objects that may have previously been hidden to visitors by more formal curatorial language. However the more I learn about how we tag the more I realise how many objects are hidden all over again by what might be called poor tagging practice. Words being misspelt, strangly grouped, split by plural or singular usage, synonyms, the list goes on. The wonderful payoff of not controlling how objects are tagged by individuals is the serendipitous element of each search, you can land in places you never knew existed and be inspired to find out more about stuff you didn’t even know interested you. Also, if you find another who tags like you then chances are you’ve made a valuable connection to that may broaden your horizons even further. As much as I would like folksonomies to be more reliable it’s obvious that if we try to control the way we tag then some of the magic may disappear and we’ll head right back into the more authoritarian classification methods that negate the creative opportunities free tagging has given us.
April 30, 2007 § 2 Comments
This month I’ve been helping Sydney artist AñA Wojak set up a blog to document her photo-synthesis project. She is the first official Royal Sydney Botanical Gardens artist in residence and will work in the gardens from March 2007 until March 2008. Much of the work AñA create’s during this residency will be ephemera and will perish (or get nicked) quickly. Blogging is the perfect way to for us as viewers to follow the project and keep track of what’s on display within the gardens. Blogging also provides a cheap and easy way to keep a record of the 12 months for AñA’s own portfolio and the Botanical Gardens own archive.
January 27, 2007 § Leave a comment
Another thought provoking Museum of London effort, MapMyLondon.com is a great idea, basically you can attach text, a photo, video and sound files to a google map of London to create a mosaic of London memories. The site sorts the content by themes such as “Love&Loss”, “Joy&Struggle”, “Fate&Coincidence” and you can add your own themes – how about “Broke&Australian”. The google map keeps crashing for me so I haven’t had a good look at the memories or added any of my own but hope to soon.
January 20, 2007 § Leave a comment
Have you noticed that the Brooklyn Museum has a Community section on their website? The first page says “The Brooklyn Museum believes in community. As we blog to keep you up-to-date, we’d love to hear from you too. Tell us about your visit by commenting on our posts.” The Community section identifies ways in which visitors can contribute to a conversation with BM, eg. photographs, videos, blogs. This Museum’s social (as opposed to scientific) approach to finding out how visitors interpret their space is so refreshing. Other museums, let’s say Tate online and the Powerhouse Museum, have community building initiatives, ie. use of social software, they may even be developing their presence on flickr and myspace.com. Their sites do not have a clearly marked community section for visitor contributions and clear directions to their content out on the network, is it time for them to do so?