Museums and Stuff

Posted by Nate in Travel, Work.
Wednesday, March 29th, 2006 at 1:11 pm

Hey, kids! Guess who finally found 5 minutes to write an update? Not much time here, so strap in – this is gonna be a fast one:

Last week I attended the 2006 Museums and the Web conference in Abq, NM, where my New Media colleagues and I led a workshop called Blogs and Blogging for Museums – it was well-attended and a great success, if I do say so myself. Our presentation notes are available online if you’re into that sort of thing.

We also attended many awesome sessions at the conference (Eric and I at left) and met a ton of interesting and smart people doing some incredible things at their institutions. Eric was on fire the whole conference, liveblogging sessions and ideas on the New Media Blog. Somehow I’m still surviving without a laptop – I brought a loaner with a crappy battery – but the conference was a real eye-opener for me in how valuable they can be in a lecture setting: as the speaker would present, everyone who wanted to was in a "back-channel" chat room, asking questions in realtime, giving feedback, etc. Really really cool, it was the ultimate ADD experience, but also really enhanced some of the sessions.

Finally on Saturday I attended a small SFMOMA-sponsored "think tank" session for art museum web folks – easily the best 3.5 hours of the week. Everyone came to the table with such a rich background of experience and ideas and thoughts on successes and failures and the future… I came out of it really inspired and glad to be in the position I’ve fallen into at the Walker.

The biggest theme I took away from the conference was the idea of community – that web visitors are no longer searching simply for content, but a way to connect. Content still matters, obviously, but it’s not the final answer any more… So what does that mean? Stay tuned.

So I’m back and catching up. I have a ton of ideas for the Walker now, from the obvious – fix the shop site! – to the less obvious – shouldn’t we have a Spanish blog??… Exciting times. Now who’s going to invent me that time machine so I have enough hours to do all this work??

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4 Responses to “Museums and Stuff”

  1. freddie Says:

    This sounds so cool. I’ve been hearing a lot of museums use using “podcasts” for self-guided tours. Even Millenium Park here in Chicago has a self-guided podcast tour.

  2. Rick Says:

    Nator –

    Awesome experience, and I’m glad you got to do this. It is really exciting and rejuvenating to be with other inspired folks. For someone like you, who is usually way out ahead of the curve with most folks, it’s a great chance to be more with your peers, and get to see what they are doing/thinking. Good for you.

  3. nator Says:

    We’ve got a bitchin’ cellphone-based audio tour I helped build: Art on Call. (or maybe that’s what made you think of the podcasts?)

    But yeah, really fun / cool stuff…

  4. m Says:

    It sounds like you really enjoyed the conference. I just went to the MW2006 site and it looks like it was a great event – it described the conference as dealing with some of the “issues of culture and heritage online.” That’s a neat concept, and for me it really broadeneds my understanding of what it is you do.

    Also checked out your presentation notes (looked like you covered a lot) and the SFMOMA. That museum also has a cool site, of course I think the Walker’s is way cooler, but their site gives a clue as to how exciting that think tank session was.

    PS I had totally forgotten how to do links, so I am not too sure my attempt above will be successful.