Just a quick post, here, because I couldn’t quite get this out in 140 characters. I want to quickly address this idea, which was re-aired during the “digital strategy” session at the recent Museums and the Web conference but which has been floating around the museum technology space for a long time, of “taking technology out of the conversation.” It’s something that I hear a lot at conferences (with variations like, “learn to speak curator” or “think like an educator/scholar/conservator/etc.”). It’s a concept that sounds great in the abstract (“technology people shouldn’t focus on the technology–they should focus on the content!”), but which over the long term creates serious institutional liabilities. Continue reading Leave tech in the conversation
Another year, another Museums and the Web conference that has left me completely hoarse and unable to talk. Wooo! I had a lovely bunch of people show up for my “Blow Up Your Online Collection” impromptu unconference session, and I wanted to attempt to get a few of the ideas that came out of that session down here before I start forgetting things again.
The gist of my original proposal for the session was about focusing in on a key area of the “What’s The Point of A Museum Website?” Ignite Smithsonian talk and subsequent MCN panel session: online museum collections. If we’re all having trouble defining what the purpose of museums’ digital presences should be (though the Walker’s bad-ass–and award-winning!–new design is certainly helping to point the way), we’re having particular trouble trying to determine what role museum collections and objects serve in that space. Continue reading Online collections, hey! Online collections, what?