Monday, 27 April 2009

Notes from the closing plenary, MW2009

These are my quick and dirty notes from the closing plenary of the 2009 Museums and the Web conference .  If I've quoted you but gotten your name wrong, I'm very sorry - please let me know and I'll correct it.  I haven't put links in for anyone yet so I'll be editing the entry anyway.

'We are the program.'  Awards for blog posts, tweets, Flickr photos then David Bearman invited people to come up and talk about what they've learnt, what they'll take away.

Nina, Museum 2.0 - inspired by Max's keynote address. But she didn't feel that difference in the institution. Didn't see the transparency and openness that you get on the web, on their dashboard. Not saying they have to do that, but wants to bring up idea of participatory ghetto... forming relationships with visitors on the web, who'll show up at museums and wonder why the same relationship isn't reflected in the building. Pushing in institutions to establish parity, not to give up on physical space also being somewhere for openness and transparency. IMA - had experience of extreme cognitive dissonance. How can you start the conversation, taking great stuff from web world into physical environment of institutions. Her first time at MW.

Heather from Balbao - new to conference and museum world, great introduction.

Nate, Walker Art Centre - I always leave inspired, seen it happen every time- a month worth of trying new things, then it trickles off and fades... go to the wiki and take the post-conference challenge to do one thing in April - choose one task that you can achieve by the end of April. Distributed agile development ... beyond API, everyone can benefit from going home and immediately doing just one thing. [eek I feel weird taking notes about my ideas]

Frankie, Rattle - be excited about tin mining.

Brian, UKOLN - danger that losing accessibility cos doing innovative things, but there have been some really great examples. Universally accessible - pushing it (the definition) of it forward.

Seb, Powerhouse - need to bring people in, curators, management.

Julie (?) - boundaries between web and physical boundaries - problematising the name of the conference. Is 'web' starting to constrain what we're about?

Nina - comment on that - conference in US called WebWise - lousy content but less funded projects, mostly director level people who go. How do we get these people in a situation that's more blended with the kind of people who are here?

Victoria, Smithsonian? carrying on Nina and Seb's point - spends first month being excited, but directors etc aren't going to come to conferences like this. You may have five minutes to articulate why something is important - and it's not heard when it's someone outside, even if you've been saying it on the inside for years. Having someone who's succeeded from outside, doing snippets of video or whatever - convincing.

David - seeing what can share back. Spend time at conference demanding people write papers, share slides... would really love for the post-conference discussion that takes place online to incorporate thoughts, experience about what doing. Extension into social space of a discourse we've never really had - how do you use that post-conference excitement... how do organisations change, which is becoming the centre of the discourse... take it further, keep talking to each other about how do you make it work.

Jennifer - the thing we can do by the end of April, if you write a report, share it with your colleagues. Let people pinch your ideas, send it out. Share the reports as well as the stuff that happens when we're right here.

Jon Pratty - we need a more social media within the museum.

Peter Samis - can remember this camaraderie in 1991... hearing it just as fresh now with people who are coming to their first conference, loving it... this is going to have legs, it's going to keep running, continue this spirit throughout the year.

Rich (another Rich) - haven't really felt the amount of community before, but have been coming since 1999. Being able to catch up on the things he missed while he was here.

Brian - people in the community can fall out, it's happened in the UK. People have strongly held views, need to depersonalise disputes, constructive criticism.

Scott (?) - we're not the only people talking about these subjects, it's happening in higher education, the commercial sector, not a whole of discussion here about what's happening out there and what impact it has here. Would be neat to do some headlines on what's going on in the world outside museum, add to the implications for this audience.
[This final session probably contributed quite a bit to my summary of MW2009 - I'd written the 'MW2009 challenge' a little while before (after discussions at the ice cream API meet) and it was wonderful to feel so much excitement (tempered with realistic cynicism) in the room about the positive changes we could make when we went back to our home institutions.]

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