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  • nicolelrob 6:44 pm on May 18, 2009 Permalink | Reply  

    I Need Your Advice 

    No really, it’s not part of the exhibit. I just want to hear your suggestions!  I am working on a social technology plan for the Northwest African American Museum focusing on their membership program.  They are actually interested in using technology to reach more potential members, and excite the members that they currently have.  They are also having a low renewal rate of members.

    I have been given the freedom to create new membership benefits, and am thinking about something that is unique to online members.

    They also really want to connect with their physical neighborhood.

    I would love to hear any suggestions you have or sites that you think I should visit.

    Thanks for your help!


  • ninaksimon 6:56 pm on May 11, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Advice Exhibit   

    Some updates and action items from our m… 

    Some updates and action items from our meeting today:
    1. Erin will take the lead on creating a gallery layout, informed by Concept/Interaction and for review by Content/Interaction/Graphics.
    2. Let me know if you want me to be able to get the $300 in some way other than via me paying for things and getting reimbursed.
    3. By next week, we have to have complete lists of content assets so that graphics/interaction/fabrication can start thinking about how to make it all happen.

    • lacethornberg 2:46 pm on May 12, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      If there is another way to get the money, that would certainly be easier.


    • Erin 4:54 pm on May 12, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      I started a little layout on the Installation page. I would be happy to talk this over with Jason, Jill, Kelly, anyone else?

  • nicolelrob 10:27 pm on May 8, 2009 Permalink | Reply  

    A Couple of Interesting Tools 

    Hello all,

    I came across two Seattle-based companies that have tools which invite participation.  They are interesting platforms, which might be used for exhibits . . .

    One is called co.collage, made by a company called Strands  I found it in use at a store called Thrive (here is the link to their version of it) and you can visit their site where customers are encouraged to post photos and comments.  These are shown in the store on a large screen in the format of a  visual collage. It is very neighborhood focused and also seems to be a way of locals showing off events.


    The second is a company called Bee Docs which has created some timeline software.  It seems like a really simple tool where people can load in events and photos and then they get put into a simple timeline that is ready to be shown  in an exhibit or presentation.

    • ninaksimon 10:47 pm on May 8, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Nicole – I think they are using Strands (or something like it) in the coffeeshop Trabant, too. There are some free timeline tools like Simile Timeline and, but they are definitely not as slick as the Bee Docs one. Thanks for sharing!

    • tgspot 11:32 pm on May 8, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Nice, thanks

  • shinyupai 5:32 pm on May 7, 2009 Permalink | Reply  

    Social Media Plan 

    Kelly and I met with the staff of CWB yesterday to talk about their social media plan. There are 2 groups that the museum is interested in engaging with social technologies – tweens and non-youth visitors – but it looks like we will be working on a plan that targets the non-youth visitors/users. The rationale is that tweens who are “born digital” seem more likely to participate in a forum or to be more proactive in exploring social media opportunities, whereas, non-youth users may be somewhat more hesitant. Once engaged, this group seems more likely to be consumers/users, vs. creators. Currently, CWB has tried a few outreach attempts through platforms like Facebook, Youtube and Flickr, which keeps the Americorp volunteer who administers these sites busy checking multiple sites and accounts. So Kelly and I are looking at a way to centralize their social media, most likely through a blog. We are also thinking that although our projects are separate, it makes sense to both us and the CWB to combine our efforts into one integrated media plan that could address aspects of both projects’ goals.

  • Erin Milbeck Wilcox 3:55 pm on May 5, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: textmessage conversation public   

    I don’t know if we already talked about… 

    I don’t know if we already talked about this in class, but I thought it kind of fit with what people were planning with concept and interaction plan

  • kypine 6:11 am on May 4, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ConvergenceCulture   

    Convergence Culture 

    Convergence Culture by Henry Jenkins

    Convergence Culture by Henry Jenkins

    I could probably write a novel to describe this book, but I’ll limit myself to three new (to me) terms that hit me as particularly pertinent to our discussions.

    Media Convergence
    Jenkins’ simple def:  “flow of content across multiple media platforms”

    Jenkins describes our society as historically having many media outlets that were all separate and distinct.  But now, through the powers of digitization and corporate conglomerates, our media is much more interconnected.  Jenkins describes this phenomenon as being more of a cultural shift than a technological one.  The most attention grabbing part of this conversation to me, was the idea that media convergence is a long-term transition period, that will have old and new technologies and ideas living side by side for a long time.  And, even more shocking than that, many of the old media we know (radio, tv, etc) probably won’t ever disappear.  Rather its purpose, use, audience, function will change.   This was a comforting thought to an old fuddy-duddy like me.  While convergence is a big thing, it does not necessarily make current systems obsolete.

    What is it?  According to Jenkins: 

    1. communication form
    2. series of protocols around the form (i.e. saying “hello” on the telephone, buying a ticket for a movie, and other social, political, economic and material relationships)

    This definition, when taken in context with changing media, implies a larger ripples in our cultural fabric than just a change in how we communicate with one another.  

    Affinity Spaces
    Jenkins borrows this concept from educational theorist James Paul Gee, and I think it could have great implications for our application of social media in museums.  This theory is basically about informal learning spaces.  As Jenkins notes, people seem to “learn more from pop culture than they do from text books.”  He says at Gee’s theory of creating an “affinity space” for informal learning improves the learning experience because (and this is loosely paraphrased/quoted from my notes, see pg 177):

    1. “learning is driven by common endeavor which overcomes differences in age, class, race, gender and education that governs learning in classroom settings.”  (i.e. anonymity provides an equal playing field for cooperative learning)
    2. allows participation of various skill levels/interests
    3. “relies on peer-to-peer teaching that motivates participants to continually learn”
    4. “allows participants to feel like experts”  (i.e. rewards particiaption with empowerment).

    I look at these through the lens of museum education, and think how awesome would it be to see museum goers participate like this in their informal learning experiences.  What if instead of Harry Potter fanfic (which Jenkins applies this theory to), our audiences were helping eachother learn about biodiversity or civil rights.  The potential is awesome!

    This book is amazing and available online for free through the UW libraries (here).  Just use the off campus log-in option with net id to get it full text and searchable.  Which means no waiting and no library fines!  Hooray!

    • Jais 4:06 pm on June 1, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      This has been making me think for a while.

      As someone who does participate in fandom “affininty spaces,” I see where your excitement comes from, and the desire to apply the theory of affinity spaces to issues that are more relevant to society than popular culture. It’s an incredibly powerful tool.

      But, I really think the key point of affinity spaces is the passion. If there aren’t participants who really care about the source issue, whether it’s Harry Potter or biodiversity, enough to go out and teach each other. So, I think the other half of what museums need to really use this theory is find a way to get visitors to really personally engage with what we want to present to them, enough that they want to participate.

      As a participant in these communities, that’s what really gets me excited about convergence culture, and fandom in general. Sure, pop culture might be trivial, but a well-done narrative can really push readers into not just wanting to write fanfiction or make videos, but also learn more about the subject outside the context of the fandom (a particular example I can think of is Hikaru no Go).

      So, I think one thing museums can do, is use their spaces not just as a place where audiences can teach each other, but maybe as a place to show how the concepts we convey to the audience apply and connect to what they really care about in the outside world. Or conversely, to use what the audience already cares about in the pop-culture sphere, to invite them to learn and teach about the issues museums want to convey.

  • shinyupai 12:32 am on May 3, 2009 Permalink | Reply  

    Another book review 

    Here Comes Everybody
    Here Comes Everybody is a terrific primer on social media that encompasses a variety of case studies including Wikipedia, Digg, Twitter, Flickr, Facebook, Meetup, Myspace, Youtube, Blogger, and other technologies that have developed to help users organize, connect, and expand their communities through interacting in new ways around social objects. The author, Clay Shirky, uses a few examples that look at how users of social media have used those tools to challenge the establishment (digital campaign that led to policy changes in airline industry) and to disseminate information – i.e. cell phone photos of the London subway bombing in the aftermath of the event.

    Reading Shirky’s book made me realize a couple of things. People use social technology in the way that makes sense to their own needs – mostly from what I can tell to typically network and expand their spheres of connection. I don’t think that there is any “wrong” (or right) way to use social technology, but I realize that I do not use these tools (nor do I have a true interest in using certain tools) to their fullest social capacity. I am a lazy lazy tagger, and have only recently gotten into the habit of labeling flickr photos and blog posts, now that I have an understanding of how user-generated content gets aggregated and organized on the world wide web.

    The readings for our social tech class have helped me get a stronger grasp of the whole web 2.0 thing, but I am also really interested in finding ways to be simultaneously less connected (in terms of time spent in the virtual world) and more effectively connected – this is perhaps informed by a desire to be more of the body, than the mind. At the Tricycle Magazine site, I recently came across a book called Wisdom 2.0 by Soren Gordhamer. Gordhamer consults on living with less stress and more effectiveness in technology-rich lives. Read an excerpt here.

    • emilbeck 4:05 pm on May 4, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      It might not be that you’re a lazy tagger. Remember that 80/20 rule. You probably haven’t found something that you’re so passionate about that you would be pat of the one or two percent that creates most of the content/participates on the highest level.
      I really liked the emphasis on making something big with love. I thought that was so applicable to museums, way more so than anything in groundswell. We can now take our small institutions that we care so deeply about and reach more people more efficiently with our mission/message.

    • Pete 6:57 pm on May 19, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Clay Shirky talks a lot of sense. Amidst the panic of print meltdown he said what (some) dared not to say and what all should be saying. Let them die. Think the unthinkable. Create new modes of communication instead of resuscitating the old.

  • Erin Milbeck Wilcox 10:59 pm on April 30, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: aam2009 socialtechnology sitespecific NewYork   

    Check out… 

    Check out

  • Erin Milbeck Wilcox 5:41 pm on April 29, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: AAM Socialtechnology museum   

    Getting excited for AAM. Going to go see… 

    Getting excited for AAM. Going to go see what other museums are doing on the social tech front.

  • kypine 5:06 am on April 28, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Strangers   

    Why talk to strangers? 

    I was struck in our conversation on Sunday by the very different views in class regarding why we seek to talk to strangers. Reading some more blog posts today added to the variety of goals. Lists help me think, so I compiled one mining what I’ve heard and read from y’all and my own thoughts (please correct if I misquote and add to):

    Goal of talking to strangers:

    • Building Relationships (Erin)
    • Creating Unique Encounters (Nina)
    • Encountering new ideas and humanizing strangers (Kelly)
    • Helping people have fun (Alex)
    • Fostering habits of civility, courtesy and mutual respect (Kylie)

    I’d be curious to hear everyone else’s thoughts on the issue.

    • Kathryn 11:03 pm on April 28, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      I guess one issue with this new website format is that the author of the post isn’t obvious! Who wrote this? I like to visualize who I’m talking to!

    • Shin Yu 4:22 pm on May 2, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      I’ve been thinking too about this idea of talking to strangers and models I’ve seen in the near or far past that have integrated aspects of this concept into their design. A couple of months ago there was a gallery show in Seattle for one night where visitors arrived in a gallery and instead of being confronted visually with artwork, they were confronted with phone numbers on the wall of the artists “contributing” to the show. The visitors then called the artists by cell phone and had a conversation with them and the opportunity to ask them questions, but also received in many cases directives from the artists, or instructions to do or go somewhere. This does not seem unlike some of Yoko Ono’s exhibitions, wherein she phones in to a gallery or museum and if the visitor happens to be near the phone when it rings and picks up, they have the opportunity to talk to Yoko live.

      Last year at Bumbershoot there was a similar exhibition concept around one of the exhibitions related to the conflict in the Middle East. Visitors could pick up a hotline phone installed at the gallery and be connected to people living in Iraq to talk to them about their experiences – I saw the concept as a way to bridge the gap between the I and other and to help humanize strangers.

    • bienne 10:18 am on October 3, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      I think all the points you listed above are viable reasons for interacting with strangers, and it really depends on the individual, but for me, personally, I’d have to go with Nina’s and Kelly’s. Ever since I began taking public transport at the beginning of University (three years ago now), I’ve noticed that a lot of people tend to initiate conversations with me, seemingly without any provocation, if I can use that word without it having any negative connotations. At first, being that I was fresh out of an all girl’s Catholic school and had limited experience with the world, I found it unnerving. But now I welcome such encounters. I’ve had conversations with members of the Indonesian consulate on the tram, who were here to perform some site visits, I’ve had a discussion with a girl about art and landscape paintings in particular, and I’ve had a young Spanish accountant approach me in the middle of the street and, as a result, spent twenty minutes with him discussing the difference between the Australian culture and our own (I’m from the Philippines, and so our cultures are quite similar.) Each encounter has helped to colour my everyday life with unique and interesting stories, albeit briefly (I never see them again, and that’s okay. Brief, meaningful encounters are amazing) and has also helped me to view strangers as individual people rather than a collective that I am supposed to fear. People are fascinating. 🙂

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