@MarDixon

Passionate about culture. Champion for the next generation of Cultural visitors. Defender of Libraries. Digital, Wearable Tech Enthusiast. Sharing knowledge. Troublemaker and/or advocate, depending on what you need.
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    April 25th, 2016mardixonCulture, International

    IMG_9355MuseumNext was held in Dublin 18-20 of April. A few of us decided to make the most of our first time in Dublin and arrived on the Saturday to start exploring early. We weren’t the only ones!

    Highly recommend Guinness Storehouse tour which is more of an experience through history.  But lets get to MuseumNext. Monday April 18th we all registered. This is the best time for me as I get to see many MuseumNext friends I haven’t seen for a year. I signed up to join a tour but missed it and instead went to:

    A Spirited History at National Gallery of Ireland which had representatives from Guinness, Jamison company and another archivist. Having visited Guinness Storehouse it was fascinating to see the balance of teaching the story through the archive and providing an experience for the general public (20% of people who come to Guinness Storehouse have never tried it), the point was they have a brand name people know and recognize and through the Storehouse have to share the story and not let those people down who come for another reason (adverts etc).

    IMG_9295In the evening, Mark Macleod and I hosted the Networking for First Timers at the Little Museum of Dublin. The venue was perfect and it was great that non-first timers knew they were more than welcomed to attend.

    Afterwards we all went over to the Irish Museum of Modern Art for tours and wonderful conversations. Read the rest of this entry »

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    April 24th, 2016mardixonCulture, International
    A ban on pencils … the V&A now forbids sketching in its temporary exhibitions. Photograph: Oliver Wainwright/Guardian

    Credit Photograph: Oliver Wainwright/Guardian

    Ok, I’m sure everyone at this point saw the sign with the article ”No sketching’: V&A signs betray everything the museum stands for‘ by Oliver Wainwright

    I was with Mark Macleod (from The Infirmary Museum) and Silvia Filippini Fantoni (from the IMA) when Silvia first saw the picture but held off on sharing it until I read the article. I then tweeted it.

    And the storm was started. (See Storify here.)

    First of all, as Oliver probably wanted, it was total click bait worth title but honestly many of the people responding didn’t read the whole article. I soon spent my day almost defending the Victoria and Albert as it turns out, it’s not the WHOLE of V&A being asked not to sketch, but instead a temporary exhibition.

    Read the rest of this entry »

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    April 11th, 2016mardixonCulture, International, Tech

    Credit: ‎@creoconceptsgh

    This is a conversation that started when someone mentioned the routine questions received on social media when the answers are obviously on the website.  This took me by surprise as my first reaction is always to tweet/ask on social media as often I’m on my phone and don’t want to waste data clicking away on websites (especially bespoke ones where Contact Me isn’t where you find the address but a lovely form).

    What I did find funny was the fact that many of the social media people were annoyed by the same questions: directions, open times, cost but I wonder how many took the time to do something to streamline the information.  Maybe a pinned tweet for half term, link directing them to Most Asked Questions on their bio instead of a link to their next exhibition, etc.

    I started thinking more about it and took to twitter for my first ever poll and as you can see from the results, I’m in the minority!

    At least that is the impression the poll gives.  However, many (and I mean many) follow up conversations give light to the reason the poll might have been skewed.  Here’s a selection of responses:

    What is your opinion on this? 

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    March 21st, 2016mardixonCulture, International, Literacy, Personal, Tech

    Today is the 10th anniversary of @Jack’s first tweet ‘just setting up Twttr’. A lot has happened since then. I would love to say my first tweet was profound but like so many, it wasn’t (you can find your #FirstTweet here).

    Screen Shot 2016-03-21 at 09.45.14

    To say Twitter has changed my life is NOT an understatement. I started off local, chatting mainly to people who were in Bridgnorth or Shropshire then started exploring museums, libraries, publishing and of course tech.  While I’ve loved Twitter from the start, it wasn’t until January 16th 2011 when I fully understood it’s power. That was the day I tweeted:

    “I Love Libraries because ______” Fill in the blank and RT! #savelibraries

    And they did. They filled in the blank and shared so much it went world trending. My first experience at seeing the power of social media. From big names (Neil Gaiman, Margaret Atwood) to local libraries to people on the street, I was being thanked for highlighting the plight of libraries world wide. (If you ever want to know *why* I tweeted it, just ask.)

    At this point I’d love to say I remember what the next world trending was but I honestly can’t remember the order.   I do know that thanks to @CultureThemes our community these hashtags have gone world trending multiple times including:

    But we’ve created communities along the way with Open Community Lab (a spin off from MuseomixUK) and @52Museums.

    twitterWe’ve worked together as a (sometimes dysfunctional) family/society. No we don’t always agree, politics are a bear, but in the end we keep coming back to this platform that makes us express ourselves in 140 tiny little characters.

    And we wouldn’t change it for the world.

    THANK YOU TWITTER!!

     

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    March 13th, 2016mardixonCulture, International, Tech

    Cultural Tourism WorkshopThe second London Cultural Tourism workshop took place March 7th at City Hall in London. I was asked to facilitate the day by a great team including Creative Tourist and Mike Clewley from Greater London Authority office. The original idea was a traditional type of day – speakers, delegates listening and time for Q&A. However, the more we talked it was clear this wasn’t the right framework.

    The day needed to be a hybrid of speakers and time for delegates to speak – not just ask questions. The format was an awesome Keynote from You Me Bum Bum Train (whose name I spent ages trying to say without laughing) followed by a 4 person panel with each speaker speaking for 2-minutes (and yes, I did time it and glare if they went over) then breakout sessions that were run as an unconference.

    A LOT was going on but I’m a firm believer in creativity comes in all paces.

    Read the rest of this entry »

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    March 3rd, 2016mardixonCulture, Tech

    IMG_6570

    I managed to see Leonardo da Vinci: The Mechanics of Genius at the Science Museum and absolutely loved it. While everyone knows da Vinci is quite the artist, many don’t know the genius the man truly was. This exhibition is a delightful showing of his engineering talents which I have to be honest, I didn’t appreciate before.

    The exhibition starts with a small insight into the comparison from their last da Vinci exhibition in 1952 including a model of a ‘Boring Machine’ (my personal favourite as love the title!)

    IMG_6572

    The exhibition has 39 models of da Vinci’s inventions – some you need to see to believe (flying machine or webbed gloves for divers anyone?). The one main takeaway I learned was he looked to nature for his inspiration. Read the rest of this entry »

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    February 5th, 2016mardixonInternational, Personal, Tech
    Credit: Paul Clarke https://www.flickr.com/photos/paul_clarke

    Credit: Paul Clarke https://www.flickr.com/photos/paul_clarke

    NHS Hackday has been going for 3 years but this was their 12th hack. The concept is simple enough: bring people together that care about the NHS and want to make changes. Like most hacks, the difficulty is finding the balance of techy and developers vs people who have ideas.

    As Open Community Lab is trying to expand outside of a museum focus (but still have our museum remixes), Mark Macleod and I went along to learn. This was the first time I was a participant and what an eye opener!

    The format is similar:

    • You mingle
    • You pitch (if you want to)
    • You decide what team you want to be on
    • You work your butt off all weekend to create something.

    That was the easy part. What I didn’t appreciate was the amount of NHS staff that would come with very specific issues they deal with on a daily basis and changes they want to make but don’t know how to go about it. Without a medical background (other than a frequent visitor due to being blessed with clumsiness) I thought I’d be out of my depth. However, each prototype or team needs a person that can help ground the ideas with ‘people experience’.

    Read the rest of this entry »

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    January 27th, 2016mardixonCulture, International, Personal, Tech

    SAFETY-ZONEThere have been a few conversations that keep repeating themselves over the past few months (in some cases years) on social media.  What are your thoughts on these topics?

    Remix
    I’m involved with a fabulous community that loves to remix. But what does remix mean? For Open Community Lab and MuseomixUK it means creating prototypes to bridge the gap between museums vs everywhere else. At the heart though is real change in thinking. It’s much more than prototypes.

    We as a sector have to believe that the powers to be want meaningful changes that the general public is going to appreciate and want to support.

    Hours
    closedI’m on record several times with my feeling of the trend of museums moving from academia to emotive. What does that mean? There’s the obvious one that museums as a research center is skewed a bit now that we have powerful computers on our smartphones. We (the public) want more storytelling (emotive). You know what else we want? Access to visit when we’re not working.

    Read the rest of this entry »

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    January 22nd, 2016mardixonCulture, International
    Koons #MuseumSelfie

    Koons #MuseumSelfie

    Well that was another fun one!  Every year I promise myself that I’ll keep track of everything but then the day starts and I barely remember to eat.  This is when I’m so thankful to everyone else who is organized and help track the day. Something I noticed this year, a lot more Directors and staff got involved – some with the public!

    Stats and Numbers:

    Ciaran Blumenfeld, Founder of Hashtracking was extremely generous and ran reports for both Twitter and Instagram this year.  She has asked her team to back track the Instagram data for the past 3 years (don’t think you can do this with Twitter).

    Lets start with Instagram. Although there was a @MuseumSelfieDay account on Instagram for 2015 there was a significant rise in that platform this year. Read the rest of this entry »

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    January 18th, 2016mardixonCulture, International

    Screen Shot 2016-01-18 at 14.28.33[EDIT TO UPDATE FOR 2016]

    This post has been re-purposed from another one created in 2014

    #MuseumSelfie day is on January 20, 2015
    Twitter: @MuseumsSelfie Day
    Instagram: MuseumSelfieDay
    Hashtag #MuseumSelfie
    See CultureThemes write up: It’s back! #MuseumSelfie Day on January 20th @MuseumSelfieDay official account

     Objective:  A day to share selfies either in museums or around museums.  These can be on the day or ones from previous visits.  This is a FUN DAY to encourage people to visit museums and participate a bit with art or collections.  

    On January 20, CultureThemes is running #Museumselfie.  I’ve been asked what it is all about so thought I’d explain the background a bit (borrowed from previous post in 2014/15):

    I’m a Cultural Snatcher – I can’t help it!  I take after my mom who is never without a camera (remember Kodak Disc?  I do.).  When I visit and explore a museum, I love sharing what I’m seeing.  While I’m not a huge fan of taking pictures of myself, I can see why people like a good old selfie.

    CultureThemes is a monthly hashtag I help create on Twitter. The idea behind CultureThemes is to have a positive event once a month on Twitter to highlight the fun and ‘unstuffiness’ of museums/culture.  Previous tags included: #WhyILoveMuseums, #MusSocks, #MusMovember, #AskACurator day and more.  We’re also behind @52Museums which you should check out if you haven’t heard about it.

    The idea is simple, people around the world have been asked to take selfies at museums for the past month and they will share on Twitter/Instagram using #MuseumSelfie on January 20th.  The pictures could be current or from previous trips. Tag the museum if you remember!

    So if you’re visiting a museum this weekend, make sure you take a #MuseumSelfie and share with @CultureThemes this Wednesday!

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