As many of you know I’ve been a Google Explorer since December 2013. My original focus was to see how Google Glass could work within the cultural sector.
For months I used projects I was working on to share Glass – to instigate dialogue and consider how people would use Glass should they own a pair. As time went on my focus shifted from the cultural sector in general to, more specifically, accessibility. It became apparent the more I experienced the use of Glass with others just how many of those experiences that Glass provided generated examples of how this new technology could impact on people’s lives for the better.
It was during MuseumNext that my research came full circle back to Glass in museums. There was a lot of discussion on innovation and technology at MuseumNext, but I challenged the discussion by suggesting that the word innovation is being used to loosely and freely, is what many Museums doing innovate? Is an App still ‘innovative work’ just because it’s….an App? This initiated another discussion from a few follow up posts which lead to me mentioning that I’ve had Glass for a while now, making it very public and offering it for research or experimentation to the Museum sector however at that point NO museum had taken me up on the offer.
From that initial discussion a few museums contacted me, one of which was Joseph Padfield from the National Gallery. Joseph was interested in Glass and its possibilities within the National Gallery from the museum aspect but also conservation. We decided on a visit the National Gallery and we would run a two-day research project to see if Glass really did have potential there.
Initially we arranged for a brief ‘consultation’. I came in, demonstrated Google Glass and let a few of the staff members have a go, albeit briefly. We covered in this initial meeting;
- What Google Glass looks like
- How it works (physically)
- How to operate it
- Some of examples of accessibility that it could be used with.
I grew up in a museum. As long as I can remember, I spent every summer in a summer camp at the Palm Springs Art Museum. In middle school I joined their teen afterschool program, and I even went on to become a camp counselor one summer in high school. At that time, it was the Desert Museum and they had a fantastic summer camp that focused on science, theater, and art. Read the rest of this entry »Tags: AskACurator, Guest Blog, Museum
CultureThemes was looking for a theme for July and put the idea of cats out to people.
Cats and the Internet and Museums… what could possibly happen?
I reached out to Curatorial Cats who run a few cat related tags every week to see if they would like be part of it. We decided to use #MuseumCats as that is something Curatorial Cat already used and it would be less confusing for people (and hopefully help build their profile up a bit).
Well. On July 30th 2014 CATS RULED! We had over 14,500 tweets and trended worldwide.Tags: #museumcats, cats, museums, twitter
Tags: collaboration, Google Glass, London, National Gallery, Research, tech, wearable tech, wearabletech
Charlotte and I recently attended the preview of Royal Childhood Exhibition at Buckingham Palace. While we ‘often’ (few times) have been to the Queen’s Gallery for exhibitions, this was only the second time we were invited to tour Buckingham Palace. And let me tell you, it doesn’t get old.
Most of the reviews I’ve read have rightfully said how brilliant the Royal Childhood exhibition is so while I’ll go into some of the pieces, I’m going to concentrate on the other items I find important: the tech and the family friendliness.Tags: #RoyalChildhood, audio guide, Buckingham Palace, cake, exhibition, family friendly, tour, video guide, young people friendly
July 20th, 2014Tech
Hands up – who knows about Digital Democracy Commission happening right now?
Yep, that is what I thought. That’s ok that you didn’t know – nor did I. But it’s not ok if you try to ignore it now.
Digital Democracy Commission is a commission to try to make positive changes to help bridge the huge gap between what IS happening versus what could/should be happening to make people like us more interesting in politics and what is happening in government (and what government politicians can do to meet us half way).
I saw a tweet from Emma Mulqueeny opening her house to anyone interested in getting involved. To be honest, it said cake in her tweet but when I read it properly, I was still wanting to get involved. I must admit, when we went around introducing ourselves, I felt a bit like a fraud (and I said so to the group). Yes my background is computer science/network admin but that was a lifetime ago. Yes I do A LOT on digital platforms. Yes I organize cross-sector dialogue. But Democracy Commission? I’m the first to admit I’m allergic to political discussions.
But after we got going, I started to realize – * I am * the type of person they are talking about. The ones that are passionate, advocates, interesting in communities – ok I might be missing the ‘young’ part but do enough work with them to feel permitted to talk for them. But really, Digital Democracy Commission is about EVERYONE regardless of background, hobbies, status in community. Read the rest of this entry »Tags: DDCEngage, digital, Digital Democracy Commission, parliament
July 1st, 2014Culture
I was not going to write about ACE Funding / NPO Day but I’ve been following the stream on Twitter since 7.30am and can’t believe some of the emotions coming out in 140 characters.
As someone who has a major hate/hate relationship with ACE, it’s easy for me to spend my time bashing them and their work. [For the record, my issue is to do with their forms, not the people!] But this isn’t about that.
Starting at about 8.30, I started to see congratulatory tweets – mainly theater based companies. By 9.30 the hashtag was overrun with … really don’t want to say winners and losers. How about we say successful and unsuccessful applicants.
Once again, MuseumNext ends and I get this horrible sinking feeling of knowing that I need to wait another year for it to happen again.
In my opinion, MuseumNext is the best conference for anyone who cares about museums. It’s international and in the past four years has been to Edinburgh, Barcelona, Amsterdam and this year it was held in Newcastle. Technically it’s a 2-day conference however it always kicks off the day before with a Welcome event, tour/workshop and evening reception.
I’m going to start with my takeaways just because it’s the things I have to get off my chest the most.
Apps Are Dead! Long live the App!
Let’s get this out of the way: Apps aren’t dead. Museums just, bluntly, are crap at them. We only need to look at iTunes who has had 65 billion apps downloaded as reported on their first quarter report for 2014.
Here is my take. Museums, in their adorable fashion, was a bit late to the game when it came to smartphones and tablets. It essentially took the public bringing them into the venues to make the shift happen. Even then, most apps just took what was on the web or in the family pack (eg trails).
But overall, meh. And I’m not alone with this, ask any museum person how many museum apps they have on their device and watch them shift uncomfortably as they say none. Read the rest of this entry »Tags: conferences, MuseumNext, museums, wearable tech
I have been back from Russia now just over a week. It was an experience that allowed me a real insight into the Russian museum community (albeit primarily on the western side). From running workshops, speaking at a conference, being a guest to many museums, and speaking with numerous people (museum, digital, tech and more) I came away with a solid knowledge of their current cultural position (and quite frankly, a thirst to go back!).
Firstly a little background on this trip. I first encountered Anna Mikhaylova via social media (of course) then in person at ‘Museums on the Web’ in Portland, Oregon. I can’t remember when or how the idea of me going to Russia happened, but soon we (more like Anna) had formulated a detailed plan for 20 days in St Petersburg, Vyborg, Peterhof and Moscow.
My itinerary was hectic and diverse but allowed me to truly see the museum community in a holistic (and hands on) view. Read the rest of this entry »Tags: conferences, Google Glass, International, museums, Russia, social media, tech, workshops
June 12th, 2014Culture
Background: After the launch of the Secretary for Culture, Media and Sport Sajid Javid, recent report, a few of us had a … healthy discussion on Twitter. Whilst I love Twitter, sometimes the 140 characters really limit a good debate, hence this Guest Blog. What are your thoughts?
Diversifying cultural audiences
The nature of adversarial politics has changed dramatically over the past twenty years. Where once parties argued into the night over positions that were ideologically opposed, we now seem to operate in a consensus where the argument is just who is better able to fix the problem. It’s like we all secretly agreed a narrative overnight, and now there is just accepted wisdom on the environment, on the economy, on health, on welfare, and even on culture.Tags: diversity, Guest Blog, museums, policy, politicians, UK