@MarDixon

Passionate about culture. Champion for the next generation of Cultural visitors. Defender of Libraries. Glass Explorer. Digital and Tech Enthusiast. Sharing knowledge. Troublemaker and/or advocate, depending on what you need.
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    July 29th, 2014mardixonCulture, Tech

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    July 26th, 2014mardixonCulture, Tech

    IMG_1699Charlotte 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.

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    July 20th, 2014mardixonTech

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    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).

    photo1 (5) Background
    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 »

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    July 1st, 2014mardixonCulture

    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.

    Screen Shot 2014-07-01 at 09.55.50As 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.

     

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    June 22nd, 2014mardixonCulture, International, Tech

    IMG_0340Once 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.

    ChartOfTheDay_1474_Global_App_Downloads_n65 BILLION people. Apps aren’t dead.

    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).

    There are exceptions of course: Magic Tate Ball and Second Canvas that integrates gigapixel into the app and Twnkls AR.

    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 »

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    June 16th, 2014mardixonCulture, International, Tech

    IMG_6244I 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 »

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    June 12th, 2014mardixonCulture

    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.

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    May 20th, 2014mardixonCulture, International

    On May 19, Anna Mikhaylova (@Madlena_P) and I produced a MuseomixUK workshop at The State Museum of the History of Religion (@Museum_Religion).

    Name tagsThe delegates arrived and were immediately put into action with the first ‘deliverable’ which was to answer a question.  This question help them decide what ‘role’ they were going to play throughout the day. We knew if we asked ‘Are you storyteller/narrative?’ no one would answer yes.  So instead we had four simple questions to indicate Communications, Fab/Tech, Narrative, Design roles. [Interesting, no one wanted to be a story teller!]

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    May 9th, 2014mardixonInternational, Tech

    On May 8th, I was invited to the Southbank Centre Web We Want Festival launch where Sir Tim Berners-Lee was the keynote speaker. I filmed as much as I could on my Google Glass. It’s not the best quality as I was busy listening, taking pictures and being mindful of the surroundings but hope it’s of interest to a few at least.

    Net neutrality, getting 60% not on the internet access, and creating a magna carter were main topics.  Students from various schools were invited also.  It was interesting to hear how privacy is such a hot topic with the younger generation (I wonder if this is because that is what they are taught in school – online identify / security is a main/only outcome for many schools.)

    I, and many in the room, was impressed with the incredibly articulate point(s) made by one student (whose name I didn’t get).  She said that ‘my generation does not need to know how we feel, we have hashtags for that.’  She went on to make many many more points to backup her argument.  She received a round of applause from everyone in that room.  I spoke to her and her teacher afterwards and asked them to get those thoughts on a post or newsletter somewhere so that those that didn’t have the honor of hearing it first hand could at least read the powerful words.

    The whole event was incredibly inspiring and I urge everyone to start taking action and get involved.  See SouthBank Centre website for more information but also just ask your local community if there are ways to help people not online to get access.

    And yes, I asked for a Selfie.

    And yes, I asked for a Selfie.

    I also had the honor of speaking to the Alan Bishop, CEO of Southbank a few times during the day.  He is one down-to-earth guy!

    PS Forgot to add I met Rory Cellan-Jones with his Google Glass.  Not sure if it helped that we sat next to each other (filming…)

    Rory Cellan-Jones @ruskin147

    Rory Cellan-Jones @ruskin147

     

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    April 28th, 2014mardixonCulture, International

    businesscard_side_1-640x429This past week, C & I have been to four cities (London, Amsterdam, Brussels and Berlin). Our journey started with the goal of ending in Berlin for Museum Marathon.

    Museum Marathon was started in London by David Mentiply with the main purpose of fund raising for the Guide Dog charity.  Everyone who took part I’m sure would agree that although it was painful and a very long day, it was very rewarding.  When I heard Jenni Fuchs from Museum 140 was was planning to do the same in Berlin, I signed C & I up straight away.

    I knew it was going to be tough (some times it’s best to withhold all information as a parent).  I knew it was going to be tiring.  I knew it was going to be a bit more complex as I don’t speak German but none of that matter.

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