@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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    June 24th, 2015mardixonCulture, International, Tech

    periscopeI’ve been using Periscope before it came out (I was a beta tester back in March).  I have to be honest, I was a bit confused with the concept.  Having not used Meerkat or really care about filming before, I didn’t see the need for live streaming. Why would anyone use it that wasn’t at a conference?

    Then I started to play with it. First around my town, then on my travels and you know what? It’s a game changer. Why? Because although I live-tweet, blog and over-share, this allowed a two-conversation to happen between the viewers and myself in real-time. I am able to Periscope and have a dialogue in a way that is quicker and more efficient than Twitter or blogging. The conversations from Periscope have lead to a few blogs.

    I can’t remember my first live stream from a museum or art gallery but do know the first time I saw a great response was at the Indianapolis Museum of Art and (thanks to free wifi) was able to have a bit of fun with live streaming. I didn’t save the first one but did upload the live stream I did with a conservator fixing art in the middle of the gallery.

    With each periscope I’m learning more. For example, on my first attempt I was really confused how I was suppose to type a response to the questions popping up on the screen. (Answer: You don’t type, you talk – they can hear everything you’re saying! NB This led to one of my tips: don’t swear).

    Please note: Periscope is available for ios and Android now.  Read the rest of this entry »

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    June 19th, 2015mardixonCulture, International

    IMG_5842CultureGeek Conference is run by Sumo – the same people who run MuseumNext conference.  The emphasis is on digital media in the cultural sector and their one-day line included:

    Jiajia Fie – Associate Director Digital Marketing – Guggenheim
    Sarah Ellis – Head of Digital Development – Sarah Ellis
    Rob Gethen Smith – CIO – Southbank Centre
    Conrad Bodman – Head of International Relationships – British Film Institute
    Stella Eisdom – Digital Curator – British Library
    Alice Rawsthorn – Design critic and author
    Chris Michaels – Head of Digital and Publishing – British Museum

    The conference started the evening before with DrinksThing at Southbank hosting a Behind the Scenes Tour.  For those that managed to attend, I’m sure they’ll agree that Neil the tour guide was a gem in bringing the story of the building alive.  And those on my tour all fell in love with Ivan (see periscope/YouTube for that story)

    I’ve storied my tweets here if you want the bite-size version. Read the rest of this entry »

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    June 14th, 2015mardixonCulture, International

    This year We Are Museums was held in Berlin and hosting at the amazing Jewish Museum. For those that don’t know, WAM has been running for 3 years and has a very meaningful mission:

    We Are Museums is a human adventure at the intersection of culture and innovation. During two days, it gathers an active and creative community of professionals who meet, exchange and build together to open art institutions to the people. We Are Museums is a self-sufficient, vibrant platform which promotes smart and forward thinking ideas as well as sustainable benefits for our participants.

    An overall of highlights:

    Sree Streenivasan ran a Social Media Workshop the evening before. His Storify is here. I’ve been to a few of Sree’s workshops and it’s great that he allows interaction from the audience. This audience was open to Berlin so the delegates were from museums, journalism, makers and everything in between.

    IMG_5104 Read the rest of this entry »

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    June 7th, 2015mardixonCulture, International, Personal

    Screen Shot 2015-06-07 at 11.19.21I must admit – I never see myself as a museum blogger.  Then again I don’t see myself as a museum person but labels have never been my thing.  My ‘crappy website’ (seriously I am embarrassed about the theme but don’t have the skills to change it) is a brain dump area for me to try and share past the social media sharing.  Thank you for those that read it and to Paolo for the nomination to #MuseumTwitterati.

    #MuseumTwitterati is a new tag to help new people on twitter identify museum bloggers.  The idea started as #TwitteratiChallenge by @TeacherToolkit to “recognise your most supportive colleagues in a simple blogpost shout-out. Whatever your reason, these 5 educators [museologists] should be your 5 go-to people in times of challenge and critique, or for verification and support“.

    Read the rest of this entry »

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    May 12th, 2015mardixonCulture, International, Personal

    voteOk, I admit. I was mad/angry about the elections. Mad because I spent over a year trying to encourage people, young/old and everything in between to vote. Saying how important their vote was. Saying how valuable their opinion was. Then the Tories got in and it was like collectively we all threw the towel in – or the other extreme was we got our pitchforks at the ready.

    Then I noticed that I actually didn’t know enough about those in office to have an opinion. Yes I know what social media was telling me but I had to stop and read things myself to get a bigger picture. And one thing I learned is I still don’t know but maybe, just maybe, we’re not dealing with the Devil here. Maybe we are dealing with people we need to work with to understand us. Naive maybe but really what is there to lose?

    One thing that I do know is as a society we are incredibly incredibly strong. We are survivors. I have seen so many examples of those who have been going without helping those who don’t understand this new way of life. Bartering is common place with many communities. Do we prefer money? Absolutely! But we also get that our skills, our talents are worthy of more than just ‘green backs’. And in-kind (used appropriately) helps build stronger relationships.

    I’m not advocating that no one should get paid – I’m advocating that we look to make positives changes while letting ‘those is power’ that we’re not going to being played a fool.

    We’re creative (or so I’m told) so lets put the pitchforks down and be creative about our approach.   Let’s not be reactionary but strategic in working towards a sustainable plan/journey. Let’s include museums, theatres, NHS, libraries, etc because all these resources are important for our society – and not just the UK.

    My sister recently reminded me that we were brought up (like so many) without much. But we didn’t know any better because my mom didn’t let us be defeatist. Even though we didn’t have much, we gave what we did have to those who had less. It’s about leaving the world a better place than when we got here. We can NOT do that if we’re fighting and bickering and claiming one resources is more valuable then the other.

    Screen Shot 2015-05-12 at 21.21.22

    via Darlene Cavalier to our mom on Mother’s Day

    I don’t have many answers – but do know we need to change our anger and our negative words into positives actions. Sooner rather than later.

    I’d also encourage everyone to follow @ILoveMuseums / I Love Museums if you’re not already.

    ilovemuseums

     

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    April 26th, 2015mardixonCulture, International, Tech

    JimFirst – a huge thank you to Jim Richadson and his team for pulling off another amazing MuseumNext conference. Every year I say it’s the best and while I know it has to grow I worry that it’ll lose that special je ne sais quoi. Not a worry at all. Jim brought in Kala Preston as new Director of MuseumNext and between them they managed to create a very large-scale international museum conference with a familiar and home-y feel about it. THANK YOU! (And bring on MuseumNext USA at Indianapolis Museum of Art this September!)

    hotdogsI have to mention the people. From registration to closing talks – so many familiar AND new faces this year but what was brilliant to see was the connections. Yes the regulars talked to each other but ‘newbies’ we’re encouraged and folded into the conversation. I don’t recall seeing anyone stand by themselves for too long unless they wanted to. You don’t get that at any other conference the way MuseumNext manages to do it. It’s wonderful to watch from the side-lines and see so many new connections and relationship start at MuseumNext. The key is to keep the conversations going! Read the rest of this entry »

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    April 24th, 2015mardixonCulture, International, Tech

    IMG_1606Just throwing a quick post on a few topics before I do #MuseumNext takeway piece.

    Graveyard of Directors:  We are haemorrhaging museum and art directors left, right and center and NO ONE seems to be asking ‘Why?’.  It’s not just one or two who have left – to be honest, I’ve lost track of the number which is a red flag in itself.  However, it’s also the demographic of these directors who are leaving. This is an international issue.

    For me, it’s almost like rats jump ship.  It’s a clear sign of something major is about to happen but they never say what.

    And it’s not just that they are leaving to retire, most are leaving for other sectors (academia or placement in other cultural venues but not necessarily a museum).

    WHY?

    Graveyard of Social/Digital Media Platforms: The other event / trend I’ve noticed is the retirement of many social media/digital platforms in favor of others.  I recently spoke at the Indianapolis Museum of Art Innovative Museum Leaders Speaker Series and mentioned that the sector has been burnt with putting all their eggs in one social/digital basket before (web site only, then shifted to one or two social media platform).  Now we’ve learned to not look at what is best for us but what is best for the people who will be using it.

    Each institution/venue/museum needs to ensure they evaluate their platforms and ensure that they are still right for what their visitors want.  AND BE HONEST.  

    Graveyard of Mission Statements: Ok, that’s a bit strong but really – the sector really needs to re-evalute their mission statements as so many are outdated and are keeping them from progress.  If they aren’t careful, they are going to outdate themselves so much they won’t be able to recover.

    Our society needs to be entertained.  We can look at amusement parks, Netflix, or even airports (as Shelly Bernstein suggests) but whatever is being looked at needs to be achievable and that requires an appropriate Mission statement that everyone in the museum/venue can work with.

    What are your thoughts?

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    April 15th, 2015mardixonCulture, International, Tech

    I usually have a theme or reason to update my site – usually around a recent campaign. This one is going to be a bit different.  Currently, I’m in Indianapolis (thanks to the IMA!) after being in Chicago talking to some great new/old friends. I’ve also been following a few discussions online and having some interesting conversations. 

    Language

    what do you meanA huge issue that has been surfacing again is language. I don’t mean French vs English but terminology and the lack of clear definitions to some words / actions. It’s not a bad thing but I’ve seen and heard many conversations lately where terminology is used so loosely without the person defining their meaning and assuming the listener was on the same page. We need to make ourselves very clear in conversations.

    Action
    make things happeOk, we all know museum time is different than normal time but in fairness, they are trying to get better. Hm, I’m not sure I believe that myself but I have to try believing. Regardless – changes have been made and the timeframe from start talking about to start doing is getting smaller. Read the rest of this entry »

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    April 2nd, 2015mardixonCulture, International

    mw2015By: Benjamin Benita & Mar Dixon

    What. A. Week!

    Thank you to everyone who took part either as a museum or individual (or mascot).  Every single time another hashtag event comes around, the worry of exhaustion is always there … and every time you guys push the bar hirer.  Thank you really isn’t enough.

    When we were designing the week of hashtags a few months ago we can honestly say we were hoping to reach 1000 museums – never ever expecting the numbers achieved.  To be honest, our main concern has never been about numbers but ensuring it was fun, maybe educational, a platform for museums to share their collections and FUN (and hopefully not something that would burn any community manager out…).  The 1000 mark was to benefit the museums, not the campaign.

    Weeks before #MuseumWeek officially went live, there was a real buzz happening on Twitter.  It was so exciting to watch everyone sharing their plans for the week. There was a real collaborative feel – it was even crossing language barriers. Read the rest of this entry »

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    March 15th, 2015mardixonCulture, International

    image1One week from today, Twitter will be exploding with cultural goodness when #MuseumWeek kicks off.  With 1400+ museums in 55 countries signed up (and that number continues to grow) there is truly something for everyone.

    Mini FAQ

    During the webinar last week, there were a few more questions asked and I thought I’d share them here: Read the rest of this entry »

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