@MarDixon Passionate about culture internationally. Run remixing events, workshops, create solutions, and an international speaker. Over sharer and Mom who loses arguments to a teen. Projects created: @CultureThemes @lovetheatreday @AskaCurator @MuseumSelfieDay @TeensInMuseums @52museums
  • CultureGeek Conference – Digital Media in the Cultural Sector #CultureGeek

    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.

    Jiajia Fie – using social media to translate but it’s important to remember translate isn’t about cultural language.  Jia Jia always ask ‘Will my mom understand this?’  They are always learning and tracking their own learning.  Importance of knowing their vast audience online is vital – both for their team and for management to understand the growth.


    Sarah Ellis – I must confess that Sarah and I are working on a project but even if I never met her I would say her talk was probably the most passionate and resonate one of the day.  Sarah’s talk hit home with many.  ‘Art shouldn’t shy away from agile – it’s something we’ve always done!’  Technology isn’t just enabling culture it’s changing it.


    Rob Gethen Smith – Another confession, I love the Glass Box and wrote about it when I first saw it at Web We Want. I tell you this because when I saw it I asked/insisted to talk to whoever was behind it. Poor Rob.  But the concept was genius: it was the 25th anniversary of the world wide web – Southbank needed an update on their website… why not let the public help decide how it should look and what the content should be?  They moved the web team to the cafe – right near the entrance – in a glass box.  Transparency at it’s BEST.


    Alice Rawsthorn – this talk was interesting as Alice started with ‘I’m not from the sector’ statement.  Alice has started an Instagram account in January that has a theme a week.  The response has been overwhelming.  Mainly based around her ‘design’ background it has incorporated mainly themes including digital, food, travel.


    Conrad Bodman – Digital meets Gaming.  Conrad talked about the difficult of curating video games including the best free solitaire he’s made in a while.  While Science Museum in the UK archives the hardware, not many places archive the software or the games themselves. Games have a behind the scene with the talent that we tend to forget is an artistry in itself.

    Alice Rawsthorn – British Library teamed up with Game City to run a competition.  For the first year they didn’t exactly specify gaming but the criteria was always around the British Library collection.  The target group with college/university and the submission were amazing (hoping she shares her presentation with the links).  A few lessons were learned in the first year: host the youtube submissions on their own channel (the winners have had over a million views and making money from advertisement); Work with a current exhibition so it fits with BL programming; provide open files (sound, graphics) in BL collections.


    Chris Michaels – I’ve had the honor of hearing and speaking to Chris at We Are Museums in Berlin but was still excited to hear the work he and his team are working on at the British Museum.  The goals are concise, clear and achievable and most importably ambitious.  They understand the need to use digital and technology to achieve audience engagement – not as a layer but the need to be involved from the beginning at project and exhibitions is vital.  The idea of big data meeting marketing was refreshing to hear and I look forward to see how that is managed in the long run.  Although it makes common sense for marketing to care about big data we all know common sense and management haven’t had the best marriage…


    A big shout out to the sponsors Southbank Centre and Cogapp -both of whom I hung out with and thoroughly enjoyed the laid back, fun conversations.  A personal goodbye to Lucie and Paul who are leaving Southbank team.  You’ll be missed!

    Great ending at Southbank for CultureGeek!

    Great ending at Southbank for CultureGeek!

    And of course a HUGE thank you to Kala and Jim for organizing CultureGeek! Can’t wait for MuseumNext at Indianapolis Museum of Art in September!

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