@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 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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    February 13th, 2014mardixonCulture, Tech

    [Please note: I actually have a lot more to say on this topic but decided to keep it short and sweet for your sanity and mine… mainly mine.]

    answerI’ve been involved with a few research projects lately.  Each project is interesting and worthwhile in their own right.  However, I’ve noticed there has been a two-part theme that has run throughout all of them:

    a)    Is tech the solution or the problem?
    b)   How much influence does funding have in that answer?

    We live in this wonderful society where tech and digital is plentiful.  As a Google Explorer and someone who has my iPhone pretty much attached to my hand at all times, I’m constantly connected.  I’m the type of person that gets the shakes when the power goes out.

    However, I’m also the first to ask:  are we using tech for the right reason?  Are we trying to fit that square into a circle because we should or because it’s there?

    Read the rest of this entry »

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    May 20th, 2013mardixonCulture, International

    Straight after MuseumNext, I had to fly to Lisbon for a project.  By the time I got home from travelling for 10 days, all the Takeway and items I was going to talk about have been covered (and much more eloquently than I would have done!):

    photo (7)So I went back to the MuseumNext program book to have another look to see if something different might jump out that hasn’t been covered… and there in the Welcome was the key.

    If you’re like me, you probably missed the Welcome note from Jim.  In it, he describes the challenges he faced from his first MuseumNext 5 years ago.  Even with having a heavy hitter like Nina Simon the interest wasn’t there.  But soon it went International with the first brave delegate from the Netherlands.

    And it has grown and grown ever since.

    Read the rest of this entry »

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    March 24th, 2013mardixonCulture

    FashionI recently attended the preview of V&A’s extremely popular David Bowie Is exhibition.  I must admit, I’m not a huge fan of David Bowie. The one minor link is his work with Jim Henson on Labyrinth and I like the song Under Pressure.  Other than that, he was just a character with a cult following I never really grasp.

    Until now.

    Top tip:  Take the Headphones! 

    After your ticket is checked, you are offered a headset.  Take it!  This is not your normal audio guide with punching in numbers.  The V&A digital team has used RFID technology throughout the exhibition to automatically launch the appropriate information, song, interviews, etc depending on where you are in the gallery.  This was brilliant as it meant I didn’t have to go up to the display and locate the audio guide symbol and number, nor did I have to punch the number in.  This raised the exhibition to a different level for me as I found myself staying longer in areas to finish listening to what was being shared.

    Read the rest of this entry »

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    March 10th, 2013mardixonCulture, International

    Whenever I tell someone I’m working on MuseoMix UK for November, the first obvious question I get is:

    What is MuseoMix?

    ubiquity31Officially (on the website) it states:

    For three days the participants co-create and test new ways of approaching exhibitions.

    We bring together museum professionals, actors of the innovation and the digital world, lovers of art and science, and other lovers of education and culture. This community mixes his views and embodies his ideas around a model museum whose vision is:

    • more open and inclusive, where everyone can find “his” place
    • networked and connected with diverse communities of visitors online and onsite.
    • a living laboratory that grows with its users

    For me, MuseoMix is an experience. For others, it’s an ethos. For others it’s a project.

    Read the rest of this entry »

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    October 10th, 2011mardixonInternational, Literacy

    This is the time of the year when my tweets tend to shift from museums and miscellaneous to literary (and miscellaneous) as the Frankfurt Book Fair is one of THE literary events that most of my literary friends are either going to or part of.  Publishers, authors, agents all seem to flog to Germany for this International event.   At the same time, there are a lot of literary festivals this time of the year (such as the brilliant Cheltenham Festivals  which those who can’t get to Germany prefer to attend.

    I love books.  I love reading, I love going to libraries and book stores and searching new books I didn’t know existed.  I love the feeling of leaping into a book – becoming a bystander in the scenes that I’m reading.  Charlotte and I are fortunate to sometimes receive books from publishers  to review which has spurred her love of reading even further.  And recently, I even received an acknowledgement in L.A. Weatherly sequel Angel Fire. [Thank you!]

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