@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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    December 8th, 2015mardixonCulture, International, Tech

    Screen Shot 2015-12-08 at 19.20.19As many know, I was asked to be Artists-in-residence at MuseumQuartiers thanks to the invite from eSel. While I had to do a few conferences in Budapest, Spain, etc, I managed to have a very good time ­­learning, explore and meeting people in Vienna.

    ESEL – do tremendous work promoting culture not just in MuseumQuartiers where they are based but for Vienna. If you’re not following them already – do it now!

    I talked to many directors, PR/Marketing and social media museum people to try to encourage them to try to get a dialog going once a month (like DrinksThing). The importance of meeting at a café and pub was stressed but they’ll have to determine what works best for them.

    The other concept was for them to get on social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) to allow the international tourist a platform to be able to share (many only have Facebook).

    I’ve addressed other questions on this MuseumQuartiers Blog with Margit Moer

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    October 13th, 2015mardixonCulture, International, Tech

    For the first time ever MuseumNext moved from Europe to the states with wonderful host the Indianapolis Museum of Art. I always knew this was going to be something special but both MuseumNext and IMA outdid even my expectations!  A very special thank you to Scott StulenSilvia Filippini Fantoni from IMA and Jim Richardson and Kala Preston for managing to pull off the best conference to date!

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    As always, MuseumNext is more than ‘just a conference’. The fringe, networking and fun around the one (but really two days…) conference. Am I bias about MuseumNext? Of course! But it’s like a family to me – even though the delegates change there is always a warmth and familiarness with MuseumNext.

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    September 7th, 2015mardixonCulture, International

    When I was invited to be on a panel for a conference in Bueconferencenos Aires, I thought ‘This could be interesting.’

    I can not explain what an understatement that was.

    Although Buenos Aires was the host, this conference was for all of Latin America and the people who work/live there. But really it  was for everyone to listen, watch and learn from.

    Takeaways are always difficult in conference but for me, it was easy: the people. The people who came to make a difference. There is a sense of oppression but not defeat. They want to move forward, grow and make differences for the next generation without ever forgetting their past. It was almost spiritual in that regard.

    There were many fringe events around the talks – I and many others made new life-long friends thanks to this conference.

    The speakers where diverse: by country, age, topic and message but all inspired. I struggled with my wifi (my fault) but I took notes. I don’t often share my notes word for word but for this conference there is an exception: Read the rest of this entry »

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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 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“.

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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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    February 4th, 2015mardixonCulture, International

    mw2015#MuseumWeek is Back!

    SIGN UP FORM IS HERE

    Mark your calendars as the week of March 23rd is the return of the very popular #MuseumWeek!  Last year, #MuseumWeek gave Twitter users special access to more than 630 European museums and galleries. For those that missed it, here is are two write ups from last year:

    I’m happy to announce that the dates (March 23-29) and themes for #MuseumWeek 2015 has just been announced on Twitter.


    This year, we (a great team including my partner in crime Benjamin Benita) created a combination of hashtags that we hope will be diverse enough for everyone to get involved. This isn’t just about museums – visitors and the public have a role in this campaign also!

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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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    August 27th, 2013mardixonCulture, International

    askacuratorUPDATE: CHANGED TITLE TO REFLECT 2014 DATE SEPTEMBER 17th

     

    What time is it?  It’s #AskaCurator time!  Yes, September is more than Back to School time – it’s Ask a Curator Time!

    When is Ask a Curator?

    It’s an all day event on September 18th 

    What is Ask a Curator?

    It’s a way to talk to curators and people who work in cultural venues you normally don’t have access to.  #Askacurator is open to everyone: Museums, galleries, National Trust, Theatres, and more. You can ask anything that you’re curious about or want more information on. 

    • What’s it’ like to be a curator?
    • How do you decide what to display?
    • What is the most unique object in your collection?

    As some curators won’t know *all* the answers straight away, it might be they have to get back to you if it is a specific question about the museum/gallery.  However, if it is a general question, you might find another museum’s curator could answer it.

    How to get involved?

    Use the hashtag #AskaCurator on Twitter.  You can ask questions to specific museums using the @MUSEUMNAME or you can ask general questions using #AskaCurator.

    Museums/Galleries 

    Please fill out this simple form which will export your information to a spreadsheet to share.   On the day you can schedule the time you are going to be there or you can dip in and out and answer questions when you get them.  Others also decide to spend the day asking questions not just to their Museum but the general questions that are asked (last year, Bears in Museums asked who had Bears in Museums…. it was one of the top questions!)

    In other words, curators spend as much or as little time as they want.

    It’s also a good idea to let your followers know you’re taking part.  Some curators will write a blog or tweet they are taking part in #askacurator.

    Audience/Visitors

    Just come to twitter on the day and ask the questions.  What I like to do is keep an eye on the countries and museums taking part and find a few unique ones that I want to know more about.  You can set yourself a goal of asking a question to every country even!

    Who can get involved?

    EVERYONE!  You just need to sign up for Twitter account if you haven’t yet.  Curators can answer questions to other museums and/or general questions (how to questions, etc).  Everyone is allowed to interrupt – this is Twitter after all! 🙂

    Where

    Go to Twitter and search for #AskACurator

    I find using Tweetdeck or HootSuite makes following the conversation easier.

    Hope this write up helps with some of the questions about what Ask A Curator is.  If you still have questions please ask away or you can tweet using the tag 🙂

    Why should you take part? 

    Many museums and art galleries who took part back in 2010 will testify to the great platform it gave them and large exposure that they would not have been able to achieve without #AskACurator.  This is true for both large and smaller venues.

     

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    June 16th, 2013mardixonCulture, International

    wearemuseumA few months ago, I heard about We Are Museums, a 2-day event for professionals of culture and innovation being organized in Vilinus Lithuania by Diane Drubay, founder of Buzzeum based in Paris. I signed up to go immediately and then checked on the map to see where I was going.

    All I really knew about We are Museums was Diane was bringing together diverse speakers to share ‘the same passion about art, innovation and culture, like all the dots which form a nebula, the image we chose to embody the conference’.

    We are Museums did that and more.

    The conference was more than just speakers – We are Museums arranged for lots of fringe and activities to give everyone the opportunity to network – not just sit and listen.  

    While every speaker added value to the conference, the following were my takeaways:

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