@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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    January 23rd, 2017mardixonCulture, International, Personal

    Re-sharing from MuseumCamp.org: Welcome to Museumcamp – the home of the museums unconference.  With a passion for cake! If you’ve previously attended one of our Museumcamp unconferences you’ll be pleased to know we’re planning more. And if you haven’t – good timing, you will get the chance soon.

    We haven’t had a Museumcamp unconference for a while, although it isn’t for the want of trying. Despite the huge success of the Museumcamps in Birmingham it has been difficult to obtain funding, and unfortunately due to the economic climate we can’t get the same level of sponsorship as in the past. However, funding issues aren’t what I’m blogging about today, rather it is about some thoughts on unconferences that came from a recent Unconference conference and my own experiences at unconferences.

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    November 22nd, 2015mardixonCulture, International, Tech

    MuseumCampPoster6Today I held MuseumCamp as part of the Vienna Art Week. While it was a small, intimate group we managed to cover many topics and eat A LOT of cupcakes! First and foremost I have to thank eSel (in particular eSeLat) for the invite to be Artists in Residence and showcase MuseumCamp during Vienna Art Week.

    Topics:

    Social Media: In Vienna – the uptake to social media is slow. While the public may or may not be using it, the museums seem to be using it for PR/marketing many and to chat to other museums. Not sure where the public comes in but the good news is they seem to recognize it and want to change! For example, as stated by Jennie Carvill ‘engagement in twitter initiatives like #Askacurator or the like is still also largely lacking.’ Is that due to the museums or the public? I’m still not sure.

    Hashtags: Another topic was the use of signage in museums to encourage sharing. While at Albertina Museum and Leopold Museum I saw they are great with the signage, but not everyone is sharing. In some museum the reasons are similar – no wifi due to signal issues in the thick (or metal!) walls. But we discussed ways to encourage more participation. I shared Andrew Lewis’ newest case study as an example. And talked about Pompidou #KoonSelfie signage (and the use of a book competition to encourage sharing).

    QR Codes: When the topic of new technology came up, it was mentioned that some museums tried 3 years ago with QR codes but many of the public had no idea what they were or how to use. However, now that the advertisers are using them more on posters/signs in the streets, it might be worthwhile to try again on a small exhibition.

    Periscope: We discussed how many museums / galleries allow for pictures that maybe they can start to implement Periscope into their sharing. As someone who uses Periscope, I was glad to learn that perhaps there is a way to capture the comments and hearts also which is a great benefit!

    IMG_2932Building Communities: One of the difficulties I’ve personally seen in Vienna is the struggle to gain trust with communities. As Vienna is small, many people attend events as a group. It’s hard for an individual to ‘break that cycle’. This spills over to museum/art gallery people. They don’t tend to attend events or conferences to network. I’ve visited museums (and shared along the way) and attended many Vienna Art Week events and tried to introduce myself to new people and while they were always polite the conversation never led anywhere. To be honest, it was a bit frustrating as I probably attended more events that weren’t related to my work but the social integration was closed.

    I talked about DrinksThing and as a way to break the communication barriers. As Will Stanley and I know, it isn’t always a first time success but over time, if they are consistent I’m sure it’ll grow. While there were a few examples mentioned of Tweetups for museum people – they seem to give up a bit too earlier. DrinksThings did not take off over night and some nights it was only 3 people who showed. But we were consistent in a monthly event and soon gained the trust of others. However, it’s vital that people in Vienna find the right platform for communications (DrinksThing is twitter and Attending.io based but perhaps Facebook group is more practical here). I noticed that newsletter were stronger in their way to communicate.

    We also discussed stARTcamp Wien which happens in Vienna on December 10. It’s a barcamp like MuseumCamp. They to have the issues of people to attend and know why/how it’s important. I’m hoping to be able to support them more in furture.

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    October 8th, 2013mardixonCulture
    cake

    Made by 13yo Annabel Rockett

    MuseumCamp 2013 is now over. I can not thank everyone enough for not only attending, especially when many hadn’t a CLUE what they were doing there, but also for really taking part and throwing yourself into the spirit of MuseumCamp.

    It was brought to my attention that I tend to ask people to trust me.  A lot.  Or at least trust the cake.  Both Museumcamp and Museomix are very hard to explain – I guess it’s because they are both more of an experience.

    Still, to all those that that got involved both online and in real life – THANK YOU!

    I didn’t get to attend many sessions but did managed to keep up thanks to our Live Tweeters and from the many brilliant conversations I had throughout the day.

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    October 2nd, 2012mardixonCulture

    Yesterday saw over 100 people from all over the UK come to Birmingham for something they weren’t event sure what it was.

    But they came. 

    After signing in, everyone was asked to decorate a cupcake.  Some did so with a nervous smile, others threw themselves into it.  Why cupcakes?  Because they make people talk to each other.  Whether it was to say they felt stupid or asking the person next them to pass the frosting.  It was an ice breaker that is not found in conferences … and Museum Camp was the opposite of conference.

    Will Perrin – the fabulous MC who really help set the tone for the day – asked who knew what an unconference was or has been to one.  Very few raised their hands. Will then asked who was here because they didn’t know what MuseumCamp was about and majority of hands shot up!

    But that was ok – they still came. Read the rest of this entry »

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    July 14th, 2012mardixonCulture

    I’m going to cheat a bit and take a post I wrote for MuseumCamp and post it here.  But first, a little story.

    Linda Spurdle contacted me a while ago and asked if I’d like to get involved with an idea she had about an unconference for museums.  I’ve been to one or two unconferences but never related to culture specifically.  I immediately agree to help wherever and whenever.

    A few emails and conversations to establish basic ideas/guidance and we were ready for our first proper meeting.  Linda invited Rachel Cockett and Glynis Powell and the four of us met in Birmingham to hash out some ideas.  One thing that I always knew was MuseumCamp was going to big as it was so different.  Plus, there would be cake.  And it was free.  Free cake!

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