@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
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    June 7th, 2019mardixonCulture, International, Tech

    Well it’s one day after I’ve been home from another brilliant MuseumNext conference – it’s the time when I feel sad for saying goodbye to the new friends I met and old friends I get to see again. The talks this year were absolutely brilliant, poignant, relevant and in some cases hard to hear (but it need to be said).

    We as a sector are going through another transitional period. A few years ago there so much excitement about the future of museums and how social/digital was being embedded into the collections. Now it’s about survival. Surviving to keep staff, surviving to understand what the public needs and make real changes that allow them to see themselves in the museum. Surviving so they are relevant in the next 10-20 years.

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    (All Tweets I did are here and All Pictures are in this Facebook album)

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    April 25th, 2016mardixonCulture, International

    IMG_9355MuseumNext was held in Dublin 18-20 of April. A few of us decided to make the most of our first time in Dublin and arrived on the Saturday to start exploring early. We weren’t the only ones!

    Highly recommend Guinness Storehouse tour which is more of an experience through history.  But lets get to MuseumNext. Monday April 18th we all registered. This is the best time for me as I get to see many MuseumNext friends I haven’t seen for a year. I signed up to join a tour but missed it and instead went to:

    A Spirited History at National Gallery of Ireland which had representatives from Guinness, Jamison company and another archivist. Having visited Guinness Storehouse it was fascinating to see the balance of teaching the story through the archive and providing an experience for the general public (20% of people who come to Guinness Storehouse have never tried it), the point was they have a brand name people know and recognize and through the Storehouse have to share the story and not let those people down who come for another reason (adverts etc).

    IMG_9295In the evening, Mark Macleod and I hosted the Networking for First Timers at the Little Museum of Dublin. The venue was perfect and it was great that non-first timers knew they were more than welcomed to attend.

    Afterwards we all went over to the Irish Museum of Modern Art for tours and wonderful conversations. Read the rest of this entry »

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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!









    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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    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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    June 22nd, 2014mardixonCulture, International, Tech

    IMG_0340Once again, MuseumNext ends and I get this horrible sinking feeling of knowing that I need to wait another year for it to happen again.

    In my opinion, MuseumNext is the best conference for anyone who cares about museums. It’s international and in the past four years has been to Edinburgh, Barcelona, Amsterdam and this year it was held in Newcastle. Technically it’s a 2-day conference however it always kicks off the day before with a Welcome event, tour/workshop and evening reception.

    I’m going to start with my takeaways just because it’s the things I have to get off my chest the most.

    Apps Are Dead! Long live the App!
    Let’s get this out of the way: Apps aren’t dead. Museums just, bluntly, are crap at them. We only need to look at iTunes who has had 65 billion apps downloaded as reported on their first quarter report for 2014.

    ChartOfTheDay_1474_Global_App_Downloads_n65 BILLION people. Apps aren’t dead.

    Here is my take. Museums, in their adorable fashion, was a bit late to the game when it came to smartphones and tablets. It essentially took the public bringing them into the venues to make the shift happen. Even then, most apps just took what was on the web or in the family pack (eg trails).

    There are exceptions of course: Magic Tate Ball and Second Canvas that integrates gigapixel into the app and Twnkls AR.

    But overall, meh.  And I’m not alone with this, ask any museum person how many museum apps they have on their device and watch them shift uncomfortably as they say none. 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.

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    October 14th, 2012mardixonCulture, International

    This week, I’ll be heading to Lyon, France to take part in a revolutionary approach to collaborative thinking.

    Museomix is a 3 day event which brings diverse participants from all over France together to brainstorm on new thinking.  What would happen if you were provided a blank canvas to create a new visitor experience?

    Museomix allows free thinking without restrictions. 

    Participants will be put into various teams: thinkers, creators, testers – a true visionary process with no rigid outcome to aim for (the teams will set their own goals which I’m sure will be higher than anything anyone could set prior to starting). Each team will have a mixture of makers, developers, designers, museum people –producing a true Dream Team of creative thinkers.

    I first heard of Museomix last year when I caught a few Tweets from Claire Seguret  from Musee de Cluny who was taking part.  I tried my best to follow along with my limited (ok, non-existent!) French as it sounded like an amazing event.

    Fast forward to MuseumNext 2012 in Barcelona where I was able to hear Samuel Bausson from Museum de Toulouse share Museomix: remix your museum.  Samuel talked about how Museomix 2011 was about this euphoric museum – where visitors are at the front of the design, not an after-thought.

    I knew I wanted to learn more about Museomix. 

    I am very fortunate to have a place at Museomix 2012 where I’ll be sharing my findings via social media (Twitter via #museomix, Facebook and blogging on Museomix Tumblr.  I’ll be translating the participant’s adventures over the three days – along with sharing my own thoughts on my site.   Hopefully, I will be the eyes for those that can’t be there.  Please feel free to contact me if I’m clarification is needed.  I remember what it was like last year to follow along not knowing what it was about but knowing it was something exciting.

    MuseoMix is taking place at Gallo-Roman Museum of Lyon.  For those in France, there will be a chance for professionals and students to come to see the progress (please see website for more information).

    Looking forward to taking you on this amazing journey with me!


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    May 28th, 2012mardixonCulture, International

    Just back from an amazing week in Barcelona where not only did I get to do a bunch of museum visits and culture things, I managed to attend the 2-day MuseumNext conference.

    MuseumNext was held at CCCB and MACBA and had 2-3 session going at any given time.  The advantage was you could tailor your conference to suit your needs.  The disadvantage was you knew you were missing some pretty brilliant talks.

    However, luckily, most attendees tweeted (this *is* a digital conference after all!).  With help from Gary Green and Jonathan Tyzack below is an archive of the tweets.

    *Please note: These are really raw and not formatted as I wanted to get them up ASAP.  I will work on them again tonight.

    Huge huge thanks to Jim and Claire Richardson, the whole Sumo Team, and all the kind sponsors*  for again putting on a fantastic conference.  Once again, I walked away with valuable knowledge and great friends.

    Bring on MuseumNext 2013 – Amsterdam!

    *Thanks to sponsor MailChimp for the free drinks! 🙂 Check them out!



    My photos (on Facebook)

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    June 24th, 2011mardixonCulture

    Following the success of last years #AskACurator day, Jim Richardson and his team have launched AskACurator.com this week.  This fabulous resource has striped the restrictions from Twitter and allows in-depth answers to the many questions asked on the #AskACurator Day. 

    I’ve been having a play as although I love IT, I have little patience when it comes to load times and finding my way around complex sites.  I’m happy to report  this site is so easy to navigate I’d go as far to say my mom (who detest computers) would have no problems at all finding her way around.  Registration is very simple, I just connected using my Facebook account but you have the option to create a separate account if you wish.

    While I find the use of video works best for my comprehension, every video is also follow up with a transcript for those that prefer reading.  The transcripts are also very useful for iPad/iPhone users as there is a Flash conflict on the videos (this is only temporary as they upgrade the media player for client).   

    The first page has three simple topics:

    • Question of the day with additional submenu: Trending Today, Ask a Question, Museum Channels, Subjects
    • Popular questions
    • Recent questions

    I originally thought I would spend a few minutes clicking, see how it went and go on my merry way.  Instead, I found myself clicking to get more answers.  There are a lot of interesting questions, such as ‘What does research about a Museum object look like?’ and ‘What’s the most unusual object you found at the museum?’

    Question of the day is where I’ve spent most of my time.  Museum channels currently holds six museums but I can see that will be filling up quickly as this site gains momentum.

    On each answer, you are able to Facebook like, add to Favourite and leave a comment.  However, Jim is already looking at enhancements and new features to add.  

    Overall, another brilliant, well thought-out, and resourceful site from the Sumo crew.  Go have a look around and let them know what you think. 

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  • I posted this over at www.culturethemes.com but wanted to put it here also.  

    June 16th, 2011mardixonCulture

    #MuseumNext Blog

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