Posted: May 28th, 2012 | Author: Jasper Visser | Filed under: Inspiration | Tags: barcelona, conference, ideas, museumnext, projects, wrap-up | No Comments »
Photo by MuseumNext on Flickr.
MuseumNext is certainly one of my favourite events of the year. With a killer line-up of speakers, three streams and set in beautiful Barcelona, this year’s edition really lifted the conference to a new level. Even the food and drinks were world-class! Jim and his team definitely deserve a big round of applause for putting MuseumNext together again.
Every conference can be summarised in one key idea and mine for MuseumNext was “don’t think, do”. It was first coined in my unconference session and later echoed by Koven Smith as “stop studying, start doing” in his talk about the kinetic museum.
Museum technology and media is a small field. Far too small for lengthy philosophical discussions. At the same time it’s big enough for cool projects that really make a change, such as Walker Art Center’s new website, Palazzo Strozzi’s Follow Your Florins game and CCA’s 404 exposition, just to name a few presented this year.
The field is comfortably small, the tools well-known and most of the big issues either tackled somewhere on the world in a project you can Google or as of yet undiscovered. There’s still some room to do cool stuff in ever smaller budgets. It’s time to start doing and showing the world that it was (and is!) worth investing in innovation in culture.
Next year at MuseumNext 2013 in Amsterdam another set of great projects will be presented that reached out to new target groups, made expositions successful, helped education and generally made life better. There’s no reason why the project you have been thinking about cannot be one of these. Don’t think anymore: do!
Posted: April 24th, 2012 | Author: Jasper Visser | Filed under: Inspiration | Tags: do's and don'ts, guidelines, social media, strategy, trends, workshops, wrap-up | 1 Comment »
Photo by Simone Schoutens of Mediamatic.
Most of the workshops I run I conclude with a simple and effective game I call Bag It or Bin It*. Simply put I ask participants to summarise the main ideas of the workshop and put them into two categories: the ideas they will follow up (these go in the bag) and the ideas they never want to hear about again (these go in the bin). The result is a nicely coloured co-created do’s and dont’s list for the participants.
Minke Havelaar, with whom I run a series of workshops for Mediamatic’s Kom Je Ook?, has made a summary of a couple of Bag It or Bin It games we played about social media marketing strategy with cultural institutions. The result reads like a trend list for social media development in the cultural and non-profit sector. Especially interesting is what people put in their bags regarding the strategic use of social media.
So, what do our colleagues focus on when it comes to social media? Here’s 100s of ideas summarised in six clear trends:
- Quantity versus quality of content
Do’s include writing Tweets and Facebook updates according to best practices (short, images, etc.), the 9-1 rule for writing more about others than about yourself and thinking more strategically about each piece of content.
- Measuring and analysing
Participants planned to focus on metrics and tools such as Google Analytics, but also on writing reports about social media successes and outcomes for management and coworkers. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: November 9th, 2011 | Author: Jasper Visser | Filed under: Inspiration, Thoughts about museums | Tags: audience, community, engagement, participation, relations, science centres, workshop, wrap-up | 3 Comments »
Science centres are all about participation and the joy of discovery. Science centre NEMO in Amsterdam is no exception. Even on a school-week Tuesday the building is buzzing with energy and the sounds of excitement bouncing against the roof. I was positively surprised, therefore, that I was asked by Diana of NEMO to host a creative workshop on specifically the topic of participation and innovative ways of engaging with audiences.
NEMO is looking for ways to have visitors participate and engage with their content in a more sustainable and relevant way. In my own words, they want to build enduring relationships with their audience that go beyond the one-off event a visit to their building nowadays is. The main focus of the workshop, therefore, was how to embed participation in a meaningful way in the activities of NEMO, so that it builds connections between the institution and people, and fosters enthusiasm.
With over 500,000 visitors a year, NEMO has about reached its limits in the number of physical visitors it can welcome. So, not surprisingly, when asked about their future vision for NEMO, most participants drew an image of a science centre leaving its building, and using modern technology and media to take control of the public space.
Most of the installations in NEMO are participatory in a playful, but unconnected way. Often it’s not clear why people should participate other than because they can, and little is done with the effort visitors put into their contributions. Also, NEMO is almost entirely focused on children, with the immediate effect that when I visited them on a school holiday, the place was filled with bored-looking parents. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: May 15th, 2011 | Author: Jasper Visser | Filed under: Inspiration | Tags: conference, innovation, kulturwebb, new media, quote, wrap-up | 1 Comment »
Innovation can be painful, in my translation of what Johan Ronnestam said.
Last week I presented at a #kulturwebb conference in the Nordiska Museet, Stockholm. My presentation opened with an 1888 quote from Strindberg, from his preface to Miss Julie (translated by Michael Robinson).
(…) people have believed in the possibility of creating a new drama by filling the old forms with new content; but this approach has failed, partly because there has not yet been time to popularize the new ideas (…) and partly because we have not yet found the new form for the new content, and the new wine has burst the old bottles.
Apparently, the debate about innovation in content and medium in culture is nothing new. Of course, I would like to add. When we talk about innovating cultural institutions, it’s not about starting to use Twitter or Facebook. We talk about continuously reinventing ourselves to stay meaningful in a changing world. Change and innovation are an on-going process. As the adage goes, change is the only constant (Heraclitus?). Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: April 8th, 2011 | Author: Jasper Visser | Filed under: Technology, Thoughts about museums | Tags: digital, ideas, innovation, mw2011, unconference, virtual, wrap-up | 3 Comments »
Photo by Craig on Flickr.com.
At yesterday’s unconference sessions at Museums and the Web, I proposed a discussion about what digital museums could look like. What would a born digital museum in the 21st century be if we look beyond Second Life? Magdalena, Martin, Chloë, Jamie, Fiona, Timothy, Linda, Nanna and Fiona shared some great ideas, which I’m happy to share with everybody.
The Open University Challenge
In 1965 the Open University (UK) started being planned to challenge many of the presumptions of traditional universities. When it opened in 1969 many people did not believe the model of a ‘virtual’, easily accessible and inclusive would prove viable. In 2011, the Open University is still around and educating over a quarter million students a year, with its concept exported to many other countries.
A “born digital museum”, in many ways, faces the same challenges as the Open University did once. Why is the Open University successful? And, can we apply these lessons to a museum, to make it succeed as a museum without a physical location? Read the rest of this entry »