Monday, July 09, 2007

Print and Pixels

I just got my copy of the July/August Museum News. I flipped to the table of contents, only vaguely interested, but what did I find?! An article entitled "Museums and Web 2.0." Boy does the layout make web 2.0 look fun and kicky.

It quotes Nina Simon, Brooklyn Museum, Indianapolis Museum of Art and MoMA. It offers an overview of the idea of Web 2.0, Wikipedia, YouTube, and MySpace. It suggests that you make sure your museum has a Wikipedia entry, and warns against, honestly, being dumb. Don't post video of your security guards punching in entry codes! Okay, I know that's written in jest, but still.

It also introduces the idea of trusting the visitor. AKA radical trust. "You trust users not to upload inappropriate content; if they do you trust other users to report it..."

While I appreciate the very relaxed tone of the article - I imagine it's purposefully written in a semi-informal blog style - I'm a little surprised that the article focussed so strongly on Wikipedia when museums tend to have little interaction with it. Also surprised that podcasting and blogging aren't mentioned as part of the Web 2.0. Perhaps because there's not a single service you can point to for those? And Facebook, too, because I tend to imagine that Facebook is going to reach more of a traditional museum-going audience than MySpace. But perhaps that's the advantage of MySpace - reaching someone you probably wouldn't.... like that 14 year old emo kid over there. Oh, and is "TMI" really "teen" speak? Because TMI is in frequent use on certain boards I frequent where a significant part of the community is over 40.

Still, it's nice to see AAM produce anything written on internet technology since the last book they published on the subject was 8 years ago. It may as well have been 38 given the way things change. Raising awareness is probably a good thing, at the very least, even if it's only a start. Nonetheless, I will wait for the sequel to the article and look forward to the letters to the editor in the next issue.

I'm just hoping that Nina will write a book for us one of these days. ;)

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