Monday, September 24, 2007

Wales all around

Over at my job blog I was talking about whale ear bones (cough*shamelessplug*cough), and now I'm going to talk about Wales.

You know, the country! Wales has had my attention recently. Knitting podcaster Brenda Dayne is based out of Wales. The Doctor Who spinoff Torchwood is based out of Cardiff (and it looks like they do a lot of on location filming - I am such a Doctor Who nerd).

Wales is a small country. It has a population less than half that of Wisconsin. And yet, yet! it has two museums with blogs, at least.

First up is Amgueddfa Blog, of the National Museum Wales which posts in both English and Welsh. I can't read a word of Welsh, but I love the look of the language. Can't post much of a review, as there's not been a lot of action since I subscribed, but it looks like there was some fun archaeology stuff over the summer.

And then there's Behind the Scenes at the Oldest Museum in Wales from the Swansea Museum. Sadly, this blog has been dormant for nearly a year, but there are some really lovely photos up in the old posts. It would be great if they'd renew the photo posts, since high quality photos are so much fun to look at.

So, way to go Wales!


Friday, September 14, 2007

Another announcement! and organizational musings

Another one of those posts that a better blogger would split into two separate posts.

Lots of announcements here lately!

I just wanted to let y'all know that I've been invited, and have accepted, to become a contributer to Musematic. Glad to be joining the ranks!

What does this make? That's four and one half blogs! (Museumatic being a half, since it's not all me, all the time.) Well, last night I dropped it down to three and a half, letting go of my languishing knitting blog in favor of Ravelry.

Clicky for bigger.

Ravelry is sort of like LibraryThing for knitters and crocheters. It's still in beta, so you can't fully poke around. I'm kind of fascinated by these organizational tools for the masses. Ravelry allows me to catalog my yarn, my needles, my projects, my books, just about everything, in a fairly extensive way. In some respects, it's like PastPerfect with a social networking side of things.

Now there's an idea. What would a social networked collections management system look like? Would it be a mating of database with listserv? Would there be forums for the small museum? For the curator/registrar? For the collections manager/director? For the dedicated volunteer? ..... Would anyone use it?

It's kind of fun to think about. What if you could comment on other folks collections? As a curatorial tool, it could be very powerful. But realistically, there's just so much sensitive information in these kinds of databases, that it could become difficult to maintain it separately. Not to mention, there's so much going down in the world of caring for collections that the idea of social networking is almost laughable. Although, such a thing would have the potential to envelop the three types of social media communities proposed by the Radical blog in a recent post. Hmmmmm.......


Reconsidering Second Life

In the last issue of Museum News there was that happy colorful exploration of Web 2.0. In this most recent issue, there's an article on museums in Second Life. I remain highly skeptical about Second Life. When I logged in sometime last year, I was frustrated by lag and texturing problems. Either my broadband or my year old laptop were unable to handle the requirements. I continue to feel the technological requirements of the environment make it a less than ideal space in which to reach a broad audience.

But I'm here to say something good about Second Life. Gasp! The article in Museum News - "My Raven-Haired Avatar Flies through the Museum" - had an example which made me pause. When the Exploratorium in San Francisco set up an internet broadcast of a solar eclipse along with a concurrent event in Second Life, they discovered something. Although many people visited the website to watch the webcast, they watched for an average of 7 minutes.

Those who came to the Second World event, about 60 to 70, stayed for the entire hour. They were engaged and asked questions.

This is the most compelling argument for Second Life I have yet heard. Quality of visitor interaction. Yet, I still wonder about the trade offs in terms of cost to develop and maintain an in-world space... But I'm open to being persuaded.


Thursday, September 13, 2007

Up and running!

With the blessings of my supervisors, I have now started a Collections Management blog! I have been in my position as Collections Manager for the Anthropology Department at Central Washington University for nearly four weeks now, and it's high time I started blogging about it! So check out Adventures in Collection Management. If I am not mistaken, I think this is the first Collections Management blog associated with a museum (well, museum in the making). There are blogs about Collections objects, but I haven't seen anything like what I intend to do - a little bit personal reaction, a little bit chronicle, a little bit instructional discussion.

There's only one post - I registered the url about half an hour ago - but keep it on your radars. I'm excited.


Sunday, September 09, 2007

Updated Links List!

My sidebar links became obsolete almost as soon as I first posted it. I have finally revised it to include all the new museum blogs I have found. There are now about 100 museum blogs in the sidebar! Yowsa! Not all are active, but they're self identified as blogs.

Since I am no longer doing academic research, I am getting a little bit loosey goosey with the definition of museum for the purpose of blogging. Essentially, if it takes itself at least mostly seriously, I will consider it. Besides those museums are usually the most fun.

Anyway, check it out. Am I missing anything?


Saturday, September 08, 2007

Scan Once, Scan Right

Are you or your institution looking to scan a slide collection? Are you interested in knowing more about digital imaging? Do you not know your DPI from your .jpg? Then check out Scan Once, Scan Right, the most excellent thesis project of one of my Museology classmates, Larissa, goddess of digitization.

Although the thesis addresses a specific project, Larissa envisions it as "something that other museums or institutions could use as a guide or starting point for their own projects."


Thursday, September 06, 2007

Brooklyn Strikes again!

Anyone who saw the session with the good folks from the Brooklyn Museum was pretty blown away by how, well, awesome they are. The Brooklyn Museum has a huge backing of community involvement and web forward thinking. And awesome Flickr use.

And now they have blogs! Have they been around a long time? Did I miss them?

feminist.bloggers@brooklynmuseum - Feminist art, news, and events from the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art


bloggers@brooklynmuseum - a behind the scenes blog.

Both blogs have full text syndication. How I love full text syndication. I hate stubs, I hate clicking through, I really do.

Plus, and this is really cool, you too can be on the Brooklyn Museum's blogging community, if you ask nicely.

I look forward to seeing how these blogs read!