museum backstage

There’s a great post on innovation which I just found on my latest favourite museum blog, Museum 2.0. Seb Chan joins in the debate in the comments – essentially the same stuff which I started to touch on on my earlier post, only this time the question is about the dislocation between a (conservative) institution and a (bleeding edge) development team – can they exist in the same space under the same brand, or should they be disparate parts of the institution…?

I started thinking about this from a different direction while talking to people at Museums and the Web – my suggestion was that we sandbox development processes by providing an environment for rapid build which is remote enough from the institution that we lose the fear but close enough that we can steal a few resources, time and ideas. I guess it’s BBC Backstage, but for the museum sector.

Ultimately, I’m still trying to convince myself that you really can develop pithy, cutting edge stuff and at the same time answer to an age-old institution with fairly conservative audiences. Not to mention staff. The more I see, the more I see which is starting to break out of the treacle. But I also know that this stuff is still an issue for many museums, and I know I’m lucky working at an institution which encourages this kind of working

2 thoughts on “museum backstage”

  1. Hi Mike. This is one of the lines of discussion that is important! We – who are interested and more or less into the 2.0 – should take the subject away from the institutional scen, but also from the national scene of our own institutions. Web 2.0 should give us the possibility to build a more free and more international, not to say global, discussion, and for people like me from a National Museum in a little museum community in the north, this is crucial for our development. I’ll check out museum 2.0 rigtht now…

  2. Hey Mikkel. Yes, I agree – the fundamental thing we need to really get to grips with is that our content is being consumed by audiences far beyond the confines of our sites and used in ways we would never, ever have dreamed of. We can either pretend this isn’t happening and continue to develop web products in isolation from this, or we can embrace it, encourage people to “borrow”, share stuff around, mash it up, make it available, and see what incredible stuff results…


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