Last year, Digital New Zealand was invited to submit a late abstract to Museums and the Web 2009 in Indianapolis. We were chuffed to have that paper accepted – and I will be heading across to present a mini-workshop and demonstration.
DigitalNZ is also up for a best of the web award – so watch this space. You can register and vote for us in the Best of the Web 2009 People's Choice.
Museums and the Web aims to address the social, cultural, design, technological, economic, and organisational issues of culture, science and heritage online. So as you can see, it has a heap of relevance to the work we are doing at DigitalNZ – even if our reach extends wider than the cultural heritage sector alone.
I think it’s fair to say that the Museums and the Web conference has significantly influenced the direction DigitalNZ has taken.
The DigitalNZ Memory Maker was discovered at Museums and the Web (Andy, our technical lead last year and current Programme Manager, went to the conference in 2006 before DigitalNZ was anything more than a Content Strategy, and came back brimming with excitement and ideas for content experiences).
That same year (2006) we brought over a number of speakers from Museums and the Web to the National Digital Forum (NDF) conference – such as Jim Spadacinni from Ideum; Toby Travis from the V & A; and Seb Chan from the Powerhouse Museum.
Digital New Zealand was at that NDF too, kind of. There was a session about digital content and the draft Digital Content Strategy ('Creating a Digital New Zealand'), Matapihi as a window onto New Zealand content… I think Penny Carnaby might have even talked about DigitalNZ as an abstract concept - connecting it all together...
And there was an unconference session in which Seb and Jim challenged a few of us to start thinking about opening up access to catalogue data for other people to use.
I guess if you mix a nationwide strategic approach to digital content creation; projects encouraging institutions to share metadata to locally-held content; a couple of vanguard thinkers pushing ideas like APIs, remix, reuse; and exposure to ideas and projects on the international stage, you get something not too dissimilar to this.
Not that we’re only about discovery, but it’s a pretty significant component.
The fact that I get to go to Museums and the Web feels completely unfair, even if it is a totally and utterly exciting professional development opportunity for me. We should all get to go – everyone on the team here, and all of you out there producing digital content as well. I hope I can do us proud.
I’ll be using this post to comment back on what jumps out at me as interesting, new, super cool and (importantly) useful. If there’s something from the programme, demonstrations or workshops you particularly want a report back on, drop me a line below.
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Pretty sure Museums and the Web delved into the use of touch tables for museums. Many museums are going digital nowadays. Suppliers like Ideum and http://humetable.com are creating innovative touch tables that can really engage visitors.