Thursday, March 20, 2008

Quickie Links: Surveys, Transcripts, and a Strange Bedfellow

I was going to wrap a nice story and post around each of these but decided to just get the information out there.

First! Ideum, the company that brought you ExhibitFiles (with ASTC), is conducting a survey on museums' needs in support of an NSF grant proposal (Open Exhibits) to build open source templates for simple interactive exhibits (timelines, digital collections, news kiosks). What does that mean in simple terms? Ideum wants to make a tool so that you can create your own simple, attractive computer-based exhibits without multimedia staff or contractors. Given what a great job they did making ExhibitFiles easy to use, I expect that Open Exhibits will be truly accessible to non-code monkeys. Please help them help you and take the survey...

Relatedly, if you are super computer-savvy and impatient for a web version of this sort of thing, check out Omeka, a free open source platform for creating digital collections and exhibitions. Omeka is a project of the Center for History and New Media at George Mason University and is primarily intended for use by institutions looking to create simple online exhibitions. It's technically over my head, but if you are someone for whom "plugin" isn't something you do with your toaster, it's worth checking out.

Also, Susan Spero has transcribed ALL of the scribbles we put on the wall at the Museums and Civic Discourse colloquium at JFKU on March 8. No, it ain't pretty, but this Herculean effort includes several gems, especially the references to particular projects (in and outside museums) worth pursuing. Check them out here.

Finally, a friend wrote today to congratulate me on my "new and extremely strange website." Sadly, I do not have a new and extremely strange website. But it turns out that someone else is doing something much more interactive with the Museum 2.0 name... have fun with it and don't get too anxious. Enjoy!

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