Friday, September 26, 2008

Quick Hits: Funding, Facts, and Futurecasting

First, I want to extend a huge THANK YOU to everyone who has contributed to the nascent Museum 2.0 Living Archive. I'll be adding a bunch of answers to your questions and some other ways to browse the archives this weekend, and then I'll link to it from the main blog site starting on Monday. We're still looking for your Museum 2.0-related questions, starting points, and guides to the blog--for this to truly be a living resource it has to keep growing. All you have to do to participate is write one question here. Please help make this a great resource for everyone.

Now, onto the links:
  • If you have a great idea for a participatory learning project that uses digital tools, the MacArthur Foundation wants to give you money. They are accepting submissions for this Digital Media and Learning Competition through October 15. The requirements for application are fairly broad and the application process doesn't look too onerous. Both individuals and institutions can apply, and there's a Young Innovators category for applicants 18-25.
  • I'm currently doing a project in Canada, and in my hunt for international social media statistics, I came upon this amazing Social Media Tracker report. Great and sometimes surprising statistics on social media use around the world, circa March of 2008. It's part three of an ongoing project, so the authors analyze trends over time as well as providing a snapshot of March 2008. I can't wait for part four.
  • There's a new Pew Research report on teens and gaming showing that 97% of American teens play some kind of video games (console, online, mobile, etc). The report covers both the social and civic aspects of gaming. The press release gives you the highlights, or you can download the whole report.
  • Speaking of games, the scenarios for the futurecasting alternate reality game Superstruct (say that three times fast) are now available. Like last year's World Without Oil, Superstruct will invite players to imagine life in a dramatically different but highly plausible near-future. If your museum is looking for ways to engage visitors in speculative play around deep issues (or you are ready to confront these issues yourself), you may want to check this out. Play starts on October 6, but people are already debating the future on Facebook. I'll be playing in CA and hosting a game event at ASTC in Philadelphia mid-Oct. Stay tuned here for suggestions on how museums can get involved on a programmatic level.
Lastly, the service that provides the rating system at the bottom of each of these posts has recently released a new feature that provides links to other related posts. Great idea, but so far, I'm not convinced that it's doing anything useful. Let me know if you like the feature or think I should scrap it.

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