Thursday, July 15, 2010

A Birthday Request...

Dear Museum 2.0 readers,

Today is my birthday. It's been an intense year - finishing the book and spending lots of time on the road working with cultural institutions. Plus climbing trips, a new obsession with beach volleyball, and the death of a treasured pet and friend.

Today, I have a request for you. My book, The Participatory Museum, has done incredibly well so far, but there's a problem: the interactive components aren't working. When I released it in March, I launched a simple website to host all the book content and to support discussion around it. I wrote the book with thoughts, case studies, and stories contributed by many of you. The book is still open to new ideas and stories. Your reactions, experiments, and new case studies can inform future readers both online and in subsequent print editions.

The problem is that at least so far, the tools I've provided for discussion on the book's website are not gaining traction. They're simple--you can comment on any given chapter, or you can write a review of the whole book. Only one person has added a comment to a chapter (thank you, Juline Chevalier!), and a few have written reviews, mostly after they sent me a lovely email and I asked them to consider translating their enthusiasm into a review.

I imagine many of you have read the book and have marked certain passages that excite or frustrate you. I'm sure some of you, like Juline, have taken ideas and tried them out or tweaked them for your own institutions and programs.

And so today, I'm asking you for a birthday present. If you have a story or comment or idea to share related to a chapter, please do so. If you want to review the book on Amazon so that more people understand what it's about, that's great too. I think once there are a few comments for each chapter, people will start to see it as a more useful resource and will be generally more inclined to share their own thoughts as well.

And finally, if you have ideas for better ways that I could support discussion on the site, please leave a comment and let me know. I started with super-simple tools because I wanted to see where people would want to take it. I know that coming to a website and commenting on a chapter is not entirely natural to the way people read and use books. I'm open to other options or design changes and would love to hear what you have to share.

Thanks in advance. I can't wait to "unwrap" the stories and ideas you gift me.

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