Museum audience

•November 5, 2008 • Leave a Comment

There is an element regarding audience that need be discussed. A possibility may occur when museum’s, historical societies, etc., won’t have a decision as to what their collection is or what they might be able to show online, which essentially determines audience.

Another possibility is that collections will be truncated to accommodate a more marketable concept/collection. For instance, the wave of titanic collections bring in viewers both on TV and in museum’s, as seen in the recent for profit exhibition. Would those same vendors offer the public an exhibit on clockmakers of CT? This suggests the content needs to be renowned, popular, saleable. If this is partially true or conceivable, what will this do to entire collections. What about seasonal collections?

One might think of places like Salem who recently added Lizzie Borden to the list of celebrities permeating their collective history. But what of lesser known historic figures or figures that aren’t known in the public. I sense that in pursuing audience, in regard to content decisions, one might need to incorporate marketable gimmicks. What makes this history unique? This question and others will need to be addressed.

Perhaps museum web designers will need editors, like book editors, who will seek submissions of content that is only marketable. Thus history will fall into the depth of selection, just as the book publishers do. As it is, what we read is highly highly determined by selective people who determine what’s “hot” or “not,” what’s in, what will sell, what will grab people. Isn’t this what Cohen is really asking the new web based museum/historic society to do? Won’t they need to in order to stay competitive?


Tag, you’re it: the childlike game of museum tagging

•November 5, 2008 • Leave a Comment

one more point regarding tags. This seems like it could be quite a nuisance. It can also lend to havoc in trying to source material. Another point in form is that it will increase the amount of searches. If I am seeking a specific picture on dime-clocks, then the chances that there are tags with that will probably be limited, but if I add bejeweled dime-clocks I will bring up an array of searches probably not relevant. In essence, it seems like a silly tool to involve people. Get them involved with learning and supporting history, rather than playlike tagging… tag, you’re it!


•November 5, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Talking points regarding museums, museum tags, museum participation, public input…

While the implication demonstrates an increase in use of Web 2.0, and there is speculation for future changes and development, a point should be made that this only works when there is a societal need and push. Places like Myspace or Facebook only became truly integrated when the need to be on this site was greater than not being on the site. So a musician for instance will get more exposure with Myspace than a website, when Myspace fell into the accepted and norm for bands. Word of mouth and advertising help spawn this.

The article brings up the issue that we could benefit by reading a book on web 2.0. For instance, Gwen Solomon, Web 2.0.

The issue of Folksonomy brings up the repetitive issue of who is an amateur and who is specialized and who determines who has the control. Perhaps it is an issue of intrusion, that is tags that may not make sense, or just having the ability to make tags can detract from the museum experience rather than benefit. Does it attract users, maybe those that don’t work, have two jobs, children, meetings… etc., Does it lure someone to the website to make new tags? I would hope that the content on the website is doing that nor this menial task thought to be inclusive to the public.

One possible solution to the Folkonomy feature would be to develop a community center on the web. This will separate the tried and true, the professional content from the community/amateurish side.

Regarding public access: while there is still the issue of how content is regulated to maintain the profession, one source, one trusted source, there is an element of offering information across a world base. Perhaps, as with the origins of radio, a way can be determined to have money be exchanged to help keep the museum in business. When you click on the site, just as if you were there in person, you would pay a minimal admission fee.

Will curators go away? Non-professional dealers could play a more substantial role, but ultimately, this question breaks the fabric of specific knowledge once again.

Comparing the trend and changes of museum web content to Star Wars that raked in millions of dollars isn’t quite conducive. You can’t compare the two, when museums need to make money to stay in business. That’s a reality. This is going to be the deterrent from putting collections online. If you prevent people from coming in, or the online museum lowers the numbers, then the museum on the street will go away. One can compare this dilemma to that of literary magazines. More and more are going electronic and flourishing. It will be a gradual process, but one that may inevitably happen. perhaps colleges will go exclusively online. Maybe we will all never need to move from cubicle, our house!



“A book is the only place in which you can examine a fragile thought without breaking it, or explore an explosive idea without fear it will go off in your face. It is one of the few havens remaining where a man’s mind can get both provocation and privacy.” ~Edward P. Morgan

Archiving Machine

•October 22, 2008 • 2 Comments

Yes, archivist not only face a vast array of problems brought on by technologies, but they also have more power to eliminate, choose, and alter documents for the public view. Perhaps a code of ethics should be maintained, or security to ensure it is being safeguarded.

Richard Cox from the University of Pittsburgh says, “Some of this concern emanates from decisions being made by archivists that may weaken any emphasis on the paper–based manuscript.” Perhaps if a collection is being funded by a particular group, only certain objects will ever see the light.

Additionally, he comments that “New information technologies seem to threaten the creation of records and certainly their long–term maintenance. New information technologies seem to threaten the creation of records and certainly their long–term maintenance.”

Only time will tell, but attention should be drawn into answering these questions sooner than later, or history could be lost and altered in ways no one will comprehend.

the New Ecosystem

•October 22, 2008 • 1 Comment

Michael Jon Jensen brings up the prediction of books being electronic by 2000, and this has come and gone and yet we are still in paper. In the textbook industry we see the trend shift, but the unwillingness for everyone to comply. That is student, publisher, professor, so there are waves and tensions there.

ebooks saves money tot he publisher and end user, for now–eventually the cost will be the same and there will be nothing the end user will have to show for it. A student buys a textbook and can resell it or use it as reference. An e-textbook is cheaper with no resale and can only be access for a year. Who wins?

Another important issue Jensen brings up is the issue of selection int he library and book stores. He says, “All the material, in any library, had been vetted several times over.” This is true. What makes it? What stays? And how will this control dwindle or become worse when it’s digitalized?

Yes,a new ecosystem will arise, but I see it as one where old print books are coveted and sold like sugar in colonial America.

Librarian safeguarding

•October 22, 2008 • Leave a Comment

In an open letter to facebook and google, the author brings up many important points to safeguarding free access to information and privacy, both which the library provides. This is a near and dear topic, one I bring up in class often. Once the books and history is digitized, who owns it? Who owns it now and how is it manipulated for profit or to convince people of a certain opinion?

The author writes:”Libraries need to continue (and significantly grow) their work as professional guardians of community access to information.”

How many people visit the library? Daily, weekly, monthly yearly, never? What do they do there and what do they access as part of their free access.

In my trips to the library, wealthy Connecticut towns have more available and the library is swinging. Ones that can’t negotiate their contract correctly suffer, as do the people. Yet, I think if you polled it, there are many more opportunities to bring people in to the library. Perhaps when spending is tight, an increase will occur. Ultimately, the need for free access is the key and it should be safeguarded, as well as our privacy to view this material.

Do it yourself: librarians weigh in

•October 22, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Weighing in on the debate on whether social networking in the CCSU library should be open to students to assist in creating and coming up with new ideas.

Steven Bernstein brings up the idea that doctors and lawyers don’t get outside opinion or social critiquing. Librarians perhaps aren’t considered a trade with special training. I think Steve brings this up and articulates the need to have order and clarity which is provided by the skilled librarian not the average social networking student.

On the other hand, Edward Iglesias says there’s nothing to fear. Technologies change and with it come different levels of expertise.

I think a combination of the two, a platform where students can interact with skilled librarians, each learning from one another, with the climbing expectation of advancing.