Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Museums on the Web

I was fortunate enough to be able to attend this year's Museums and the Web conference, which this year took place in Montreal, Canada. This was my first visit to Montreal, and I was able to visit a few of the local sites, and you're invited to see a few of those photos on this Flickr stream.

Much is made everyday of the impact the Internet is having on our lives, and that impact is just as acutely felt in the museum world as any place else. MW2008 was about how institutions large and small and from around the world are incorporating the Web and other Internet-based technologies into their programs and business. More than 650 people from 27 countries attended. (Other stats here.)

There were awards offered, too: of note was this one category, the Best of the Web (Education) award was given to The American Image: The Photographs of John Collier Jr., an offering by The Maxwell Museum of Anthropology and College of Education’s Technology & Education Center (TEC) at the University of New Mexico. The very Best of the Web was Launchball of the Science Museum, London. (Beware, this is the very epitome of a timewaster, I lost a few hours somehow after logging onto that for the first time.) The list of awardees is here.

There was so much discussed at the conference that I've been overwhelmed with trying to offer some wayposts to our eight or nine readers who might be interested in learning more about the topics discussed. So, I was glad to run across this post by one Bryan Kennedy from the Science Museum of Minnesota, who wrote on the Museum 2.0 blog. Take special note of a few of the links he offers: the backchannel that was prevalent at times during the conference, for instance.

And what a comment that makes, in an of itself: A conference about the Web used the Web to enrich the experience, in real time, using Twitter, individual blogs, Flickr, whatever else was handy.

There's a lot more, and I could go on about it for a while longer, and I might add to this or post some more later on this topic. For now, I encourage you to check out this conference Web site, which features blogs written before, during and after the meeting. There are links there to search the conference papers, too, which are worth perusing if time allows, and how to find presenters' slides and handouts.

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