4 months ago
Reblogged from kineticmuseums
Have museums always been "authoritative?"
But more and more I’m bothered by this concept of “authority” in the way we use it. I kind of like the word trust more. Partially because trust is something you have to earn, whereas it seems like authority is something we feel that we’re owed as institutions, and I don’t think that’s healthy.
A great provocation from Koven around the idea of Open Authority. I think that the ideas of trust and authority are really intertwined, and I personally like the word “trust” in and of itself, more than I do “authority.”
I believe that the differentiation in the terms, within this context, lies in the audience that they’re being directed towards. Open Authority was developed as a means to define something that museum professionals were grappling with (sort of scared of?), in an effort to illustrate to those museum professionals that sharing control can be the best of both worlds. That definition (and term) isn’t necessarily meant to be directed to the public. To the public, the idea of trust and openness will resonate more than the term “authoritative” necessarily would.
I’m really excited about this revelation and can’t wait to dig into it more with all of you brainy people out there. (DO read Koven’s post in its entirety.) Thoughts?
4 months ago
Reblogged from faultinourstarsmovie
8 months ago
…Or high-five your mentor, or send them a thoughtful note. Whichever is appropriate for you. I happen to prefer hugs.
I’m also lucky and blessed to not just have just a mentor, but to have many mentors. I’m (naturally) in a reflective mood as I embark on my 30s here in a couple of hours. My 20s, like anyone’s, held a shocking number of happy, life-changing events—motherhood being by far the most significant. Anyone who knows my hilarious five-almost-six-year-old understands why he’s forever and truly my pride and joy. But beyond Teddy, it’s my twisty, curvy, amazing adventure of a career that has made my 20s so darn interesting. And that leads me to think of my many mentors, who, each and every one, have believed in me more than I believed in myself at times. I know I wouldn’t be where I am today without them, so it seems fitting to make a bit of a public thanks—a virtual hug, so to speak.
The most amazing part of it all is that 10 years ago my current job didn’t exist (it didn’t exist 5 years ago). I knew I wanted to educate, that I loved history and culture, and kids, and I also happened to be pretty geeky about online communities from the get-go. I could never have imagined how those all would come back to perfectly intertwine in the end—but in hindsight it all makes perfect sense.
So begins my incredible list of mentors, with thanks…
Reggie Moore: The social studies teacher who gave me my educator wings. She told me I could do it, I believed her, and I did it. Reggie, you’re one of those special educators who makes a lasting impact on your students. I’ve always considered myself lucky to have had you help me not only in my education, but in my career.
Cheryl Phillips: The big-thinking elementary educator who knew I could think big too, and took me along for the ride. Cheryl, you wheeled and dealed (repeatedly) to ensure others saw my potential. Those opportunities led me to where I am today, and know that I’m so thankful that you made such efforts for me.
Lori Sparks: The smart and caring coffee-shop-customer-turned-best-friend. Lori, I’ll never forget the day that you told me about The Compass School and insisted it was perfect for me. My year at Compass changed my life, and I have you to thank for it. That’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Jenny Mikulay: The intuitive professor who encouraged me to dream big and conquer my fears. Jenny, when I left the classroom, it was hard for me to envision how I’d make a difference in this field. Your encouragement gave me the confidence to pursue my new path, even before I knew what the end result would be. Now I see it. Thank you.
Richard McCoy: The wisecracking change-maker who dragged me along for the ride (possibly kicking and screaming). Richard, you singlehandedly created more opportunities for me than seems humanly possible. Really all I can say is—thank you for believing in me. And for forcing me to (miraculously) get over my fear of public speaking.
Angie McNew: The forwardthinking museum-job-fairy-godmother who guided me into the (geeky) limelight. Angie, I’ll never know how you convinced an entire museum to wholeheartedly embrace me and this crazy Wikipedia idea, but you did. Then you saw me for more than that, and helped shape the job I have today, which is perfect. Thank you.
Modupe Labode: The steady, open minded professor and advisor who showed me I can write about, even spearhead, museum theory. Modupe, you have a quiet way of empowering students to take hold of their ideas. You always know what kind of help I need, and when. Thank you for helping me shape my thoughts. They’re going places.
Andrew Lih: The supportive Wiki-family patriarch and advocate and champion of all things GLAM. Andrew, you are incredible in your ability to spot the next rising star and encourage them until they succeed. You know this community inside and out, and I couldn’t have completed my year in its “formal service” without you. I’m lucky that you found me.
Ed Rodley: The brilliant mind who makes those around him feel brilliant too, and who is likely shocked he’s on this list. But Ed, you shouldn’t be shocked! I’d consider you my newest mentor (I collect them, can you tell?) It’s your interest and enthusiasm that has given me the momentum to continue on past mere grad school requirements. I see a future in our legitimately-not-crazy ideas, and I can’t wait for the journey ahead.
And alongside these mentors (see how awesomely lucky I am?) I also have a few peers who have impacted the past years just as much as those listed above. Jenny, Emily, Colleen, Suse, Liam, and of course Dominic, you each have embraced me for my socially awkward quirks and love me because of them, you hear of my (and our) trials and stresses and celebrate our successes, and you encourage me to grow every day. Thank you for being there. <3
Also, because your mom is always your first mentor, I will say simply… Mom, I’m more like you with every year that passes, and I couldn’t be prouder to say that.
8 months ago
Reblogged from usnatarchives
"…the purpose of the Archives is to make all these records accessible but it’s unusual for us to do it with Twitter and Tumblr and all the rest, but I firmly believe the founders would have been very happy about that."
-Cokie Roberts’ remarks during the Records of Rights reveal this morning
At Today’s Document we’re working to make it much much less unusual to share our records on Tumblr & Twitter (and the rest…). But be sure to check out the new Records of Rights exhibit in person if you can!
This morning was the Big Reveal for the first document to be displayed in our new Records of Rights exhibit!
Deputy Archivist Debra Wall (in yellow) and journalist Cokie Roberts revealed the 14th Amendment at our tweet up.
The public voted online, and the 14th Amendment received over half the votes.
The other documents from the vote will be displayed in the David M. Rubenstein Gallery over the upcoming year. Come and visit us: http://www.archives.gov/nae/visit/rubenstein-gallery.html
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9 months ago
Reblogged from 5easypieces
Koven responds to the Open Authority spectrum & the Reggio Emilia model
I’m listening to Lori Byrd talk about the Reggio Emilia learning model as a possible framework for implementing Open Authority in museums and similar institutions. I was struck by something she said that was a component of that model, which is that the teachers learn along with the students, rather than “dumbing down” the material. How amazing would it be for museums to interact with their communities in this way? Think of a curator looking at visitor interaction as a way of increasing his or her knowledge, rather than simply dispensing it. Yowza.
I’ve always had issues with the word “engagement”—I feel like we toss it around without really having a clear definition of what it means, but this model, to me, finally looks like what I think we really want when we use that word. I just wonder whether we have the courage to attempt it.
So thrilled to see this resonate with Koven and others today, here on the final day of Museum Computer Network. Tons of great conversation about the ideas around open authority that I need to still fully digest. My main takeaway right now is that I adore the museum tech community and how supportive, constructively critical, and brilliant they all are.
9 months ago
When you’re a social media manager for a museum, your job is…interesting (and incredible, and challenging, and inspiring)…but sometimes it can also seem lonely. Who else understands the laughable frustration of answering a frantic visitor Twitter question at 11:30pm about tomorrow morning’s dinosaur program? Who else would understand just WHY that social media campaign is going to be the most epic, meme-tastic campaign ever?
I’m lucky to have an incredible boss who shares monitoring responsibility with me (and who is great to vent to about our crazier social media moments.) But, why aren’t we supporting each other across institutions? …there are more of us out there, right? Why aren’t we celebrating our successes (and our #fails… Fails are okay!) Why aren’t we bantering more on Twitter, or pooling resources for big ideas, or even sharing out one another’s epic, meme-tastic campaigns to our own audiences?
Maybe that sounds a little extreme. (Does it?) But as social media professionals, we get the importance of transparency, openness, and authentic tone. So why not be even more open? Is it because we’re in competition with one another? Are we vying for the same online audiences, or trying to one-up each other’s campaigns? We really aren’t…and we shouldn’t be. So let’s be more giving. We deserve it, because we’re ALL doing awesome work that we *should* be proud of (and sharing!)
To this end, a couple of us museum social media managers currently at Museum Computer Network decided to make a closed Facebook group, “International Museum Social Media Managers.” If you’re a museum social media manager, let me know and I’ll send an invite!
This is definitely not the first museum social media group that exists. There are wikis, twitter chats, local groups (hello Super Friends!), and many supportive friendships that we’ve built over the years. Now we can work on building that momentum, sharing in our hilarious social drama, collaborating on big ideas, and celebrating our awesome social media successes.
10 months ago
An Open Authority debate? Questioning 3D mashups
Arts journalist Lee Rosenbaum Tweets that the ‘@MetMuseum‘s digerati should serve the curators, not the other way around’, and is clearly troubled by moves within the museum to enable artists and others to create new types of art from the digital bodies of old ones.
Both Suse Cairns (linked above) and Koven Smith have great responses. The discussion is already so rich, I’m just going to leave it at “Enough said!”
10 months ago
Open Authority Example #13: Chicago History Bowl
The Chicago History Museum
The city’s oldest cultural institution will be asking Chicago residents what they’d like to see in a future exhibition. Dubbed the “Chicago History Bowl,” this user-generated contest will allow fans to suggest ideas and then vote on finalists…
The Chicago History Museum is certainly undertaking an impressive digital engagement campaign—calling on the public to not only vote on a future exhibit, but to submit ideas as well. If that’s not Open Authority, I don’t know what is.
It’s been stated that the Chicago History Museum is “the first museum in America to tap the power of online crowdsourcing for such an endeavor.” While I tend to cringe at superlatives like this, I really can’t argue with it. A number of museums have made great strides in fearlessly incorporating visitor contributions into exhibit interpretation, including most notably the Brooklyn Museum, the Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History, and…does my museum count? :)
But, to be honest, I can’t think of another instance of placing the impetus FIRST on the community to begin the conversation and to initiate the topic. The “open” comes first in this case, and the curatorial “authority” comes second, when the museum pares down the suggestions in preparation for the voting round.
My question is…does the Open Authority stop there? Is it just that they’re “mining the audience” for ideas? Or is it that the winner will take part in the actual implementation of the idea? This isn’t clear in the current description of the project. For now, the main motivation is a getaway and a museum membership (which is not insignificant)…but how great would it be if this turned out to be truly Open Authority from beginning to end?
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