Archive for February, 2010

Webstock 2010 – Rives

Webstock does a great job of picking wonderful speakers to close each day of the conference, and Rives‘ appearance at the end of Day 1 this year was no exception. Here’s a taster of his charming performance poetry – A tale of mixed emoticons:

There were several lines so gorgeous that I wrote them down and underlined them emphatically in my notebook, including “my wierd mind wanders and my brave heart breaks” – then later in his talk, Rives showed some photos from his blog of handmade kites which fans had made which included that very line. Lovely. :)

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Webstock 2010 – Shelley Bernstein from Brooklyn Museum

I had the pleasure of attending my second Webstock conference in Wellington last week. Shelley Bernstein, Chief of Technology at Brooklyn Museum was the standout speaker – I came away really impressed by the museum’s use of social media to further its “community-oriented mission through projects including free public wireless access, podcasts, cell phone audio tours, projects for mobile devices and putting the Brooklyn Museum collection online”.

Some cool examples she mentioned included:


The museum’s done a number of things to get involved with patrons who are using the location-aware app/game, FourSquare.

  • They’ve used the Foursquare API to create a Brooklyn Museum landing page which is worth checking out. It aggregates the comments and suggestions made by people who’ve checked in at the museum. For example: “Saturdays are tough because of the crowds. Naturally the earlier the better and I find it best to start at the top floor and work your way down. (Alex). They’ve also added staff picks of local eateries. The page displays a gallery of recent visitors to the museum by grabbing the user icons of people who have used Foursquare to ‘check in’ at the museum, which is a nice touch.
  • They also offer a reward to the patron who achieves Mayor of the museum on the first Saturday of the month; and they’re working with Foursquare to create a special Brooklyn Museum badge which patrons can unlock.

#mummywrap on Twitter

  • The Museum’s conservators live tweeted the CT scanning of several mummies from its collection. They posted pictures and answered questions live. “Layer 8 has lots of ties – seems to be a lattice, but hard to tell how to put back together #mummywrap” (the museum tweets from @Brooklyn Museum)

Crowdsourcing recommendations and tags and feedback

  • Brooklyn Museum Posse – the museum has made its online collection interactive by allowing patrons to create tags & recommendations for items. Shelley gave a great example of the great effects this interactivity with the public can have – it was via a patron’s comment on its online collection that Museum staff discovered that the TV series True Blood included a statue inspired by a piece in their collection. Their initial blog post about it resulted in a conversation with the Production Designer, providing fodder for cool and timely social media discussion.
  • BklynMuse –  A community-powered recommendation system/gallery guide.  Posse members who have created “sets” of favourite items  can access them as they tour the gallery. “Those same sets can be shared and featured for other visitors to see, so your voice…your notes…your selections…may be highlighted, in all their Posse glory, for all to see.”
  • Video comment kiosks – The museum replaced their comment books with video kiosks, in which visitors can record their own comments to video. These are shared on the web (hit the link to see the collection of comments).

I came away with a lot of neat ideas for using social media to further the outreach of museums and galleries – which I know will be useful in my teaching as I get a lot of curatorship students enrolling in my digital publishing courses. I also really liked the look of 1stfans –  a “socially networked museum membership” which offers meetups, artist created content via Twitter.

Thank you, Shelley, for your thoughtful and information-packed talk.

I’d also like to say thanks to Google’s Open Source Program for sponsoring my Webstock registration. Especial thanks to Leslie and Cat for making it happen. :)

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Margaret Simons examines pay for freelance journalists

Great to see Margaret Simons piercing the veil of silence on the word rates being offered to Australian freelance journalists. Check out the series of posts on the subject on her blog – The Content Makers.

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My new job: Community Manager for Nuffnang Australia

I’ve started a new job as Community Manager for Nuffnang Australia.

Nuffnang is a blog advertising network which came to Australia over a year ago. Basically their business model is to sign up individual bloggers to become part of their network, and then serve ads across its blog network. The cool thing about Nuffnang from my point of view is that they focus on building an active blogging community as a reason for people to join Nuffnang – not just offering the financial incentive of making money from ads.

So that’s where I come in. I get to help build the blogging community & blogging expertise of Nuffnang’s Australian bloggers. You may have already heard of some of Nuffnang’s bloggers, like Erica Bartle of  Girl with a Satchel, and vintage fashion blogger Candice DeVille of Super Kawaii Mama. Over the coming year, I’m hoping to use my experience & expertise to help build a bigger & better blogging community across Australia.

You can find out a bit more about Nuffnang over at the company blog – they’ve posted a roundup of 2009 which has some facts & figures about their international network. There are over 118,000 bloggers in the network across Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines & Australia. I’ll be looking after the Australian Nuffnang community, which is around 1,200 bloggers and growing.

I’ll be organising blogger meetups and events throughout the year, and you’ll hopefully see me out and about at lots of events too. Tech & gadget bloggers are welcome to attend our first tech blogger meetup on 4 March – details are available on the Nuffnang blog.

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