Thursday, April 16, 2009

Museum 2.0

I've mentioned before my interest in museums, Web 2.0, technology, and the future of museums. I thought I'd write a post on this topic, especially since the American Association of Museums (AAM) just had their annual meeting in Philadelphia. Unfortunately I was not able to attend, but some of my coworkers went and there is also good coverage of the conference online:

The main topics of the conference were: "Ensuring financial stability in a sluggish economy; reaching new audiences; serving local communities through education and public outreach; and integrating new technologies into museum exhibitions." I think it's interesting to note the direction museums, or at least the insider talk about museums, is heading in. While many museums are struggling to stay relevant in the digital age, and are seen as old, dusty, slow, boring, or out-of-date, some fascinating talk is occurring by those who think about, talk about, and run museums for a living. Most museums I know are still working on merging into new media; the museum at which I work is currently redesigning their website, as it seems very old already. While this transition appears to move slowly in the physical world of museum design and public relations, it is progressing much more rapidly in the realm of museum theory. In fact, this year's meeting focused less on new technology and its applications for museums, and more on community involvement and curatorship, active participation, and transparency. It would seem that museum theory is starting to take its cues from Web 2.0 theory.

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