Blog

My reflections from the Co-curation and the Public History of Science Workshop

By: Dr Lynda Kelly, Category: Museullaneous, Date: 24 Oct 2010

What did I conclude from the Co-curation and the Public History of Science Workshop at the Science Museum, London? Well, organisational change is hard, so I'll share some of my learning that relates to the new ways of working given the online world. It's relevant to co-curation as the way the web is now demands new ways of engagement from and with our audiences.

Web to Classroom Workshop

Helen Wheeler © Australian Museum

What have we learned through our online adventures?

  • Bring people along gently (we have a Museum Users Group – MUGS)
  • Bring in external people to help and inspire (via grants and talks, eg Engaging with Social Media in Museums)
  • Continually push, nag and believe in what you’re doing – be a bit exclusive at first, like a party that has selected invitees
  • Find a purpose then the tool, not the tool then the purpose (eg Eureka Prizes and Forest Rangers FC!)
  • Form a skunk group of people from across the organisation, meet weekly, quickly and have fun
  • Be supportive of those taking baby steps
  • Be inclusive, not exclusive most of the time
  • Let people know that its fine not to participate (but tell them they’re crazy if they don’t as this is where the world is going as well as where our visitors are – and I have evidence of this!)
  • Show them practical ways to incorporate web 2 into their jobs by repurposing content and thinking differently
  • Learn to ignore
  • Become a blobfish...and a gecko!
  • Training (CMS and web writing), set a few groundrules then let them go
  • Keep Director informed and engaged – build trust
  • Don’t publish anything anywhere on line that you wouldn’t want to see on cover of Daily Telegraph
  • Look outside and contribute to other discussion (shameless self promotion!): Museum 3 and Facebook are great for this
  • Finally, just do it and apologise later (remember, there’s always the delete key!)
  • Remember, it will take time, it will be frustrating, but you will get there and it is rewarding!