This week was super packed and organised around several major events. I have my head in our web strategy so here are the highlights.
- Planned and delivered a communicating on the web mini 90min workshop which essentially said that Google is our homepage and content strategy is key.
- Met a critical friend from the Arts Council and waxed lyrical about innovation and digital engagement
- Discussed in more detail the digital requirements for next years Moved by Conflict exhibition
- Progressed with 1 of our student project teams
- Attended the private view for the launch of the refurbished galleries five and six
- Learned about budget forecasting
- Attended the private view for the Wildlife Photographer of the Year which included our experiment with motion tracking and ghost slugs which I urge you to see for yourself and THANK YOU to Stef Goodchild
If I had to use one word to describe this week it would be Choices. I have choices, you have choices and 2014 is ready for us to start making choices. This was how I kicked off my team meeting on Monday. We have much to accomplish next year and at the moment the calendar is pretty empty. Yes we could just copy out the 2013 calendar and get back to work, doing all the things we did this year but I don’t think that 2014 should be the same. Yes there is plenty of work that will be similar – temporary exhibitions to build and destroy (i mean take down but that hip hop reference stays!), repairing computers, shooting objects, digitising moving image collections, reacting and a gang of other expected tasks. But we also need to evolve our team, our Team Digital. Our team not only needs to cope with the expectations from 2013 but also to grow with our audiences, funders and peer demands for the next 5 years or so. This means making dozens of tiny changes to how we work and importantly what we work on. Change is largely incremental and we can work to that tune or pretend things are the same until they are not and drown at the shock. What this really means for me and the team is that we may have to say no to current activities in order to find time for new fledgling activity such as Bring Your Own Device, sensors, user experience design, revenue generation, refreshing setup and working more closely with other organisations. To that end, I sent a request to all managers asking them to submit their requests for Team Digital and some have started to roll in. Once we have these requests we can make those choices we always put off.
- The City Council Budget review was made public for consultation
- Advised on several databases that are pretty fundamental to teams that need more than a few plasters
- Introduced Stefan Goodchild to the audio visual team. Stef has kindly offered to produce a demo at the private view for Wildlife Photographer of the year. The interactive will use an xbox kinnect to motion track people as they walk pass it and draw a trail on the wall using a projector. My hope is that this will demo the usefulness of the technology to various teams and can be used next year.
- Began to write our web strategy for 2014
- Took a tour of the University interaction and graphics lab with Peter Bennet. It was like being a kid in sweet shop and I really hope we can work together on the future of interaction design in a museum space.
- Talked to the Records Office about their storify project for The Dreadnought journal and hopes for wikipedia.
I regularly read this piece of advice by Jason Fried of 37 signals on practicing to make money. With the public sector knuckling down to boost revenue and “act more business-like” I think there is much to learn from internet and digital-focused businesses. As a new team, i REALLY think it pays to act like a business unit within the organisation as we have yet to prove our worth in some folks eyes. I’m betting making money will help change that.
Read How to Get Good at Making Money from the creator of basecamp, which many of use.
Understand the buyer
…I made the discovery that people’s reasons for buying things often don’t match up with the company’s reason for selling them.
Understanding what people really want to know—and how that differs from what you want to tell them—is a fundamental tenet of sales. And you can’t get good at making money unless you get good at selling.
People are happy to pay for things that work well.
I can’t say enough about bootstrapping. Whether you’re starting your first business or your next one, my advice is to bootstrap it.
Lace up your boots and dive right into this article What Screens Want which will be doing the rounds at conferences and talks for months to come and rightly so:
One of the reasons that I’m so fascinated by screens is because their story is our story. First there was darkness, and then there was light. And then we figured out how to make that light dance. Both stories are about transformations, about change. Screens have flux, and so do we.
So the pep talk is that things are starting to suck, but there’s a capacity for change in what we’ve made, who we are, and what we believe. Everything was made, and if we want, we can remake it how we see fit. We only need to want it.
And then we have to build it.
On 28th October 2013 the Bristol vision institute hosted the annual Richard Gregory lecture in the Wills Building, University of Bristol. The talk was titled ‘Better than being there – Being there better, How technology is shaping the future of media’.
Matthew Postgate has the job of shaping and leading research and development for the BBC. His talk covered the approach the BBC is taking to embracing emerging technologies, practices and coping with the challenges that brings for a global organisation. Here are my notes:
- Evaluation of tools to educate and entertain which is the mission of the BBC
- Broadcast is considered a system of creation, delivery and consumption which hasn’t changed much since 1922
- Key theme of change is now we are in the information age
- IP end to end
- Data centric
- New devices and new interfaces
- This has led to a change in how we create media to deal with the shift
- The new broadcast system is split between create, deliver, consume and the BBC have four themes as a framework: immersive, pervasive, data rich and interactive (personal and adaptive)
- IMMERSIVE: trying to get to the halo deck from star trek
- 2012 Olympics used super hi vision
- 8k cameras which are 16 times quality of current HD and uses 22 surround sound – sound not only left to right but also up and down
- Showed an example of using the oculus rift VR headset and a 360 camera to film music practice
- PERVASIVE: Ability to be everywhere and showing live events on mobile to complement
- Designing for four screens: TV, desktop/Laptop, tablets and mobile are considered for all design
- Hewlett Packard say ‘information as a utility’
- We expect to arrive and be able to use and consume immediately
- Wallpaper thin television using tablet control is coming in the next 20 years
- Friends and family can join you from their location to watch things remotely together
- Different surfaces emerging
- Media will become more contextual as there is already more media than we can possibly consume
- Media will begin to seek you out based on what systems know you consume using software agents
- DATA RICH: no longer sealed, more akin to datasets
- Will be commonplace to overlay data to your screen, even during live events
- INTERACTIVE, PERSONAL, ADAPTIVE
- You’ll be able to zoom into the screen
- Interactive to become personal
- Adaptive abilities enabling previously fixed programmes to change, such as using your location to alter the activity live, such as using your local weather during a radio show
- We shouldn’t lose sight of the storytelling
- If we can take the traditional broadcast skills and add new science and then combine we’ll have even better broadcasting
- We should be brave in re-inventing broadcasting
- The use of contextual media will mean that your device knows your activity and will deliver the right type and length of content based on expected location, calendar entries etc