Museums, Notes

Week 37 at work

This week I managed to get up to:

  • Switched from an intensive and antiquated system for organising our exhibition ‘private views’ to using eventbrite
  • Enjoyed an event to officially launch our inclusive audio guide ‘DiscoveryPens‘ which Paul organised
  • We submitted our major Arts Council bid which is a huge deal for the future of the service, wish us luck!
  • Got the news that several great folk will be taking voluntary severance
  • Switched my brain from the ACE bid to the Nesta digital R and D fund for the arts bid
  • Started to outline key objectives for 2014-15
  • Enjoyed the Pervasive Media studio lunchtime talk about using ibeacons which I hope we can begin to experiment with
  • Outlined plans for several talks I’ll be giving soon

Roll on next week.

Museums, Notes

Week 36 at work

By the end of this week I could see the light at the end of the tunnel for two of our major project bids. I still managed to get up to some mischief:

  • Had a great chat with future cities to see how we may be able to work together. The museum should have a strong role to play, being one of the few free public indoor spaces left…
  • Dipped in and out of Arts Council bid stuff
  • Met with the University of Bristol and aardman to develop our joint Nesta bid. Great to have folks to bounce ideas off
  • Discussed what the folks at the L Shed needed from me to help them – scanning equipment, staying out of their way and putting in some wifi were the main areas of focus
  • Chopped it up with David from the Watershed to find out all about their digital work
  • Attended bathcamp 44
  • Attended a lunchtime talk at the pervasive media studio from Daniel Meadows
  • Two post-doc students from the University of Bristol demo’ed a prototype combining motion tracking and a clever way of interacting with objects. I really hope we can test this approach soon
  • Fought bravely for a digital budget…
Notes, technology

Bathcamp 44

I attended Bathcamp 44 after a fairly lengthy absence. Both sessions were from former Government Digital Service (GDS) product managers and were highly enjoyable, unlike the one hour drive to Bath. Here are my notes from both talks combined:

Sarah Prag up first

  • Fix publishing, Fix Transactions, Go Wholesale – make everything widely available and let others build services from you
  • Simpler, Clearer, Faster
  • Saved £42,000,000 in 2013/3 and they started late into the year
  • Highest priority is understanding user needs – it’s all down to understanding user needs NOT your needs as an organisation
  • Data is your friend – what to your users Google? what are the most frequent phone calls? With this data you can set your priorities
  • Following user needs enables you to choose which battles to fight
  • Data tells you the language to use, for example should a section be headed annual leave or holiday entitlement (winner from the data)
  • Tell stories – As I… I want to… So that I can…
  • Content designer encompasses more than being a writer
  • Create a style guide – plain English first, then the official term
  • If you can’t figure out the answer from the data ask real users
  • We aren’t just fixing websites we’re transforming government said Mike Bracken at Sprint 14

Ross Ferguson notes

  • His work was to change the culture and lead on organisational change – “but we can’t, I can’t, we don’t normally…”
  • Bringing the civil service with us
  • Always be shipping
  • don’t tell, don’t show, ENGAGE
Digital Publishing, education, Notes

Danah Boyd explains free version of her book

Danah Boyd is a name you probably come across if you scratch the surface of how people use the web. Danah has just released a book called Its complicated: The social lives of Networked Teens which of course i’ll read. Interestingly she has released a free PDF version at the same time and explains why in What’s Behind the Free PDF of “It’s Complicated” (no, no, not malware…).

As I have an interest in how folks make modern day books and how the web affects this ecosystem, this is like gold dust! Also i’ll admit that I was planning on waiting to buy this book as I have such a backlog and i’m a slow reader. But reading the blog post I can see why buying now helps Danah, so i’ll be heading over to grab a copy as soon as i’m done typing this.

Finally, its worth noting the cost of the ebook kindle version is slightly more expensive than the print version if you buy it from the Guardian. I can only guess that cost and value are at play here… which to buy…