Museums, Notes, technology

The Shortcut to being good at digital

You’re generally seen to be good at something if it take little effort to come to the answer or ‘do’ the work. I can pretty much do this for ‘digital’ in lot of its areas. I need my team and wider service to know much too. Yet there are no shortcuts. Should you use a tiff image file type on the web or a jpeg? what makes the internet work? why is the open web better for us than a closed system? will a PDF open in 250 years?

To learn the answers to these and much more you just have to start on the long path. Read more about the web and digital, attend evening sessions (often in a pub if that helps), be curious at all times. Here is a tip though: until you ‘do’ the leg work the answer is nearly always “yes that could work but it depends”.

Museums, Notes

Week 83 at work

I end January feeling like the pieces are falling together:

  • agreed to house two setups for Bristol is Open a technology project between University of Bristol and Bristol City Council for four experimental types of internet connectivity
  • Went out to a field in Clutton just outside of Bath to see Simon from BaRAS in action doing a dig
  • attended an evening event talked about HTML5, ARIA and the open web hosted by accessible Bristol group at Engine Shed
  • Monthly meeting with our catering and venue partner Levy restaurants to see how we’ve been doing – great with room for further improvement
  • Sneak peek into the refurbished gallery 4 at Bristol Museum & Art Gallery which opens next week
  • Weekly management team review which has now moved to a public trello board to help us and for staff to see what we’re focusing on
  • 1:to:1 with Laura
  • Bailed trip to Cardiff for Core Cities
Museums, Notes

Week 82 at work

This week like my job started proper. I got up to:

  • Met with Gavin and started our first of many conversations about our services working together. Got to see Temple Street where lots of staff have moved to recently. Interesting uses of tech such as wireless phones so you can sit anywhere. Would take a lot to convince me open offices are productive though – the noises and phones ringing!
  • Spent half a day with our outgoing retail Manager Ollie to better understand our historic retail profit/loss sheets and get the low down on key issues
  • Went to my hang out with Bristol & Region Archaeological Services for an afternoon to meet the team and look at “quick wins”
  • After missing several trains to London I finally got to Museum Association “Lets get Digital” seminar day. I spoke about how we made our website and really enjoyed the question and answer session at the end. Always a pleasure to get invited to speak at events and Rebecca Atkinson and co did a fantastic job running the day. Rebecca wrote about the day.
  • I gave my personal view to HR about performance management within the organisation to aid their new performance management process due out this year.
  • Met Scott and Meagan from Play Nicely who helped us deliver the tech for Moved by Conflict
  • Monthly meeting with documentation and digital teams
  • Had our first proper management team meeting to hear Laura’s first thoughts on our service. One outcome is to move to using trello for all staff to see what burning issues management staff are working on to help be transparent
  • Budget review
  • I often half joke that we don’t want our very senior management at the council to know our names as it probably means we messed up. An “incident” not of our doing caused our Service Director to know my name this week. Awkward. I better get used to curve balls. I’ll be “ensuring” this particular issue can’t happen again. As long as you learn right?
  • Got featured in Bristol 24/7 about my Bristol top fives

Next week i’ll be onsite in a field with a member of BaRAS to see a project they are working on, sorting out our retail manager paperwork and getting into the detail of team costs.

Museums, Notes

Week 81 at work

This week :

  • Spent the day walking our retail shops and talking to staff with Peter Holloway who was here to provide an initial diagnostic  on the current state of things
  • Budget review with our accountant took the whole afternoon and is far from ideal situation so lots to improve for 2015-16
  • Reviewed our marketing and made suggestions to tighten up the process
  • Wrote earlier in the week that there will be tough days
  • First team meeting with my new team Modern Records
  • First proper meeting with Ian who runs BaRAS
  • Digital team catch ups
  • Lunch one day with wife and kid then another with mum – NICE
  • Budget forecasting
  •  A morning looking at the 2016 public programme