I attended day two of a packed house for the no boundaries conference #nb2014. I stumbled across some great folks and made a few loose notes. If you want the detail then check elsewhere as these are just random bits that interested me. Any errors about what was said is entirely my bad translation.
Simon Meller, Arts Council, spoke about the case for public investment:
Need to improve engagement and inequality of access
Lots of potential for partnerships with higher education – need to measure impact and support continuing and lifelong learning
Show the links between arts, the creative industries and employment
We need longitudinal study to show impact
We can work globally by opening up our collections
Four key themes are Culture (insights, citizens, identity), Education (Primary/secondary, continuing, higher education), Society (wellbeing, health, engagement), Economy (Creative industry, regeneration, tourism)
Question from the audience making a plea for arts to focus on the “outside” where folks are e.g. Primark
Tom Morris, Bristol Old Vic said:
spoke of the power of narrative
Listening to the stories the public want to tell as its happening with or without u
Trust our artists
George Ferguson, Bristol Mayor said:
spoke about the arts being able to bring the City together and its our duty to give a sense of belonging
Need to sell ourselves better to the public and the politicians
When asked what kept him awake at 4am he said it was the need for us to “provide a catalyst
Walter Richard Sickert prints and drawings in need of digitising
This week was pretty busy:
More Arts Council bid work…
Skype chat about how we can use tablets to improve the visitor experience
Discussion of how the new website can support the learning team
How we can take online bookings – hoping we can use shopify for the heavy lifting
A visit to M Shed to see how we can combine a tablet and flat screen to enable interaction with our ‘contributing wrap’
Got permission to spend some external grant money to purchase a portable audio recording setup
Visited the Office of National Statistics to give a talk on how we deal with intellectual property, make digital media, and make use of a digital asset management system (DAM)
Hosted the monthly Social Media South West meetup and gave a talk with Claire Royall called “Reasonable doubt – how the museum us getting social”
Helped Paul Sullivan get blogging over at www.pauldsullivan.com which let me see that wordpress has some poor accessibility quirks
Briefly joined Trevor and David discuss digitisation requirements for 2014 which includes digitising a bunch of Walter Richsrd Sickert and Bristol Suspension Bridge prints and drawings (see above photo)
Chopped it up with Adam about the progress of the new website navigation
Rolled the dice on budget requirements for 2014-2015
Next week I really hope I can find somebody to help us take online payments…
This week was primarily focused on meeting internal teams to update them on the website project. I’ll have a student on work experience next week and dealing with the Arts Council bid so this week I tried to clear the decks.
I met with members of the Natural Sciences team who are keen to build their team online activities. This won’t make phase 1 but anticipating future needs is vital. I’m assuming the BBC Nature History Unit will be a good baseline to start with
The Public programme team’s needs are straightforward but the devil is in the detail. Their user needs will be met in the ‘plan your visit’ user journey. Also they need the website to deal with online ticketing.
I met someone keen to volunteer for archives. We need hands at the pumps in that area so hopefully we can work together very soon
The World cultures collections team are eager to blog for the new website. They were receptive to being user focused too
The Development team are responsible for fundraising so we met to iron out possible user needs. We spent time reviewing other museum journeys and think we have a direction.
I met 6 students from the University of the West of England (UWE) we photography students who will be snapping away between now and may. Although we have lots of marketing images I think there is lots of scope for ‘behind the scenes’ and documentary style photos. They help us do this and in return we act as a real client.
We have started to see if a raspberry pi computer can replace some aging mac mini computers that are showing their age.
We have a lot of kit in need of replacing so me and Zahid spent half a day preparing the list. This need to go to a panel to agree.
Last Saturday I attended my first ukgovcamp conference in London. I went along with Jukesie, who wrote about his own experience of the day and Lauradee for a day of unconferencing. I was surprised by how few people had previously attended an unconference but this also made it enjoyable as then at least folk made it into sessions.
For me personally it was well worth the early start as there was a good bunch of people, many of whom i’ve stumbled across online. I haven’t paid much attention to local authority and central Government differences until this day. There seemed to be a much heavier group of central types which was a welcome eye-opener to their types of problem.
I think I was the only museum person which wasn’t really a shocker. For me, its important to widen my view of the entire public sector as there are many similarities even if the lingo is slightly different.
I picked a range of sessions to attend including the hardcore stats session which Jukesie was roped into. Stat IT nerds are a special bunch! I discovered a huge new field of using open data – though i wasn’t sure if this was for work purposes or just for tinkering in their spare time.
As always for me, its the meeting of new people that makes an event. For example I really enjoyed the session on creativity by Emma Allen who delivered a nice session that was closest to my line of work and thinking. A genius tip Emma suggested was to look at the Argos and Ikea catalogues, not just other archives as they of course are heavily dependent on getting them right for survival.
Another key takeaway was that regionally we could all make more effort to organise and run small evening or weekend events. Part of my 2015-2018 strategy at work mentions this type of activity so i’d better put my money where my gob is!
Thanks to all the organisers and my fellow attendees.
I make a cameo in the video below at the 0:40 sec mark
The next few weeks activity will be a similar pattern of Arts Council bid preparation, the website project AND squeezing in the rest of the day job.
I wrote the first draft of possible plans for activity under the heading of ‘digital strategy’ which you can see on Google drive. This hasn’t been widely circulated but i’d love any feedback around clarity, style and vision. This will form part of the 2015-2018 Arts Council Bid for major funding. The headline is that digital should be a service.
I had an introduction with Jess from the SS Great Britain about both of our digital work. Local collaboration will be key to our future survival.
I did a tour of our IT/digital infrastructure for Redland High school for girls second year A-level students. They were mostly excited about visiting Nando’s afterward but hopefully they enjoyed it ha.
Much of Wednesday was dedicated to working with Dan from fffunction interviewing staff about their interactions with the public. This is part of the discovery phase work for the new website.
Submitted a business case for using external funding to purchase portable audio recording kit
Agreed to trial eventbrite for our upcoming Private view ahead of the launch of the Jeremy Deller exhibition in April. In theory this should claw back at least two weeks worth of apprentice/volunteer time per event.
Discussed using SquareSpace to run a small three year programme of work
Had a great meeting with Patrica Santos from University of the West of England about using research to better understand using mobile technology in and around the museum sites.
One of our student projects did an impressive functionality/alpha demonstrate of their tool for displaying our online collection over a Google map with filtering.