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Media & Technology on the Go

“One does not discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time.”

Posted on | March 1, 2009 | No Comments

Thanks to Marsha Semmel from the IMLS for closing the WebWise 2009 Conference with this wonderful quotation from André Gide. WebWise is an unusual conference in just about every respect, starting with the fact that it’s free, co-hosted with The Wolfsonian–Florida International University and enjoying the support of the MacArthur Foundation and the Florida Center for Library Automation. IMLS is also unique in bringing museums, libraries and archives together to share best practice and engage in ‘digital debates’. It was an honor for me to be invited to participate.

This was my first year attending WebWise and I was mightily impressed by the quality of the debates and the organization. It was extremely useful to me to broaden the view a bit and see how libraries and archives share and differ in their struggles and approaches to Web2.0. I twittered most of the salient points I gleaned from the presentations; you can see these and the contributions of others at #WebWise.

My only trouble with the conference was that the organizers, understandably, wanted the slides for my presentation a good 10 days before my talk so they could put them in the conference’s printed binder. But being uncharacteristically punctual in delivering my slides meant that by the time the conference rolled around, I was thoroughly bored with what I had to say. With Len Steinbach‘s encouragement I rewrote the presentation and tried to fashion it into a sort of game at the last minute, finishing 15 minutes before our panel started, and of course having the obligatory technical problems getting it onto the presentation computer to boot! Ah, the sweet smell of terror and adrenalin! Thankfully, Titus Bicknell provided IT support by phone and saved the day, yet again.

Here are my slides from the talk; feel free to download and use them as you wish. I ask only that if you have a chance, please try the American Art Museum‘s new game, Artful Abe, and let me know if you think it works. It’s our first attempt at using Google Maps and Flickr to create a game that can be played both on-site and purely online for those who can’t make it to the museum. We have one intermittent technical problem we could use some tips on resolving: occasionally the text in the Google Maps pop-ups spills beyond the border of the pop-up box. Other than that, I think the content, as always, is our biggest challenge: is it too easy, too hard, engaging? If you have suggestions on how we can improve, I’d be extremely grateful for them.

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