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Involving Users in the Co-Construction of Digital Knowledge in Museums

Page history last edited by Paul Marty 9 years, 11 months ago

Session title: Involving Users in the Co-Construction of Digital Knowledge in Museums

 

BRIEF ABSTRACT (150 words):

 

Museum professionals have responded to the web 2.0 world of user-generated content by developing social computing tools and researching the best ways to involve their online visitors in the co-creation of new knowledge online. The need to keep up with changing user expectations has prompted many museums to provide their visitors with the ability to tag collections, annotate objects, and otherwise contribute their thoughts to the knowledge base of the institution. This rapid influx of new technologies and new methods of interacting with users has come at a challenging time for museum professionals. To address these challenges, panel presenters will discuss the future of social computing for digital museums, and consider the long-term implications of involving users in the co-construction of digital knowledge.

 

Abstract:

 

Many museums provide their users with social computing environments that include the ability to tag collections, annotate objects, and otherwise contribute their thoughts to the knowledge base of the institution. Museum professionals have responded to the web 2.0 world of user-generated content by developing tools that coordinate these activities and researching the best ways to involve users in the co-creation of digital knowledge.

This rapid influx of new technologies and new methods of interacting with users has come at a challenging time for museum professionals, many of whom still struggle to share data within their own institutions. Museums had barely begun developing data interoperability standards when social computing became the norm on the web, and allowing users to add content and manipulate data changed from a cool toy to a basic expectation. Moving forward—and keeping pace with user expectations—requires museum professionals to consider what social computing really means for the future of digital museums, and to think carefully about the future trends and long-term implications of involving users in the co-construction of knowledge online.

 

This conference panel will contribute to this discussion by addressing such questions as:

1. How are museums implementing user-contributed data / descriptions of artifacts, objects, or collections on their websites? What are the long-term implications of involving users in the co-description, co-cataloguing of digital knowledge?

2. How are museums encouraging users to create online collections of personal favorites or similar items on their websites? What are the long-term implications of involving users in the co-creation, co-curation of digital knowledge?

3. How are museums encouraging users to create / structure their own online environments, designing personalized websites or portals specifically suited to individual needs? What are the implications of involving users in the design and structuring of online interfaces for the development and presentation of digital knowledge?

 

 

Session Info

  • Type: Full Panel
  • Keywords: social computing, user involvement, user-generated data
  • Relevance: It is important for the Museum Computer Network’s members, as a community already engaged with social computing, to have broad-based discussions about what happens when users are involved in shaping the development of online museums and their information resources.

 

Panelists

 

Chair: Paul Marty, Associate Professor, School of Library and Information Studies, Florida State University

Paul Marty is an Associate Professor in the School of Library and Information Studies  within the College of Communication of Information at Florida State University. He has a background in ancient history and computer science engineering, and his Ph.D. is from the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His research and teaching interests include museum informatics, information behavior, and user-centered design. His current research focuses on the evolution of sociotechnical systems and collaborative work practices, digital convergence and the evolving roles of information professionals, and involving users in the co-construction of digital knowledge.

 

 

Scott Sayre, Principal, Sandbox Studios / Museum411

Scott Sayre is a founder and principal at Sandbox Studios, a Minneapolis-based group that works with museums and other non-profits to plan, create, manage and assess technology projects. Scott has a doctorate in Education and has over twenty years of experience working with emerging education and information technologies. Scott is the Chair of the Pachyderm Governance Council and serves on the board of the New Media Consortium. From 1991-2002, he was the Director of Media and Technology at The Minneapolis Institute of Arts. Scott teaches at the Johns Hopkins University and the University of Lugano, Switzerland.

 

Melanie Feinberg, Assistant Professor, School of Information, UT-Austin

Melanie Feinberg is an assistant professor at University of Texas at Austin’s School of Information. After receiving a BA in modern thought and literature from Stanford University, Melanie worked in technical communication and content strategy for companies such as Apple Computer, Scient, and PeopleSoft before returning to academia to pursue information science degrees at the University of California, Berkeley (MIMS) and the University of Washington (PhD). Melanie’s research and teaching focuses on knowledge organization and metadata development. She is interested in how the collection and description of information resources can constitute a form of creative expression.

 

Sheila Carey, Canadian Heritage Information Network (CHIN)

Sheila Carey is an Audience and Program Analyst with the Canadian Heritage Information Network, where she has worked since 1998.  Sheila is in the Research and Business Intelligence group, where she performs research and studies on audience behaviour and needs to support the development and redevelopment of CHIN products.  She also researches new technologies and their opportunities and challenges for musuems.  Prior to coming to CHIN, Sheila worked at the Getty Information Institute, in both the Vocabulary Program and Special Projects. 

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