Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Share your story

Record your storyThe Defence of Darwin Experience is an impressive museum.  I am not a regular visitor to museums about war, but occasionally will go to see how they are telling the story.

This museum was very impressive, and highlighted the diversity of the population of Darwin both then and now.

There was excellent use of archival information, with different ways to access the different kinds of stories.  You really could see the Defence of Darwin from a whole lot of angles.

They also had this booth, at the end of the exhibition, where you could add your story.  There were simple instructions and you could obtain help of you needed it.

It seemed a very interesting way to capture oral history information, and to let people know that their stories were of interest.

Museum app

I was also impressed with their free wifi, which when you accessed it, encouraged the downloading of the museum app (which was also mentioned on the sandwich board outside the museum).

They were making it really easy in the museum to find out about what was available online.

Monday, April 22, 2013

wifi in Dili

I found it hard to find locations for wifi in Dili as the information was out of date.  I had internet access where I stayed (which was good), but it was nice to occasionally use wifi (for updating ebooks).

Wifi options (and I only found four) included Dili Beach Hotel (about 15 minutes walk from where I was living).

Dili Beach HotelThis has a beach view.  You were given the wifi password once you had ordered something to eat or drink.  I went here a few times (it was only near the end of my time in Dili that I had time to do this).  I found people were bringing laptops or tablets and it was a social way to get internet access.  I had internet access where I was living, which was great, but I used wifi to update my ebooks.

Other wifi access was at the other end of the beach.  There were two small businesses (one a computer shop and the other a fast food place) which had wifi.

There was a third place (below) which was also beach front, and packed.  It seemed there was a high demand for free public wifi in Dili.  Libraries, few as there were,  were not providing wifi (and not all the libraries had internet access themselves).  This place below, always had lots of people using the wifi.
Public free wifi in Dili

Friday, April 19, 2013

How easy does your organisation make it to share?

I find it really interesting to see how easy it is to share things from within different buildings, particularly cultural institutions.  For example people are (generally) not going to question me taking photographs of sculptures and other art works if they are outside.  Yet often if I wanted to photograph a work by the same artist inside a building I would be stopped, or there would have been a lot of signs to tell me to not even think about taking a photograph. I understand that use of flash can cause deterioration, however, I know how to turn my flash off, but other than that it seems to be saying that if an art work is inside it is more special (and so should not be photographed and shared through social media or in other ways) than an art work outside.

I had a very different experience when I visited the 7th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art (APT7) in Brisbane in early March.  It was an amazing exhibition with many very exciting artists.  The gallery had free wifi, which was clearly advertised.  They provided links to access some art works like this recipe book (link is at end of this page), which could be downloaded using the gallery wifi.

I visited when some school students were there, and a high percentage of them were photographing and videoing the art works.  Gallery staff were watching - so it was not some secret thing people should not be doing. These were amazing current art works, many of which should be around for decades, while some were temporary.  I thought this open approach to photography was impressive.

It is important that photography in public spaces does not interfere with other people's use of the space, for example, use of tripods, or people being really slow, but it can be less intrusive that people looking at the exhibition (sometimes).

With photography becoming easier, and less obvious (particularly with smartphones) we need to educate people about photography in exhibitions, and if they really should not be taking photographs, give a clear and easy to understand reason why (and not treat them like criminals).

It was also impressive because some of the art works were around the 20 year archive of the exhibition.

It was a lovely way to profile archives, but also to show a different way they can be viewed - as art works themselves.

I also thought it was a great way to encourage people thinking about the importance of archives, and in making archives literally more visible.

The library was also featured in the exhibition with this dramatic entrance way.

This was a great way to profile the library, but the connection to the exhibition worked really well - as well as looking impressive.  It was great to walk through the ripped wall into the red space, and then into the library.  You could also see the library through a glass wall into the gallery - so even when this exhibition is not on, it is not hidden away, but is an obvious part of the gallery space.

You can see some of my photographs of the spaces below.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

How is your organisation asking the community to join the conversation?

I was recently looking at the Shakespeare's Globe website.  On the page announcing their 2013 season they asked their readers to:

"Join the conversation
Tell us what you think about the 2013 season. Tweet us your thoughts to @The_Globe and include the hashtag #Globe2013. Or add your comments on our Facebook page."

I liked this because they were asking for feedback, and making it really easy to provide (as they gave the hashtag, twitter handle and link to Facebook page).

I also liked that they were ready for people to comment publicly both good and bad (although I have to admit the 2013 program sounds amazing).

Does your organisation seek feedback this publicly?  And is it this easy?

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

think, make, move on

think, make, move on by ellen forsyth
think, make, move on, a photo by ellen forsyth on Flickr.

This was also advertising for an art school, but it seemed relevant to work places. We need to think, make and then move to a new idea (while also often providing continuity for what was made).

I really liked the action focus.

Defy more

Defy more by ellen forsyth
Defy more, a photo by ellen forsyth on Flickr.

This was subway advertising for an art school in Singapore, but it seemed good advice.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Twitter at dinner

Twitter at dinner by ellen forsyth
Twitter at dinner, a photo by ellen forsyth on Flickr.

This is another way to make social media accessible. In a cafe, people will be looking at them menu, so putting the links to social media accounts seems to make sense.

Do you include information about the social media for your library in printed publications?

Social media at haircutters

I saw this at a local haircutters, they were making it really easy to connect with them on social media, and even to find out their email address.

Does your library have signs about its social media within the library?