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Web person at the Imperial War Museum, just completed PhD about digital sustainability in museums (the original motivation for this blog was as my research diary). Posting occasionally, and usually museum tech stuff but prone to stray. I welcome comments if you want to take anything further. These are my opinions and should not be attributed to my employer or anyone else (unless they thought of them too). Twitter: @jottevanger

Thursday, July 05, 2007


Well here are a couple of things from the last couple of weeks that might turn out to be interesting.
The new Hub e-learning officer, Mairiruth, has a number of projects in mind, which will probably not involve us directly i.e. we won't develop them, but which we'll advise on and host - so ultimately they're our problem. She has specified a 5 year lifespan, which is great - not the length, but the fact that durability is considered and will hopefully be built in and accounted for in terms of the resources allowed for over that lifespan.
One idea Mairiruth is musing, inspired by the V&A's "Design a Worksheet", is especially interesting for (a) its complexity (b) its small budget! (c) the various possible solutions to it, including perhaps the use of Gathery. Others might employ Magic Studio.
We had a meeting with a mobile media company, discussing options for the Capital City galleries currently in development, which was stimulating and cleared up a few questions whilst, of course, raising others. I guess we're now a little more wary of RFID but we're too early in developing ideas of what we want to achieve to settle on technology yet. With any luck, by 2009 some of the barriers to mobile phone use may have been reduced (especially, for a PAYG tightwad like me, cost), but they may not be ideal anyway, or perhaps we can adopt a flexible enough strategy to work on various current and future platforms - this would seem ideal, but perhaps the costs of ultimate flexbility aren't justified - a real sustainability dilemma.
Later that day we had a meeting to bring us web types up to date with the Capital City plans and to talk about a (long overdue) plan to converge our online collections database infrastructure and data models more. That didn't put it very clearly, but in short whilst we're going in the right direction there's a fair bit to do, and with the upgrade to Mimsy XG later this year we have an opportunity to sort out a lot of stuff. Groovy.
Going home now so that will do.