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Jack the Museum (Museums in the Age of Scale) -- Text version


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Ignite talk (text version with footnotes) for the Museum Computer Network 2012 annual conference , November 7, 2012, Seattle, WA. …

Ignite talk (text version with footnotes) for the Museum Computer Network 2012 annual conference , November 7, 2012, Seattle, WA.
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  • 1. JACK THE MUSEUM An Ignite talk poem TEXT VERSION with notes/links Link to Video Jack the Museum (Museums in the Golden Age of Scale) An Ignite talk First reading: Museum Computer Network annual meeting November 7, 2012 | Seattle, WA Michael Edson Director, Web and New Media Strategy Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.
  • 2. [ To be recited in the slam poetry style ] Video at 2
  • 3. [Slide 1]In the Age of Sail we once were rooted.For 5,000 years it constituteda world shapingepoch makingrecord breakinghuman being technology.This cannot be disputed.[Slide 2]From the time of the Pharos to the first steam boatsif you wanted to move some goods,some goats,send a scientific treatise „bout the sexual life of motes…Fight a war against a foreign nation.Take your kids on a round-the-world vacation. 1
  • 4. [Slide 3]To move anything across the seas,your only hope,was for a sail upon a boat upon the breeze.Only a fool would row,could bear to go that slowif they were in the know.[Slide 4]Now, don‟t get me wrong. I imagine a case, where a captain ofreason, would, with no treason, reason rowing over breezin‟.And I sometimes prefer a book in my hands to bits on a screen.It seems an old book may help my mind dream.[Slide 5]And the slow dirty gravel of “the path less traveled”seems not to unravelthe work of the travel,but gives a sense of joy, to a boy,and a girl,with somewhere to go and time to get gone… 2
  • 5. [Slide 6]But when the task that‟s at hand,like yours, is so grand.And the mission you‟re dishin‟ has frisson.I mean, when you‟re jizzin’.Why row?Why bow low? You must stand.[Slide 7]„Cause today here‟s our planet: a hot, packed piece of granite.World‟s on fire, and we fan it?It‟s in trouble, we must jam it!We must man, and wo-man it.Not spam it,with old tools that waste time: lame deeds that don‟t rhyme. 3
  • 6. [Slide 8]Why wield a small hammer?When you can jam her with a rammer?!Why have a museum? So you can see „em?Be „em?…Getting foolish pride from taking small strides?Your inside museum guides giving tiny little rides[Slide 9]in hoity-toity halls of art filled walls.And empty spaces full of casestelling children boring stories „bout the evolution of theraces…While the masses—brilliant masses—all the classes—waitpatiently outside?That‟s not a museum,it‟s a mausoleum. 4
  • 7. [Slide 10]I do love art—it fills the cart in the quickie mart of my happyheart.The coffee table bablei ain‟t no fable.Dance and music make me stable.To a soul beyond the palethere‟s nothing finerthan a science center model whale.But…[Slide 11]If the wale don‟t scale it‟s a planetary fail.WE MUST SCALE.We can scale.We can move new ideas, „cross the “C‟s”iiin the Age of Scale. 5
  • 8. [Slide 12]„Cause it‟s not just a rumorthat the consumerain‟t no dumb „boomeriiiwith no hands, heartiv, or sense of humor.She‟s a smart, caring soul.She‟s got friends. They can rolla trillion hours a year of civic action surplus on your ass.v[Slide 13](—Shirky told me this is so.)Take it. Go.No longer passive:public heads hands and voices now are massive.Network action makes old-school broadcast reaction adistraction to this powerful new faction:3 billion people, connected, on the web. 6
  • 9. [Slide 14]They‟ll tag your bits, hit your hits, grind your grits, pop yourzits, give you fits, then take you to the Ritz.Solve your problems, make „em theirs.Take away a thousand planetary cares.Cure your ulcer.Hack your culture.[Slide 15]Your museum should be theirs for the taking:You EXIST to maximize their making.Be assured that old taboos they are breaking - -a fine new recipe they‟re delighted to be baking.[Slide 16]They‟re insane in the brain with the freedom and power ofCreative Commons and the Pubic Domain,remixing a fresh refrain, with their friends,a new universe, like the Zooniversevi, it‟s the opposite ofholding still or being in reverse— 7
  • 10. [Slide 17]it‟s perverse how they rehearsethe inverseof the ancient 20th century manager‟s chapter-and-verseabout who gets a say, who does the work…And who just has to walk along,silent,behind a corporate content hearse.[Slide 18]Flickr, it reach 9 billion culture-richer pictures.Open Street Maps and Ushahidivii…And If my grandma,could only see meuse 20 million CC-zero records, on Europeanaviii… 8
  • 11. [Slide 19]to see,be and make a vibrant cultahix,like a culture-o-scientific new media data mixer mulcher:a grower, reader, seeder,super dynamic knowledge breeder beater,that serves, with verve,good things to Wikipedia.[Slide 20]That wiki loves to show and growwhat the people love to know„bout, the Himalayan snow,Madonna‟s brand new beaux,Homer Simpson‟s D‟oh,all the things you gotta know.Where else you gonna get that, bro?A museum? I don‟t think so.[Slide 21]So jack the museum. Please, we need to 9
  • 12. make it scale, make it sail,so society continues to feed you.Do it now. Don‟t waste time,working back in stagnant small-scale, small vision times.Do the museum.i “Bable” as in “the tower of…” - - rhymes with “fable”ii i.e., the “C” programming languages: C, C+, C++, C#, etc.iii As in “baby boomer”iv Reference to “Lego Beowulf and the Web of Hands and Hearts”: Referenc to the thesis of Clay Shirky’s book Cognitve Surplusvi : “The Zooniverse is home to the internets largest, mostpopular and most successful citizen science projects.” Zooniverse has over 707,000participants (as of 2012-11-08)vii : “An open source project which allows users to crowdsourcecrisis information to be sent via mobile.”viii Europeana recently relased over 20 million records into thepublic domain. [to-do: give link to press release]ix Culture 10