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Michael Edson, Relevance, Existence, and Smithsonian Strategy, for OCLC "Web Scale or Bust"
Web strategy, open innovation, the commons. Web strategist at Smithsonian, Presidential Distinguished Fellow at CLIR, OpenGLAM advisory board at Open Knowledge Foundation. Views are my own.
Relevance, Existence, and the Smithsonian Commons OCLC Web Scale or Bust conferenceOctober 7, 2009 Washington, DC Michael Edson Director, Web and New Media Strategy Smithsonian Institution, Office of the CIO
Preamble Twitter: @mpedson Slideshare.net/edsonm Join us at http://smithsonian-webstrategy.wikispaces.com Beware…The opinions in this presentation are mine, not the official policy/strategy of the Smithsonian… We’re a little bird
Pan-Institutional Strategic Plan Four Grand Challenges
Pan-Institutional Strategic Plan Four Grand Challenges Unlocking the Mysteries of the Universe Understanding and Sustaining a BiodiversePlanet Valuing World Cultures Understanding the American Experience
Pan-Institutional Strategic Plan Strategy Schmatergy! We’ve seen strategy before! Four Grand Challenges Unlocking the Mysteries of the Universe Understanding and Sustaining a BiodiversePlanet Valuing World Cultures Understanding the American Experience A GenericHumbug
Pan-Institutional Strategic Plan No! This is about solving big hairy problems— ”work that matters” (via @timoreilly) Strategy Schmatergy! We’ve seen strategy before! Four Grand Challenges Unlocking the Mysteries of the Universe Understanding and Sustaining a BiodiversePlanet Valuing World Cultures Understanding the American Experience A GenericHumbug
Empower citizen-scholars! Blend assets w. new technology!
Solve big complex problems! Interdisciplinary collaborations and partnerships!
Relevance Q: Have you ever visited a Smithsonian Web site? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N5x4Sga0d1s
Relevance Unexpected Rivals in Google Search Google Images Wikipedia Ocean.com Discoveryeducation.com NASA Enchantedlearning.com
Relevance Unexpected Rivals in Reach Google Images Wikipedia Ocean.com …so much more reach than SI that we don’t even show up on the graph… Enchantedlearning.com si.edu discoveryeducation.com ocean.com
Relevance Unexpected Rivals in Reach (July – Sept, 2009) Enchantedlearning.com is a two person team, with more online reach than the world’s largest museum and research complex! Enchantedlearning.com si.edu discoveryeducation.com ocean.com
Relevance The Demographic Tsunami November 2007 data: Pew Internet and American Life Project
Relevance The Demographic Tsunami “Everything we hear from people we interview is that today’s consumers draw no distinctions between an organization’s Web site and their traditional bricks-and-mortar presence: both must be excellent for either to be excellent.” Lee RainiePew Internet and American Life Project
Relevance “The Smithsonian is not an Institution that understands me” From focus group withBay Area millennials, 2009 “Surprise me!”
Relevance …From the introduction to Chris Anderson’s Free: The Future of a Radical Price
Relevance “At the risk of ageist generalization, there were broadly two camps of skeptics: those over thirty and those below. The older critics…were rightly suspicious…
Relevance “At the risk of ageist generalization, there were broadly two camps of skeptics: those over thirty and those below. The older critics…were rightly suspicious…The younger critics had a different response:
Relevance “At the risk of ageist generalization, there were broadly two camps of skeptics: those over thirty and those below. The older critics…were rightly suspicious…The younger critics had a different response: “Duh!” ‘Duh!’
Relevance “At the risk of ageist generalization, there were broadly two camps of skeptics: those over thirty and those below. The older critics…were rightly suspicious…The younger critics had a different response: “Duh!” ‘Duh!’ …The fact that we are now creating a global economy around the price of zero seemed too self-evident to even note.”
Relevance 97% of all online research efforts pass through wikipedia.org
Stratified water temperature acts as a barrier Relevance The Thermocline
Relevance Knowledge, communication, action models are different Management The Thermocline Practitioners
Relevance Messages get distorted, lost The Thermocline
Relevance Messages get distorted, lost The Thermocline
Relevance The Web is a fundamentally new way of getting things done The Web is a bigger megaphone
Relevance “we are living in the middle of a remarkable increase in our ability to share, to cooperate with one another, and to take collective action, all outside the framework of traditional institutions and organization …Getting the free and ready participation of a large, distributed group with a variety of skills has gone from impossible to simple.” Clay Shirky
Relevance Focus on innovation/ discovery inside the Institution Catalyze innovation/ discovery outside the institution Joy’s Law: no matter who you are, most of The smartest people work for someone else
Old Learning Model New Learning Model Relevance
Relevance Fixation on Web 2.0 and Social Media
Relevance Entities like the Smithsonian exist to perform a task—to do work for society Why do we get to spend $1.2 Billion / year? What benefits return to society?
Urgency John P. Kotter, A Sense of Urgency HBR “Ideacast” clip, 2:30 Audio clip plays for 2:30. Advance through next 7 slides manually
Urgency John P. Kotter, A Sense of Urgency Thoughts, feelings and behaviors
Urgency John P. Kotter, A Sense of Urgency Thoughts… Great opportunities/hazards
Urgency John P. Kotter, A Sense of Urgency Feelings… Gut level determination that we’ll do something now
Urgency John P. Kotter, A Sense of Urgency Behavior… Hyper-alertness… commitment to making something happen with the important issues
Urgency John P. Kotter, A Sense of Urgency Behavior… We gotta get going with this because it’s so important.
Urgency John P. Kotter, A Sense of Urgency Determination and movement that’s smart and that wins
Urgency John P. Kotter, A Sense of Urgency The rate of change is going up.
StrategyProcess October 2008“What I Heard and What I’ll Tell Senior Management” posted to Internal Blog Blessing and advice from practitioners: Fast, transparent, public GOVERNANCE! SUPPORT ACTIONABLE …last chance dude Strategy Execution
StrategyProcess What Actually Happened? Strategy Execution
Internal Blog/Wiki/Listserv 152 posts to internal blog
Steering Committee Breakthrough! A FAQ on a Wiki instead of a charter!!!
Steering Committee Breakthrough! A FAQ on a Wiki instead of a charter!!! Q: How is the committee going to make good decisions about leading-edge technologies and the inherent positive and negative of internet trends when they are not themselves internet experts? A: It’s not going to be easy. We recognize that we aren’t experts and we may take missteps along the way. That’s why we will be seeking advice from many sources including internal practitioners and external leaders. We will also work to expand knowledge of our audiences and what actual users think of the Institution’s web and new media initiatives. The committee also recognizes the need to establish pan-Institutional working groups to address specific issues and opportunities, in much the same way as OCIO has established collaborative Technical Working Groups (TWGs) to make hardware and software decisions in recent years.
Process: Workshops to Wiki Process at-a-glance “The main intent of the workshops is to move relevant information to the wiki where it can be openly evaluated, sifted, weighed, and considered by all.”
Strategy Structure Themes Update the Smithsonian Digital Experience Update the Smithsonian Learning Model Balance Autonomy and Control within SI 8 Goals External Mission Brand Learning Audience Internal Interpretation Technology Business Model Governance Each Goal has specific program, policy, and tactical recommendations
Theme 1: Update the SI Digital Experience Community engagement, content, and findability across all platforms American Indian National Zoo Natural History Tropical Research Institute American History Astrophysical Observatory Hirshhorn Smithsonian Associates Air and Space Environ-mental Research Cntr Photo Initiative Freer / Sackler Museum Conservation Institute Latino Center Asian Pacific American Program Folklife / Cultural Heritage Traveling Exhibitions Anacostia Museum African Art SI Libraries Cooper-Hewitt Postal Museum SI Across America Portrait Gallery National Science Resources Center Affiliations Education / Museum Studies Which Web site has the informationI need? Where do I start? Can I get this on my mobile phone? Can I get it in an exhibit? The Castle Archives of American Art What can I do with this content once I find it? How can I interact with my fellow-visitors? From inside any of these sites, where’s the rest of the Smithsonian’s content, visitors, community?
Theme 2: Update the SI Learning Model New Platforms for learning andcollaborative knowledge creation Old Learning Model New Learning Model
Theme 3: Balance Authority and Control within SI Innovation at the edges:a commons in the middle
Strategic GoalsStuff we’ve got to DO! Under the 8 goals there are 54 specific tactical recommendations
Strategy GoalsStuff we’ve got to DO! Goal 1: Mission Prioritize Web and New Media programs in proportion to their impact on the mission Goal 2: Brand Strengthen the relationship between the Smithsonian brand and its sub-brands Goal 3: Learning Facilitate a dialogue in a global community of learners Goal 4: Audience Attract larger audiences and engage them in long-term relationships
Strategy GoalsStuff we’ve got to DO! Goal 5: Interpretation Support the work of Smithsonian staff Goal 6: Technology Develop a platform for participation and innovation Goal 7: Business Models Increase revenue from e-commerce fundamentals and Web 2.0 perspectives Goal 8: Governance Design and implement a pan-Institutional governance model
The Smithsonian CommonsA place to begin “a new part of our digital presence dedicated to stimulating learning, creation, and innovation through open access to Smithsonian research, collections and communities.” Support the Four Grand Challenges A new collaboration model An new relationship with the public A new model of learning and knowledge creation
The Smithsonian CommonsA place to begin More detail about what a commons is and why it matters via Imagining the Smithsonian Commons: Annotated text of "Imagining a Smithsonian Commons" on slideshare PowerPoint slides of "Imagining a Smithsonian Commons" on slideshare video of the talk at Computers in Libraries, 2009