Michael Edson @ Brown University: Digital Strategy Thermocline

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The purpose of this presentation is to stimulate discussion around important issues in institutional digital strategy—just remember, these are generalizations and provocations: “the truth is in the middle."

For the Public Humanities Lunch, John Nicholas Brown Center for Public Humanities and Cultural Heritage, Brown University, November 18, 2009

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  • Photo, CC licensed from Representative Virginia Fox (R – N.C.), http://flickr.com/photos/repvirginiafoxx/2298030037/
  • Photo, CC licensed from Representative Virginia Fox (R – N.C.), http://flickr.com/photos/repvirginiafoxx/2298030037/
  • Photo, CC licensed from Representative Virginia Fox (R – N.C.), http://flickr.com/photos/repvirginiafoxx/2298030037/
  • Photo, CC licensed from Representative Virginia Fox (R – N.C.), http://flickr.com/photos/repvirginiafoxx/2298030037/
  • Photo, CC licensed from Representative Virginia Fox (R – N.C.), http://flickr.com/photos/repvirginiafoxx/2298030037/
  • Photo, CC licensed from Representative Virginia Fox (R – N.C.), http://flickr.com/photos/repvirginiafoxx/2298030037/
  • Photo, CC licensed from Representative Virginia Fox (R – N.C.), http://flickr.com/photos/repvirginiafoxx/2298030037/
  • Photo, CC licensed from Representative Virginia Fox (R – N.C.), http://flickr.com/photos/repvirginiafoxx/2298030037/
  • Michael Edson @ Brown University: Digital Strategy Thermocline

    1. The Digital StrategyThermocline<br />Public Humanities Lunch<br />John Nicholas Brown Center for<br />Public Humanities and Cultural Heritage<br />Brown University, November 18, 2009<br />Michael Edson<br />Director, Web and New Media Strategy<br />Smithsonian Institution, Office of the CIO<br />
    2. Preamble<br />The purpose of this presentation is to stimulate discussion around important issues in institutional digital strategy—just remember, these are generalizations and provocations: “the truth is in the middle”<br />
    3. Preamble<br />The purpose of this presentation is to stimulate discussion around important issues in institutional digital strategy—just remember, these are generalizations and provocations: “the truth is in the middle”<br />Twitter: @mpedson, <br />Slides and other good stuff at slideshare.net/edsonm<br />Join us at http://smithsonian-webstrategy.wikispaces.com<br />Beware…The opinions in this presentation are mine, not the official policy/strategy of the Smithsonian…<br />
    4. The Smithsonian Commons<br />A new Pan-Institutional Strategy<br />http://www.si.edu/about<br />A new Web and New Media Strategyhttp://smithsonian-webstrategy.wikispaces.com<br />
    5. The Smithsonian Commons<br />…a new part of our digital presence dedicated to stimulating learning, creation, and innovation through open access to Smithsonian research, collections and communities. <br />
    6. The Smithsonian Commons<br />…a new part of our digital presence dedicated to stimulating learning, creation, and innovation through open access to Smithsonian research, collections and communities. <br />Attributes of the Smithsonian Commons:<br />Vast<br />Findable<br />Sharable (or “social”)<br />Free<br />
    7. The Smithsonian Commons<br />…a new part of our digital presence dedicated to stimulating learning, creation, and innovation through open access to Smithsonian research, collections and communities. <br />Duh<br />Huh?<br />Some people understand the Smithsonian Commons concept immediately—The concepts seem familiar & refreshing and the rationale self-evident. These people are generally aware of developments in Internet culture over the last 5 years…<br />
    8. The Smithsonian Commons<br />…a new part of our digital presence dedicated to stimulating learning, creation, and innovation through open access to Smithsonian research, collections and communities. <br />Duh<br />Huh?<br />…While others struggle with aspects of the Smithsonian Commons concept. Assertions about reputation, trust, authority/control, intellectual property policy, and business models seem unnecessarily disruptive or counterintuitive.<br />
    9. The Smithsonian Commons<br />…a new part of our digital presence dedicated to stimulating learning, creation, and innovation through open access to Smithsonian research, collections and communities. <br />Duh<br />Huh?<br />…and I agree—these issues are hard, and I struggle with them myself! And are these people techno-utopians? Unrealistic?<br />
    10. The Smithsonian Commons<br />…a new part of our digital presence dedicated to stimulating learning, creation, and innovation through open access to Smithsonian research, collections and communities. <br />Duh<br />Huh?<br />…and I agree—these issues are hard, and I struggle with them myself! And are these people techno-utopians? Unrealistic?<br />
    11. Duh<br />Huh?<br />These two groups have different assumptions, experience, and perspectives on “technology” (writ large) and the need, urgency, and model for change. They’re speaking different languages, which forms a kind of thermocline…<br />
    12. Thermocline(a metaphor)<br />Stratified water temperature acts as a barrier<br />
    13. Thermocline(a metaphor)<br />Knowledge, communication,<br />action models are different<br />Management<br />Practitioners<br />
    14. Thermocline(a metaphor)<br />Messages get distorted, lost<br />
    15. Thermocline(a metaphor)<br />Messages get distorted, lost<br />
    16. Thermocline(a metaphor)<br />(Remember—most people are not at either extreme, but in the middle…)<br />
    17. Thermocline<br />The Web is a <br />fundamentally new<br />way of getting<br />things done<br />The Web is <br />a bigger megaphone<br />
    18. Thermocline<br />“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.” <br />Clay Shirky<br />
    19. Thermocline<br />Focus on innovation/<br />discovery inside the Institution<br />Catalyze innovation/<br />discovery<br />outside the institution<br />Joy’s Law: no matter <br />who you are, most of <br />The smartest people<br />work for someone else<br />
    20. Thermocline<br />Fixation on Web 2.0<br />and Social Media<br />
    21. Thermocline<br />We can get ahead by“doing more of thesame thing”<br />No, you can’t…<br />John P. Kotter, A Sense of Urgency<br />
    22. Thermocline<br />The most interestingecosystems arein “border habitats”between the two<br />You can managetechnology and content<br />separately<br />
    23. Thermocline<br />Build an ascendant brandby“doing work that matters”<br />Make money, now<br />“Once [the Smithsonian] has increased user base 100x or more, many other possibilities open”<br />Carl Malamud<br />Public.resource.org<br />Tim O’Reillyhttp://radar.oreilly.com/2009/01/work-on-stuff-that-matters-fir.html<br />
    24. Thermocline<br />The Desktop Internet<br />2.5 Billionmobile subscribers<br />
    25. Gardeningchange model*Build a platform &cultivate Web 2.0<br />As a way of thinkingabout work<br />Thermocline<br />Manufacturingchange model<br />“Lets Build Product Xand be done with it”<br />* Via Josh Greenberg, NYPL<br />
    26. Institutions (?) built onthe model of <br />social entrepreneurship:<br />Think Big,Start SmallMove Fast<br />Thermocline<br />Institutions built onthe model ofenduring wisdom*<br />We can move slowlybecause wisdom endures<br />*Via Peter Schwartz, GBN<br />
    27. In exchange for public<br />funds and public trust,museums should<br />do workfor society<br />Thermocline<br />Museums are for…<br />
    28. In exchange for public<br />funds and public trust,museums should<br />do workfor society<br />Thermocline<br />Museums are for…<br />What could you accomplish with<br />$1b /year for 50 years?<br />
    29. Thermocline<br />…all of this is relevant for stimulating discussion, but the truth is in the middle, and the issues are complex…<br />
    30. Thermocline(a metaphor)<br />Overcoming the thermocline<br />Requires stirring the water. <br />Urgency.Full engagement.<br />Making progress on “work<br />that matters.”<br />
    31. Haven’t had enough?<br /><ul><li>SI Pan-Institutional Strategyhttp://www.si.edu/about
    32. Web and New Media Strategyhttp://smithsonian-webstrategy.wikispaces.com
    33. Imagining a Smithsonian Commons:http://www.slideshare.net/edsonm/cil-2009-michael-edson-text-version
    34. Other stuff on slidesharehttp://slideshare.net/edsonm</li></ul>Public Humanities Lunch<br />John Nicholas Brown Center for<br />Public Humanities and Cultural Heritage<br />Brown University, November 18, 2009<br />Michael Edson<br />Director, Web and New Media Strategy<br />Smithsonian Institution, Office of the CIO<br />Thanks!<br />

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