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New Media, Technology, andMuseums: Who’s In Charge American Association of Museums            5/4/2009
• See related text version of this talk, with  references and footnotes.http://www.slideshare.net/edsonm/aam2009-  session...
• Michael Edson, Session Chairperson Director of Web and New Media Strategy Smithsonian Institution• edsonm@si.edu• Twitte...
“From law firms to libraries, from universities toFortune 500 companies, the organization’s websitealmost invariably falls...
This was three years ago!
• 1.5 Billion Internet users• 3.5 Billion mobile-phone subscribers
Half of US 70-75 year olds are online
“Everything we hear from people we  interview is that today’s consumers  draw no distinctions between an  organization’s W...
This session: a focus on Emerging Professionals
Session Presenters• Aurelie Henry, National Postal Museum• Jeff Tancil (Tenement Museum)• Cynthia Graville-Smith St Louis ...
Session Sponsors•   Media and Technology Committee•   Committee on Education•   Development and Membership Committee•   Mu...
(Cynthia, Aurelie, and Jeff’s presentations)
Closing Thoughts(And notes on process maturity)
Higher Standards for Stewardship of New                   Media• I would like to press the AAM accreditation  committee to...
Note: don’t hate your colleagues• There’s a natural progression through these  evolutionary states• …goes for everyone in ...
Use your internal social network• Success from having advocates in several  areas
It’s not over• “It’s not over” - - it never is• Slide: be transparent and consistent• When bad decisions happened staff wi...
Advocate for your vision• “Advocate for your vision. Do it yourself.  Don’t cede this to others.”• In a competitive enviro...
Don’t assume your Director is too busy• Advice from Max Anderson• Paraphrase “don’t assume the director is too busy” to  h...
Don’t obsess about how other people organize• Advice from VP: “people obsess about how  other people organize. Pick a mode...
Don’t confuse reporting structure with                 leadership• Says Victoria Portway who leads Web and  New Media for ...
Understand the natural evolutionary model• This is what I’ve observed happening in  museums and private industry.• Much th...
See next 5 slides…
Organizational Patterns• Most museums and businesses follow a  natural, evolutionary pattern in organizing  their Web and ...
1. Ad Hoc (chaotic)• web program started in a scientific  research group where the internet  connection existed (grass-roo...
2. Emerging• Separate Division, still small, position  & importance in organization uncertain  (special interest hobby sho...
3. Managed: authority vested in some        semi-logical entity.• Director level awareness of web importance,  uncertainty...
4. Quantitatively Managed• Professionalization of web, greater  awareness of role and key stakeholders,  integral part of ...
5. Mature• There’s Formal ownership in the executive  suite• [note: semantics different in every org]• *note: “ownership” ...
New Media, Technology, And Museums
New Media, Technology, And Museums
New Media, Technology, And Museums
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New Media, Technology, And Museums

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New Media, Technology, And Museums

  1. 1. New Media, Technology, andMuseums: Who’s In Charge American Association of Museums 5/4/2009
  2. 2. • See related text version of this talk, with references and footnotes.http://www.slideshare.net/edsonm/aam2009- session-intro-and-notes-who-is-in-charge-v2
  3. 3. • Michael Edson, Session Chairperson Director of Web and New Media Strategy Smithsonian Institution• edsonm@si.edu• Twitter –#aam09 –@mpedson
  4. 4. “From law firms to libraries, from universities toFortune 500 companies, the organization’s websitealmost invariably falls under the domain of the ITDepartment or the Marketing Department, leadingto turf wars and other predictable consequences.While many good (and highly capable) peoplework in IT and marketing, neither area is ideallysuited to craft usable websites or to encourage theblossoming of vital web communities.”Jeffrey ZeldmanLet There be Web Divisionshttp://www.zeldman.com/2007/07/02/let-there-be-web-divisions/
  5. 5. This was three years ago!
  6. 6. • 1.5 Billion Internet users• 3.5 Billion mobile-phone subscribers
  7. 7. Half of US 70-75 year olds are online
  8. 8. “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 RainieDirector, Pew Internet & American Life Project
  9. 9. This session: a focus on Emerging Professionals
  10. 10. Session Presenters• Aurelie Henry, National Postal Museum• Jeff Tancil (Tenement Museum)• Cynthia Graville-Smith St Louis Science Center
  11. 11. Session Sponsors• Media and Technology Committee• Committee on Education• Development and Membership Committee• Museum Management Committee• Committee on Museum Professional Training• Public Relations and Marketing Committee
  12. 12. (Cynthia, Aurelie, and Jeff’s presentations)
  13. 13. Closing Thoughts(And notes on process maturity)
  14. 14. Higher Standards for Stewardship of New Media• I would like to press the AAM accreditation committee to set higher goals and provide roadmaps for the management and organization of new tech in museums. A few questions on the accreditation self-study questionnaire is not enough.
  15. 15. Note: don’t hate your colleagues• There’s a natural progression through these evolutionary states• …goes for everyone in the museum.• You may perceive that they’re lacking vision, “don’t get it”… but they probably just haven’t had the ahah moment. Yet. There’s a natural progression, and this stuff is HARD. I do it full time.
  16. 16. Use your internal social network• Success from having advocates in several areas
  17. 17. It’s not over• “It’s not over” - - it never is• Slide: be transparent and consistent• When bad decisions happened staff will “know” what the NM team is and stands for.
  18. 18. Advocate for your vision• “Advocate for your vision. Do it yourself. Don’t cede this to others.”• In a competitive environment, you have to communicate effectively.• The director isn’t going to (or don’t assume) pick you to run new media if you’re not an effective advocate, spokesperson, team leader.
  19. 19. Don’t assume your Director is too busy• Advice from Max Anderson• Paraphrase “don’t assume the director is too busy” to hear from you. He/she certainly wants to hear from you now, rather than when failure has arrived.• For most of us leadership and communication at the senior management level does not come naturally. I cringe when I think back on some of my early conversations with Milo Beach who was Director when I was cutting my teeth at the Freer Gallery of Art. But that’s how you learn: do it, make mistakes, get better.
  20. 20. Don’t obsess about how other people organize• Advice from VP: “people obsess about how other people organize. Pick a model that works for you & where your organization is: Ultimately…“It’s less about how you’re situated in the organization and much more about the conversations you’re having with the rest of the organization and to what degree there is strategic visibility at the CEO level,” says Greg Foglesong, general manager of Home Depot Direct, the e-commerce and catalog arm of The Home Depot Inc.
  21. 21. Don’t confuse reporting structure with leadership• Says Victoria Portway who leads Web and New Media for the National Air and Space Museum (NASM).
  22. 22. Understand the natural evolutionary model• This is what I’ve observed happening in museums and private industry.• Much thanks to Victoria Portway from NASM for critical help with this model.
  23. 23. See next 5 slides…
  24. 24. Organizational Patterns• Most museums and businesses follow a natural, evolutionary pattern in organizing their Web and New Media programs.• See my “Good Projects Gone Bad: an Introduction to Process Maturity” paper http://www.slideshare.net/edsonm/good-projects-gone-bad-an- introduction-to-process-maturity
  25. 25. 1. Ad Hoc (chaotic)• web program started in a scientific research group where the internet connection existed (grass-roots, matter of convenience & where the passion & interest resides).• Underground, success (but not repeatable)• Nothing measured• Dependent on heroics
  26. 26. 2. Emerging• Separate Division, still small, position & importance in organization uncertain (special interest hobby shop, everyone knows it is important but not sure to what degree or how it works).• Some measurement, explicit responsibility to somebody, usually lower in the org chart
  27. 27. 3. Managed: authority vested in some semi-logical entity.• Director level awareness of web importance, uncertainty over purpose of web & org. placement leads to internal power struggle, debate over "who owns", multiple reorgs.• Mostly based on competence and/or willingness, without regard to org chart rationale.• Lots of matrix and dotted-lines• Corsely visible in budgets, PD’s, planning, measurement
  28. 28. 4. Quantitatively Managed• Professionalization of web, greater awareness of role and key stakeholders, integral part of organization.• Formal organization, oversight. Usually in the Director’s office to someone without specific background• Increasing cross-disciplinary expertise/experience: the team is familiar and broadly competent with each others areas of expertise.
  29. 29. 5. Mature• There’s Formal ownership in the executive suite• [note: semantics different in every org]• *note: “ownership” and “leadership” VP’s story]• Directors engaged (look at their appointment book)• Professional, full-time management• Win/win scenarios with controlled innovation and experimentation

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