Fresh & New(er)

discussion of issues around digital media and museums by Seb Chan

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Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination opens and is immediately on the web

December 3rd, 2008 by Seb Chan

Tonight we had the official public opening of Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination.

Already images and videos of the exhibition and the launch, taken by members of the public (“the people formerly known as the audience”) are starting to appear online across the social web.

Here’s photos on Flickr and no doubt tomorrow there will be videos on YouTube uploaded by visitors. And over on the fan forums there’s already much chatter. The Facebook page should get a bunch of uploads shortly, and tweets and status updates across the social networks will begin to happen (of course in far lower volume than in the US).

Of course in times past these images and discussions would have been private but now they are public and discoverable. We’ll be keeping an eye on activity over the coming weeks, listening and learning. We’ll also be posting ‘official’ photos soon.

If you swing by the exhibition yourself then make sure you post and tag your photos and comments.

Tags: 3 Comments

  • LyndaK

    Well done and very interesting. Are you looking at cost-benefit somehow in terms of staff time to set this up and benefit in terms of engaging ”the people formerly known as the audience”? You know that old thorny issue of Web 2.0 takes too long for little return, blah, blah …

    Also, do you think because this is such a strong, focussed community that it would work as well with others??

  • Seb Chan

    Hi Lynda

    This is actually an example of a situation where the visitors attending are doing all the work themselves without any prompting from us. This isn’t so much as PHM ‘doing Web2.0’ but the visitors doing it in spite of us!

    Of course we know that visitors have been taking photos in our galleries since the birth of photography (actually, I exaggerate), but the tools for sharing publicly haven’t been readily available until the Web. It helps that the ‘default’ in Flickr is public sharing – not ‘private’ which most other photo websites use.

    The return is in recommendations. People visiting the exhibition because their friends/associates recommended it to them – not just with words/text, but with images and video.

    As our society becomes even more visually-oriented (often at the expense of other senses), social meaning is made through the sharing of visual content.

  • LyndaK

    Thanks, gotta love visitors doing their own work (and ours!).

    Totally agree with you about the visual culture thing. I don’t think museums yet realise what a shift this will be in society particularly in terms of how people learn and make meaning – together.