Collection databases

Powerhouse Museum’s Castle Hill stores open and online

We have just launched the website (and the physical site too) for our new Powerhouse Discovery Centre located in Castle Hill.

The PDC at Castle Hill dramatically increases the proportion of objects available for the public to look at (up from the museum world standard 5% ot around 40%!). In the warehouse spaces visitors can browse drawers and storage racks, and then go to a series of internet-connected kiosks to look up more information using a slightly enhanced version of our collection database.

In building the Castle Hill site we have added several thousand new high quality images to the collection database. Have a look either using the Castle Hill OPAC or the Powerhouse Museum’s main OPAC. Both use the same data source, the main difference being that the Castle Hill version has a early iteration of a a forthcoming visual browser we are building (which is highly dependent on colour images!).

Digital storytelling Web 2.0 Young people & museums

Sub groups of consumer co-created content

From the marketing world comes this quite useful subcategorisation of ‘consumer generated content’. Indeed, seeing co-created content through the lens of marketing can itself be quite revealing.


Consumer-generated media (CGM): At its core, CGM represents first-person commentary posted or shared across a host of expression venues, including message boards, forums, rating and review sites, groups, social networking sites, blogs, and, of course, video-sharing sites. It’s commonly influenced or informed by relevant experience with brands (e.g., “I’m so angry with Jet Blue,” “I love Target”).

Consumer-generated multimedia (CGM2): This subset of CGM is more anchored to “site, sound, and motion” components, each with the potential to dial up the effect and persuasiveness of the consumer storytelling. Visualization elevates drama, emotional resonance, and the ability to prove one’s case through documentation (one big reason TV commercials have been so hard for advertisers to shake).

Consumer-fortified media (CFM): Unilever’s Dove Evolution is a classic example of CFM. The advertisers created the spot, but its meaning was shaped, or fortified, by the conversation, commentary, and debate that wrapped around the content.

Consumer-solicited media (CSM): The term that most commonly captures this form is “co-creation.” Others loosely call it “participatory advertising.”

Compensated consumer-generated media (CCGM): This is when marketers outright pay consumers to do certain things, or when publishers compensate artists or content creators for submissions.

Paid media: This is exactly as it sounds. Marketers buy media, usually in the form of impressions, to affect sales. Some call this “marketer-generated media” (MGM), but the old description works just fine.