ScreenSpeak presentation – Mike Jones

Here are the presentation slides from the ScreenSpeak Seminar at the Powerhouse Museum on the 6th May 2006.

They are licensed under Creative Commons.

Audio recordings of the talk : Part 1 | Part 2

Wikis, Blogs and the New World Order:

The produser, the digital native and the new tools of ‘text’.

 by Mike Jones

The internet is more than just an electronic library…! The form and function of the The Net expounds a very new sensibility of not only how to source and read a text, but also fundamentally changes our perspective on the creation of texts. This presentation will focus on two emerging textual/creative forms unique to the internet – Blogs and Wikis – and explore how these forms are created and function as proactive and collaborative constructs. The practicalities of using and creating Blogs and Wikis and their potential role in the classroom also allows for the consideration of new ideas about learning engagement, and the nature of the connections young people, as Digital Natives, form with digital texts.

General Web 2.0

‘Zones of silence’ vs ‘digital divide’

Thought provoking piece on First Monday about the problems with the term ‘digital divide’. As the author suggests, the term ‘zones’ of silence’ may be a better term as it focusses on the how/what and why of communication rather than simply assuming everyone needs/wants to talk like those on the ‘fortunate’ side of the ‘divide’.

There is no doubt that much digital divide work — including connectivity initiatives, technology transfer programs, and other projects — is done with good intention. Yet, as has been widely recognized, the conceptual framework of the digital divide is limiting. The language of the digital divide not only places people into simplistic “have”/“have not” categories, making assumptions about the solution to “information poverty” with little attention to local contexts, its logic also continues a paradigm of development that engages with the global south only at the point of what it “lacks”. I propose a framework, which provides a wider, and more nuanced, lens to look through. It focuses work in ways and in areas consistently overlooked by the digital divide, particularly on the realities, voices, and complexities within its unconnected, “have not” spaces — the zones of silence. Encouraging critical questioning of assumptions and an understanding of local contexts and points of view, a zones of silence framework is a way to broaden the dialogue on global communication and information access beyond a discourse of need, to one of mutual questioning, sharing, and learning.


Design Trends 2006

Interesting article on this year’s design trends.

Digitisation General Metadata


There’s a really interesting article here from written by our old mate Lev Manovich that looks at ‘understanding meta-media’ and examines “what new media does to old media?” focusing particularly on the idea of simulation.
The article references some great new media works that explore the concept of ‘mapping’ as key framework for undertsanding the intersection.

“This is not accidental. The logic of meta-media fits well with other key aesthetic paradigms of today — the remixing of previous cultural forms of a given media (most visible in music, architecture, design, and fashion), and a second type of remixing — that of national cultural traditions now submerged into the medium of globalization. (the terms “postmodernism” and “globalization” can be used as aliases for these two remix paradigms.) Meta-media then can be thought alongside these two types of remixing as a third type: the remixing of interfaces of various cultural forms and of new software techniques — in short, the remix of culture and computers”

Digital storytelling General Web 2.0

More on the Prod-User

In the digital driven ‘Developmental Space’ of contemporary cinematic form whereby the relation and distinction between User and Viewer, between Viewer and Participant, between Player and Watcher is inceasingly thin there is the new noun we’ve heard much about and been kicking aorund – Prod-User. This noun is really growing on me as usuful and function in re-thinking viewer/audience/creator relationship. Obviously it also relates to a great deal of our discussion on Web 2.0

Dr Axel Bruns gives a thorough picture of the new role of the ProdUser in contemporary media. His blog has both a downloadbale MP3 podcast and the powerpoint slides from the Mojtaba Saminejad Lecture – Anyone Can Edit’: Understanding the Produser.

“Recent decades have seen the dual trend of growing digitization of content, and of increasing availability of sophisticated tools for creating, manipulating, publishing, and disseminating that content. Advertising campaigns openly encourage users to ‘Rip. Mix. Burn.’ and to share the fruits of their individual or collaborative efforts with the rest of the world. The Internet has smashed the distribution bottleneck of older media, and the dominance of the traditional producer > publisher > distributor value chain has weakened. Marshall McLuhan’s dictum ‘everyone’s a publisher’ is on the verge of becoming a reality – and more to the point, as the Wikipedia proudly proclaims, ‘anyone can edit.’”

General Web 2.0

Other museum blogs

Here’s a nice summary of other museums running blogs.

We’re not on the list yet.

But we will be.


Museums & The Web – Best Of The Web 06 winners

The winners at Museums & The Web 2006 have been announced.

Congratulations to all, especially to our friends at the Australian Museum who picked up an honourable mention in the Best Research Site category for the Birds In Backyards site.

There are MANY lessons to be learnt from the winning sites and I’d encourage everyone in our teams to check them out thoroughly and post your own evaluative comments about each of the winning sites. These sites are relevant for everyone in our area, not just us web folk.

Kevin Sumption’s paper on the ‘ubiquitous museum’ is online too and is a good overview of where he sees museums (including ours) need to move.

Here’s my reactions to the Best of the Web 2006 winners.

Overall there seems to have been a big shift towards ‘users’. The language on every site and project has shifted towards emphasising interaction and the ‘you’. eg. What do YOU want to do?, Tell us YOUR experiences/memories etc.

And it is not only superficial. Some sites are moving towards real multidirectional communication – not just one/two-way between museum and user but also encouraging ‘between user’ communication.

Whilst there is still some superfluous Flash use it is really pleasing to see sites beginning to move away from Flash for the sake of it and looking at responding to user needs rather than simply providing pretty slideshows and unnecesary visual navigation. The LA Conservancy’s Curating The City site is a good example of where Flash makes it very pretty but also makes it unnecessarily complicated to get to what is basically a tracking of historical changes along the Wiltshire Boulevard. The nav is slow to load and processor intensive. Why? Aesthetics over use. The best part is the ability of users to upload their own stories about places but in my mind this feature is too buried and should be the primary focus of the site instead – see the highly popular community memory projects like Mumur in Canada from Habitat (and spinoffs) for comparison.

On the otherhand there are times when I wanted MORE aesthetics. The Canadian educational site on mining cutely called ‘Life Of A Rock Star’ does have great content but it seems so, well, late 90s in design. Maybe that’s what makes it such a good educational site – it targets low end computers and doesn’t frighten low tech teachers. I’m not sure.

Science Buzz – Designwise this site pretty much nails the audience. It is SO 2.0 it is not funny – the font choice, rounded corners, boxes, colour schemes – FontShop would have a field day. But its not just pretty ‘now’ graphics, they’ve deeply integrated a lot of the ideas of social software and it seems to be working – comments, polls, etc all seems to be being used by actual visitors. This is a good site to keep in the back of our minds when we start building our upcoming ‘childrens’ portal/site.

Search-wise the New York Public Libary’s Digital Gallery is fantastic. They’ve implemented the ‘search history’ that we are using for our own OPAC 2.0 and Design Hub, and the interface is so intuitive. Obviously they have some very rich data to mine which helps.

Like the Australian Museum’s Birds In Backyards site – it too has really rich data to draw on. The site design is neat and clean, fast and again, nails the target audience. The survey form checkbox navigation is cute.

General Web 2.0 bookmarks

I’ve added the top 500 of our current shared bookmarks to the sidebar for ease of use.

You’ll probably need to still go and use our account to view them chronologically or navigate by tags.

But it saves on doubling up on lots of links.


bono, bush, blair, the pope and condy rock out

Mother Goose Rocks! is the creation of writer/director Richard Snee, based upon his stage play “Musical Mother Goose.” Hundreds of thousands of CDs have been sold worldwide and “Wheels On the Bus,” from Mother Goose Rocks! Volume 3, even landed on the British pop music charts in 2002 and was featured on the television show “Top of the Pops.” Mother Goose Rocks! music has also been featured in the U.S. television soap opera, “Guiding Light.” (We’re not sure why, but it was still an honor).

Mother Goose Rocks! Top 20 Music Video Countdown DVD, marks the first DVD release in this series. The music video cartoons are based on the award-winning Mother Goose Rocks! internet animations that have been enjoyed by young children, their parents, siblings and caregivers for over 4 years.

Thanks Michi for putting me onto this little beauty!


Australian Internet QOS

ACMA (Australian Communications and Media Authority) has a new report on quality of service for Australian internet and broadband connections.