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Powerhouse Object of the Week – a new behind the scenes blog

Another exciting thing we are launching today is our Object of the Week blog. It nicely complements our Photo of the Day which recently celebrated 500 posts!

We kick off Object of the Week with a profile of the project lead, curator Erika Dicker. Erika has chosen a favourite object from the collection – a prawn riding a bike, and her quirky tastes are also profiled in a quick Q&A.

Each week the blog will feature a new object and, until each curator has posted, a curator profile. We hope the blog will reveal some of the personalities behind the collection as well as many of the oddities and exciting objects that the public rarely gets to see. In coming weeks there will be video interviews and a whole lot more.

Museum blogging Other museum blogs (from Powerhouse Museum websites Young people & museums

What to do when it comes time to retire a museum blog? The end of Dragon & the Pearl

‘What to do when it comes time to retire a museum blog?’ has been a question that has been bouncing around for a few weeks.

Our Great Wall of China exhibition closed a few months ago and with it our Dragon & The Pearl blog. The dragon blog was always conceived of as an experiment in ‘public programme’ blogging – a blog attached to a time-specific, audience-specific event series. The problem, we discovered, was that once you start a blog like that the audience isn’t always just confined to those who are aware of the ‘public programme’ aspect – and we guess that a fairly large proportion of its readership may never have seem the dragon at the Museum. Of course, those who did see the dragon at the Museum were all told to go home and keep track of its progress on the blog and it is also likely that the children reading the blog may not have been aware of the time-limited nature of the project (I doubt many of them even thought of the dragon as ‘a project’ – judging from the ‘live’ appearances it was very real to a lot of them).

So how to let them down gently?

Well, after a few more public comments and questions came in over the past week or two, the Education and Visitor Services department have made their final concluding post to the blog.

We used the Comment Timeout plugin for WordPress to bulk-close commenting on all the old posts.

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Free Radicals interviews World Without Oil

Over on one of our other Powerhouse Museum blogs, Free Radicals interviews the makers of the interactive storytelling game World Without Oil.

Although short, the interview contains this –

FR: How do you suspect that the game nature of WWO will effect its ability to speak to the population at large?

Ken: Not very much. It’s a very accessible game. It’s very easy to play. People can participate by phone or email. The barrier to participation is deliberately very low.

This harks back to the key message of one of our recent workshops was strategy first, technology second. WWO is much less like a game than I had expected having read some of the pre-release media, and in many ways its low barriers to entry is what makes it work. That said, it is also what makes it more diffuse than expected – more like collaborative multi-threaded and distributed story generation actually – and I’ll be interested to see how it is tracking over the next few weeks.

MW2007 Other museum blogs (from

M&W07 – Day four: Cell phones and bookmarking

Again the Walker Art have delivered some great notes to three excellent final day presentations evaluating the use of cell phone tours in galleries, and the actual use of bookmarking technologies.

Read the papers from Kate Haley Goldman or understanding the inhibitors to cell phone tour use in galleries, and Nancy Proctor on the differences between US and UK cell phone users. Then check out Silvia Fillipini-Fantoni evaluating the use of various bookmarking technologies.

Walker Art summaries of the slides are available from Justin documenting the cell phone tours paper and Nate documenting the bookmarking paper.