2007 - OK, so everyone has their pile of resolutions for the new year. Mine, it seems, did not include being on time. Twenty-two days into 2007, it is time to get back on the ball - or the blog. My news years resolution, slightly tardy, is to ramp up my efforts of blogging on technologies in the cultural sector.
In 2006, I focused primarlily on technology assisting the administrative functions of Museums and libraries; marketing, PR and fundraising. There is certainly more space to explore those topcs here - and I will continue to do so in 2007. But, I've been ignoring the elephant in the room; of greater interest is the growth of web 2.0 technologies in the diffusement of content and community. Can web 2.0 be a solution to improve the dispersement and dialogue surrounding cultural capital in the public sector?
Let's explore, we're already running late...
Tech Trends For 2007
- Skype - Can you imagine reference services on demand? Distance-learning and lecturing to underserved populations? A curator on-call for students in Hong Kong, Johannesburg, New Orleans... I'm just waiting for a development department to request funding for this type of service. Bricks and mortar are great for capital campaigns but at some point, the right donor is going to ask why funding projects for dynamic web services aren't being explored.
- Flickr - Community image-tagging and posting (the Brooklyn Museum is already getting their feet wet - Link).
- YouTube - What? Treadmills and trampolines? How could this help the ballett or modern dance? Its the platform stupid. Eyes to see great coreography. Gallery tours made easy. Google can't keep this platform streaming forever. Sooner or later it will be available to download individual videos - watch out!
- Digg - Community-driven news. Museums and performing arts groups draw millions of visitors a year with blockbuster exhibitions but community dialogue and review have not kept pace. Look for institutions relying on word of mouth to harness new avenues for getting noticed.
- MySpace - The music and social networking site has gotten a bad press of late with its lack of community policing and soft privacy and security protections. What still stands out though is the rising of "alternates to email". Email is dead. We are witnessing the rise of RSS and hosted messaging services where only the invited can play. MySpace for all its faults, is a widely used platform for invitation-only messages and data-mined advertisements.
- Blogs - Old news you say. True. But I can count on two hands the number of major institutions in the United States that have implemented blogs as part of their PR/outreach and education programming. Link Budgets might be tight, but I think this is still the unexplored frontier.
- CoRegistration - Pay Attention. New ways to connect to mavens and links. Any annual fundraisers that tells you Direct Mail is going to be where it is now in a decade is not paying attention. The Chronicle of Philanthropy (subscription required) and the eBenchmarks survey both boast of the rapid growth and reliance of online donations and community building in the non-profit sector. It isn't 2.0 but it is an emerging trend to monitor for non-profits of all shapes and sizes.