Archive for August, 2005

The Sound of Museums (revisited)

Sunday, August 28th, 2005

I wrote these a while ago, but I think they really belong here. After reading a report on how museum pay, particularly that of curators, has been falling begind that of comparable sectors, I was inspired to begin a parody of ‘Maria’ from the Sound of Music (suitably re-titled ‘Career’):
[The scene: a department of Museum [...]

Well adjusted

Wednesday, August 24th, 2005

One of the problems about material published on the web, as with other stuff done on computers (letters, exhibitions, articles for example), is that the possibility exists to endlessly and almost effortlessly continue tinkering with settings, layout or exact phraseology in the pursuit of some (probably) imaginary perfection. So I’ve spent the last ten minutes [...]

Master of all I survey

Wednesday, August 24th, 2005

Dylan was telling me the other day about online surveys that SMC had conducted, and it seemed to me that it had been comparatively expensive for them, involving as it did the use of an external contractor. I suspect that it’s actually the analysis of the surveys that’s the expensive bit though. Still, for anyone [...]

Perth marks

Monday, August 22nd, 2005

Almost, but not quite, just back from Electric Connections 2005 in Perth (I’ve had my dinner first), so some thoughts on the day.
My talk ‘Display it again, Sam’ went down quite well, which was a relief. Quite a lot of applause at the end, though whether that was because it was a good presentation or [...]

Intelligent Design

Thursday, August 18th, 2005

No, not that psuedo-scientific anti-evolution nonsense. I want to talk about design, and more specifically about graphic designers.
Why is it that graphic designers, whether they are working on exhibition panels, a booklet or other publication, or your new leaflet, or even (heaven forbid) a web site, just luurrvvv teeny, tiny text? I guess that they [...]

Work, rest and blog

Tuesday, August 16th, 2005

I’m not sure why I started this blog, other than to try out WordPress (which is really good, and really simple to set up). There is I suppose a bit of a risk in putting out a blog so closely related to my day job - well actually not so much close as joined at [...]

Whose lines are they anyway?

Saturday, August 13th, 2005

I’ve been thinking for a long while about ways in which I could be using technology to enhance access to museum collections and especially to open up possibilities for users / visitors / interested parties to use our material to create their own exhibitions / resources, with their own interpretive text. Some of these ideas [...]

100% wrong

Thursday, August 4th, 2005

I suppose this comes under the heading of the public understanding of science, but I’m really irritated by the current Ford Mondeo advert, especially the first line “Survival depends on the ability to evolve”.
Well, no, it doesn’t. In fact it could not be more wrong. Actually, “Evolution depends on the ability to survive.”

Would you accredit it?

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2005

Disappointingly, we won’t be the first in Britain to be accredited, as I read in the latest MJ (that’s Museums Journal, not the Municipal Journal) that a museum in Cornwall has achieved that honour. Still we may be in the first group in Scotland. Which is nice.
However - the entire scheme is still as focused [...]

…everything else is just hearsay

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2005

It’s refreshing to see more emphasis being placed on collections again by the Museums profession, though how long it will last is anyone’s guess. These things seem to go in cycles, but I suspect that it’s more to do with either boredom (we’ve done that kind of thing to death, let’s move on to something [...]