Above: Dan Zambonini of Box Uk and Jeremy Keith get ready to roll with the semantic waves
Jon Pratty, 24 Hour Museum Editor, was chairing the session on social software, also led by Jeremy Keith:
Before the seminar began we were standing outside just having a blank moment and people were saying: “well there isn’t any is there? Is any museum using semantic software at the moment?”
It seems that for many in the sector, using social software is not something that springs to mind: it feels to me, thinking about our technological challenge, that the general public are actually marching past us (in the museum sector) and their interests and activities, like MySpace, Flickr, and especially things like Flickr tagging are starting to become semantic in a way that we (in museums) would quite like to be – but we haven’t moved fast enough.
So my view on museums and social software is that we haven’t actually got started with it and as publishers, digital publishers, since digital publishing is really in its infancy in the museum sector, the museums sector in general isn’t really aware that there is all this stuff.
Do people in the museum sector realize that in Second Life there is cultural activity happening? Second Life being this place in the digital continuum where there is a whole cultural universe. So I think we’ve got a long way to go before we have social software in a museum context. What is it? What are the key, important, relevant applications? What are the technologies involved?
The morning session began with Jeremy talking about some of the questions raised by Jon. SWTT panel members then discussed at length and in depth the issues involved.