UK Museums on the Web and the Jodi Awards 2009

I’ve just returned to the office from London where I spent yesterday at the V&A for the UK Museums on the Web 2009 conference and the Jodi Awards. Despite the crack of dawn flight and arriving unfashionably late – luckily I already know about the BBC History of the World project and am hoping to ensure as many members as possible contribute to the website next year – it was a great day. From large scale, high profile projects such as the one above, to innovative projects making use of existing social media platforms like ‘Wikipedia loves Art’ which looks like a great opportunity for museums to get involved on a more collaborative level with Wikipedia and their audiences.

The theme of the day was ‘The everyday web: situated, sensory and social’ which provided the framework for topics from using social media to work with young people, to QR codes and proximity services to how museums can utilise games to engage audiences. A constant throughout the day, to which we are now accustomed, was the background taps and occasional beeps as participants engaged with the speakers – a flurry of tweets accompanying each question raised, while bloggers provided a varied and thought-provoking commentary. To get a sense of the day see #ukmw09 on Twitter.

The last session of the conference focused on the accessibility of digital culture and provided the bridge to the evening’s Jodi awards event. Helen Petrie, Professor of Human Computer Interaction and Christopher Power, both from the University of York, talked about the increasing complexities of web accessibility, corresponding to the increasingly complex demands of how people interact with the web. The Jodi awards themselves showcased an inspiring and hugely varied selection of projects – see the website for the shortlists and winners. Being at the awards made me realise just how important it is to support tackling the challenge of producing accessible digital culture and the fantastic results that can be achieved if we do.

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