The Association of Science – Technology Centers annual conference

louisville 09-50-12.jpgThe Association of Science-Technology Center’s (ASTC) annual conference starts this weekend, hosted by the Louisville Science Center (pictured right). This year I’m co-presenting, The Next Wave: Emerging Internet Technologies at Museums with Bryan Kennedy, Science Buzz (Science Museum of Minnesota) and Kevin von Appen, RedShift Now (Ontario Science Center). We all collaborated at the Museums and Web conference back in March where we presented the paper, Community Sites & Emerging Socialable Technologies.

While some of the topics are the same, there are new findings and ideas to report. Back in March there were only around 30 museum blogs, now there are 80 at last count in the Museum Blogs directory. While that is still not a lot of sites, it does equal about a half-dozen new museum blogs a month.

One area that we’ll spend more time talking about at the ASTC Conference is the concept of museum’s entering (colonizing?) existing social spaces. This week a came across a few posts from Zeke’s Gallery on Art Museums on Flickr and Art Museums on MySpace. At the same time I learned about Ontario Science Center posting videos on YouTube. While those of you outside of the museum world are wondering what’s the big deal. It is still rather unusual for a museum to establish a presence in these spaces, the vast majority of their web efforts our focused on their own sites. Trust continues to be an obstacle.

We’ll discuss the concept of radical trust. This was a hot topic first in the Library 2.0 world, and later in our own museum blogosphere (Fresh + New explored, Radical trust & Web 2.0 as well). Finally, it will be good to hear the latest on Science Buzz and RedShift Now they remain two of the more interesting Web 2.0 examples in the science museum field.

We’ve set up a Flickr pool for the conference so if you’re attending please join up. If you’re not, you can still check out the pool at: http://www.flickr.com/groups/astc2006

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