Back in 2006, when we started blogging, we weren’t really sure where it would lead. At the time, we were interested in Web 2.0 technology and how it might be best used by the museum field. Five years, 259 posts, and 3,561 comments later, the changes we’ve seen to both the web and the museum fields have been dramatic.
In March of 2006, we conducted a survey of museum blogs and community sites and found 26 sites, most of them begun within a few months of the survey. Blogging in the museum world was so new that the LA Times did a story on museum blogs that summer. In 2007, we conducted a follow up survey and I co-authored a paper for Museums and the Web with Seb Chan from the Powerhouse Museum. We found 111 museum blogs. In 2008, we stopped counting.
Blogging and the next wave of social media are now commonplace and today most museums use these technologies in one way or another. Back in 2006, it required “Radical Trust” for museums to get involved with social media.
Since 2006, Ideum has undergone some major changes too. When I wrote that first blog post, we had just moved to New Mexico, we had four employees and most of the work we did was focused around Web development. We still do Web development today, but we are also involved in a number of other pursuits.
We develop many more exhibits for the floor than we did back in 2006. We’ve created mobile applications for the iPhone and we are working on one for Android right now. We’ve released GestureWorks, a commercial multitouch software package, and we have a line of hardware products too. We are involved in a number of government-sponsored educational projects; we’re currently working with both NASA and NOAA and running the Open Exhibits project, which started just last September and is supported by NSF. From radical trust to radical change.
Thanks for reading.