National Digital Forum: Day 1

tepapa.jpgMuseum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa is hosting the Digital Forum here in the capital city of Wellington. It’s a beautiful space, although honestly, I haven’t had as much time as I would have liked to check out the exhibits (perhaps today). From what I’ve seen the museum contains a mix of art and artifacts with a focus of the taonga (“treasures” in the Maori language) of New Zealand. They also have a Kid’s Zone which contains hands-on exhibits and programs for early learners.

The first day of the Digital Forum focused mostly on collections and archives. I presented the keynote, Museums and the Web 2.0 in the morning and then caught a few of the sessions later in the day. I missed a few sessions and haven’t have much time to blog as my luggage (with my camera) showed up three days late! So that’s kept me rather busy.

In the morning I saw Virginia Gow from the National Library of New Zealand present on Matapihi, which allows visitors to search for multimedia (mostly photos) from across heritage collections.

In afternoon, there a was a session that focused on various Maori information initiatives. Te Anau Tuiono presented his experiences at on the UN World Summit on the Information Society in Tunis in 2005. He talked about the importance of including the needs of indigenous peoples into a UN Declaration. Teanau Tuiono also mentioned someone closer to home, he cited a summit address entitled, “Information is not Knowledge” by Joe Shirely Jr. (the PDF is here) who is the President of The Navajo Nation.

In the same session, Haami Piripi from the Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Maori (The Maori Language Commission) shared with us an amazing open source Maori dictionary, The idea of this unique database is ensure that the Maori language is one of use. As Haami explained the Maori language is still in danger, as the strongest Maori speakers tend to be older and geographically dispersed.

Today, there are a number of interesting sessions with more of a museum focus. I will post some of the highlights from these presentations soon.


5 thoughts on “National Digital Forum: Day 1

    geoffcrane on said :
  1. G’day Jim,

    Welcome back to the southern hemisphere!

    Te Papa is one of my favourite museums – Helen and I have been lucky enough to have visited there twice, in 2001 and 2004. The galleries are beautifully presented and the range of exhibits and artifacts impressvie.

    I hope the keynote went well.


  2. Thanks Geoff. The speech went well. I will probably blog on some of the topics when I get back . I actually was closer than you think, I made an unscheduled stop in Sydney (for a couple hours) when I missed a flight in San Francisco.

    I agree, the galleries are fantastic at Te Papa. I had bit more time today to check things out. I can see why its one of your favorites.

  3. Hey it’s a shame you couldn’t have stayed to watch some cricket…

    See you in April in SF at MW2007!?!

    Enjoy your time in Wellington. It’s a beautiful city.

  4. ‘as a first time attendee at this local event (at Te Papa) I was extremely impressed by the whole thing – the organisation, the presentations and the content.
    It strikes me that this web 2.0 stuff is the third age of museums.
    I would define the first age as static displays, the second age as mechanical display inter-action and the third age as virtual inter-action.
    And what a serendipitous (?sp) time it could prove to be as the public mold the facilities to their own understanding and thinking – whether it be name tags for the MMA or tile designs for the V&A.
    The unanswered question, however – what’s to become of all this virtual information? Is there going to be a blank in history from 1995 – 2010 of all the websites that have grown, flourished and died without trace?
    Phil Caton

  5. Phil,
    Thanks for the comments, you bring up some excellent points. I think there is an interesting parallel between the first age of static displays and Web 1.0. One could argue that the participatory sites of Web 2.0 mirror the development of interactive exhibits that we saw in late 1960s and 70s.

    As for how we view the Web 1.0 sites “that have grown, flourished and died without (a) trace.” In my course at UVIC we looked at some early and influential Web sites and found a few of them unviewable due to outdated technology (strange plug ins, weird javascript, etc.)–so it is already happening!