How do I feel when I think, you ask? Depends on the thinking. The best thinking happens once I’ve settled into the work, and twitches that pull me out of my…

Read More Going with the flow

Living the Dreams

I just returned from a lunch in which I decried a local news station’s tendency to call their weather forecast a “futurecast,” when the future is (in my mind) kind…

Read More Futurecasting is fun

New Media Faculty-Staff seminar

New Media Faculty-Staff seminar

Digital humanities Libraries Museums

I have followed the developments of the One Week | One Tool project with great interest over the past seven days.  Like everybody else, I’m very curious to see what…

Read More On building singular worlds



We live and work in a 2.0 world*: Web 2.0, Library 2.0, Museum 2.0, Classroom 2.0, Chocolate 2.0, Pepsi Bottling 2.0, 2.0 2.0, etc., etc., etc. Everybody’s got their own definition of what makes 2.0 different from what came before. 2.0 means “collaborative to the extreme” or “latest technology” or “easier to use” or “user-centered” or “interoperable” or “hip and now–you know, like groovy.”

For me, there is one core characteristic for “2.0” in the web, library, and museum worlds in which I live, move, and have my being: 2.0 = the lowering of barriers.

On the web, the main barrier to participation is code. So barrier-surmounting technologies include blogs and Twitter and WYSIWYG website editors–anything characterized by its ability to get users up and running as participants in the conversation without a lot of effort (read: coding).  Ajax, CSS, XML–these things, while critical behind the scenes for many a 2.0 tool, are not themselves 2.0.**  They are not intuitive; they do not lower the barriers between average user and participation.  YouTube and Flickr and their simple interfaces do.

For museums, the big barrier is between the public and the institution as monolith.  It is that fabled voice of authority that so often gets in the way of public participation. The conversation has too often (until more recent years) been very much one-way, with the public seen as supplicants at the Temple of Knowledge: lucky to be there and expected to be quiet and take what is given them by those who know better than they.

Read More The walls are tumbling down: my 2.0 world

Libraries Museums

A week after the event, I have time to catch my breath a bit.  Last weekend I attended THATCamp, an unconference on the digital humanities hosted by the Center for…

Read More Themes from THATCamp

Conferences Digital humanities

Digital frontier