I’ve been doing a bunch of talks recently and several folks asked me to write them up rather than let them stay ephemeral moments. This shift to the ephemeral in ‘museum project storytelling’ mirrors the wider shift from 2000s era blogs to less persistent 2010s social media - and suffers from the same long term problems. The recordings of talks are everywhere and unsatisfactory at the same time, even if transcribed verbatim.
In light of that, here’s a rough amalgam of two different talks that skirted around the challenges for digital staff and skills in museums - and how its different now, to a decade a go, to two decades ago. On one hand the complexity of systems, technologies, and their baked-in politics is even greater and more opaque; and on the other hand the in-house skills, deep craft, and at the very same time they are most needed. This is not just a ‘museum problem’ but common across all the culture industries, public sector, and dare I say, the business world too.