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Smithsonian and Powerhouse doing some linking up

May 2, 2011 in Uncategorized

Great news to hear that Luke Dearnley, web manager at the Powerhouse Museum (Sydney, Australia), has been invited to join the LOD-LAM summit! Luke, and Dan Collins (IT Manager, Powerhouse Museum)

From left, Luke, Dan Collins (IT Manager, Powerhouse Museum), Suzanne Pilsk (Smithsonian Libraries), Günter Waibel (Smithsonian, Office of the Chief Information Officer), Thorny Staples (Smithsonian, Office of the Chief Information Officer), Thorny Staples. As usual, I'm reflected in the window taking the picture!

Smithsonian and Powerhouse staff link up

visited the Smithsonian on their way home from Museums and the Web. We had a great conversation around a lot of topics and I’m really exicted that the convesation can continue with Luke in San Francisco.

From left, Luke, Dan Collins (IT Manager, Powerhouse Museum), Suzanne Pilsk (Smithsonian Libraries), Günter Waibel (Smithsonian, Office of the Chief Information Officer), Thorny Staples (Smithsonian, Office of the Chief Information Officer), Thorny Staples. As usual, I’m reflected in the window taking the picture!

Smithsonian Information, Smithsonian linked open data?

April 13, 2011 in Uncategorized

2011.03.31-IMG_2045We’re continuing our discussions here at the Smithsonian about what we can do to  make our data accessible in a linked, open manner. The other day I had some discussions with the staff at the Smithsonian American Art Museum (SAAM) about some possible projects that we can do that will have a short gestation time.

Looking forward to sharing more at the summit.

Smithsonian staff talking linked data

March 29, 2011 in Uncategorized

Smithsonian Staffers

Smithsonian Staffers

Smithsonian staff are doing some planning around the LOD-LAM summit. Today, a group of us met to talk about projects, data sets, and such. We’ll have more of these sessions to talk about what’s up and what’s happening so that participants can know what kinds of things the Smithsonian will have to offer.

Pictured above, from left, Suzanne Pilsk and Keri Thompson (Smithsonian Libraries), Günter  Waible (Digitization Program Office), Michael Edson (Web and New Media Strategy), Effie Kapsalis (Smithsonian Archives). I’m the reflection in the window.

What the lod-lam? You drive me crazy…

March 27, 2011 in Uncategorized

In the blur that life/work seems these days I am trying to get my thoughts and energies focused for the LOD-LAM summit in San Francisco in June.

my-first-lightening-shot by WindRanch by-nc-nd 2.0

my-first-lightening-shot by WindRanch by-nc-nd 2.0

Aside being pretty excited about visiting a hilly shaky waterfront city like my home town of Wellington (Aotearoa/New Zealand) where DigitalNZ lives – the gallery/museum fiend in me is keen get to the SF MOMA and the CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts and the Computer History Museum (if I can find a way to get to Mountain View).

I had a ‘funny’ as in “what the?” experience recently in relation to the semantic web. Idealism and talking within your own peer community has its pitfalls (read: group think).  I learned that not everyone is interested and/or committed to the idea of a semantic web (still) – and well – it surprised me.  I guess I’m used to the critique and/or close observation of the social web (which is good to have).  For some reason I thought this debate about the quirks of humanity and the  semantic web had gone quiet.  I’ve been behind the scenes for a while working towards delivering a useful, informative and potentially engaging experience online in the GLAM sector (LAM) and advocating for a linked data approach where possible.  So – this skepticism really surprised me – I view web development as a socio-technological phenomenon and I think it’s self evident that social behaviours will leave their imprint on and be imprinted on by new technologies.

In any case, I figure the grand vision and theory is one thing and the current reality quite another.  But I’m intrigued enough now to want to do some background reading (or be in receipt of pearls of wisdom from kindly boffins) to be disabused of my idealism.  Why?  Well I’m seeing linked open data (LOD) as a no-brainer and the idea of a semantic web as just that, an idea in the making.   What I’m taking from this is that not only is there practice/culture change involved, there is tradition, opinion and academic research… oh no!  Oh yes!  I think I’ve found my lod-lam mojo in all this pondering… I’m outing myself as a realist and a socio-technologist… eeek!

Anyway, my Mum sent me a link to this piece by Sherry Turckle Alone Together: Why We Export More From Technology and Less From Each Other which is tilting in a different direction but it also got me thinking about what drives me to push for a stronger linked data approach.  What drives me is to build systems and use technology to work effectively in a space that I used to work in as a research librarian years ago – so that time is freed up to do other work or meet new and/or expanding needs of researchers.  I also want to help advocate for ways that the GLAM (LAM) community can work more effectively together with linked data because it drives me (and other information or data seekers of all disciplinary stripes) crazy that they don’t.

I’m really looking forward to this summit… and to meeting up with people at LOD-LAM… and contributing.

Short delay in notifications

March 7, 2011 in Uncategorized

Please bear with us, but there will be a short delay before all notifications are sent out. We’re anticipating all notifications will be out before Wednesday March 9, but we’re working hard to accommodate as many people as possible.