Museums are looking for successful ways to engage new audiences and create communities of interest, on the internet and through mobile technologies. Crowd sourced projects are one means to accomplish these goals and there are many inspiring, useful and playful projects out there.

We’re proposing an unconference session that looks at a handful of successful examples to see how they are relevant to museums, and challenges the group to come up with other creative, productive approaches that are inherent to the strengths of their institutions.

We plan to review several types of crowd sourced projects, such as those in which:

1. people create/provide a unique artwork, photo, comment or piece of writing to contribute to a single larger whole:

2. People collectively re-use materials:

  • Natalie Jeremijenko’s feral robot dog project where she teaches people in workshops to hack disposed-of robot pets and turn them into environmental toxin sniffers, where they then create toxin maps of their local environments:

3. People contribute skills, expertise and time,

4. People contribute to citizen science projects

5. People actively collect data for public use:

6. People using public data to create useful maps and tools, as in:

As a result of the conversation on mining the wisdom of the crowd, we could also do just that within our own community. We could consider setting up a crowdsourced research/resource project where people could contribute recommendations of successful projects or ideas for projects!

Links to projects shown on slides

Link to notes about the conversation in the session.

Session Info
Type: Unconference session
Keywords: crowdsourcing, community, creativity, social networking, user generated content
Relevance: Curators, Digital Media or Interpretive Technology staff, Marketing & PR. The relevance lies in the concept of crowd sourced projects to help museums build community, be places or provide content that people use, not just visit (to borrow a term from Nina Simon!)