Saturday, April 18, 2009

Museum 2.0 Baselining

Nina Simon's Musuem 2.0's got a new post that baselines a lot of the on-going issues related to museums and social media. To read the blog post click here. Nina's observations are broad and significant. She also links to a colleague's blog:

Additionally, it was the second time that week alone that I first heard a piece of major news via news stories posted by friends. Not via television, a news website, or the paper. Facebook. And it hit me. I didn't need the Boston Globe anymore. Or the White County News. My friends were editing all the news I needed. No, not editing. Curating.
- Susie Wilkening
Reach advisors

Very interesting, but, um, "Ouch," on the whole Boston Globe thing, right? I mean what happens if all the news goes away and all that we are left with is the trading of Facebook's "5 Beers I Like" polls?

Clearly this is not what Wilkening is espousing and I think we are all profoundly curious and smart enough that inquisitive and positive intellectualism will thrive (note: see blogs like, um, Nina Simon's Musuem 2.0).

Further, all this is a good argument for museums, because they got all that stuff to curate, right? I mean wasn't it Solomon who said, "There's nothing new under the sun?"

The wise king Solomon said (Ecclesiastes 1:9) "There is nothing new under the sun." The meaning is that in the category of things "under the sun," in the physical world, nothing is truly new. Everything is just a new configuration of something which has already been done. However, our sages say "under the sun nothing is new, but above the sun, beyond the limitations of the physical world, everything is new." In the morning liturgy (in the blessings preceding the Sh'ma) we refer to G-d as "The One Who renews the creation every day constantly." Behind the scenes is constant renewal. What's new? Everything!

Text Copyright © 1996 Rabbi Dovid Green and Project Genesis, Inc.

And to quote Philippe de Montebello, who is referenced by the Brooklyn Museum's Will Cary (notorious creator of Brooklyn's 1st Fans) in a comment on Nina's post.

But in attempting to answer the question "why should we care?" [about museums] I'd like to suggest a final, more broadly significant lesson. It is mankind's awe-inspiring ability, time and again, to surpass itself. What this means is that no matter how bleak the times we may live in, we cannot wholly despair of the human condition.

- Philippe de Montebello,
from WSJ


Lynda Kelly said...

Hi James. Regarding the Facebook news aspect, I'm now geting my news and reading links via my Twitter colleagues. I still use Facebook for this too but have increasingly started to rely on Twitter as it's much faster and easier.

James G. Leventhal said...

agreed. and thanks for pointing this out.