Category Archives: TV

Learn about the latest heritage-related digital resources in our video netcast

Voices TV: Featuring the Library of Congress’ Flickr Strategy

[TRANSCRIPT]

Welcome to Voices of the Past. I’m Jeff Guin.

We’ll have that interview in a moment, but first here’s an update from our website.

One of the most effective ways to promote heritage sites and activities is through photography. We all treasure old photographs as windows to another time. Today, the web offers several methods for sharing images that can help you convey a sense of place … in a social way.

Right now on the Voices of the Past website, you can find an overview on getting started with Flickr, the web’s most popular site dedicated to photosharing. Whether you’re looking to start your own Flickr stream, or engage with someone else’s historic photos, we’ll give you the links and resources to begin.

The Library of Congress is one organization that’s used Flickr effectively for historic photos. In fact, it was one of the first — and most successful — social media partnerships by a U.S. federal agency. I was fortunate to visit the Library of Congress and speak with Michelle Springer and Helena Zinkham, who headed up this project. And here’s a little of their fascinating story about how we all benefit when government engages in the spirit of openness.

[interview]

And we’d like to thank Michelle and Helena for taking the time to visit with us. It was thrilling for me personally to tour the Library of Congress and meet so many good people who are working to preserve our heritage. Now, we have that full interview on the Voices of the Past audio podcast. You can find that on our website, along with a full transcript.

Voices of the Past is starting its own Flickr project — and we’re hoping you’ll be a part of it. All you have to do is share photos from your favorite heritage site or project at the Voices of the Past Group page on Flickr. Just add a description about why the subject of your photo is important to you, and we might pick it as our background image for a future netcast. If you like, we’ll share your story as well.

Thanks so much for joining us for this edition of the Voices of the Past netcast. Until next time, we’ll see you online!

Additional Flickr-related podcast: Picturing preservation tech online with Cultural Heritage Imaging

(Background image “Under the Ancient Skies” by Trey Ratcliff)

Video Netcast: Jennifer Souers Chevraux on making museums relevant in the digital age

Jennifer helps museums and cultural organizations engage their audiences by developing compelling experiences and using new media to cultivate a new generation of patrons. To gain more insight from Jennifer, listen to our extended audio podcast.

Netcast background image courtesy of Trey Ratcliff of the Stuck in Customs website.

If you would like your favorite heritage site featured as our background image, share it at the Voices of the Past Flickr Group. If you have a story about how you are working to protect the site, share it in the image description, along with how you or your organization can be found on social media. If we use your image, we’ll also share your story!

Video Netcast: Kaitlin O’Shea blogs the preservation world in pink

In this edition of the Voices of the Past Netcast, we meet Kaitlin O’Shea. Kaitlin is the creator of the Preservation in Pink blog and newsletter. She will explain how the iconic pink flamingo, and a group of bloggy friends, have helped her find her voice to take the conversation about historic preservation to a wider audience. Also features posts: Exploring Archaeology on the Social Web and Shawn Graham of the Electric Archaeology blog.

Video Netcast: Folklorist Dale Jarvis talks about storytelling on the social web

Tease: Coming up in this edition of the Voices of the Past Netcast, we’ll meet Dale Jarvis. Dale is a folklorist and storyteller who is pioneering ways to share his art with new generations using online media. He experiments with traditional storytelling methods using social tools like Twitter, Facebook, podcasts and even Second Life. He’ll talk about the timelessness of storytelling and how you can still communicate the power of place through the web.
Thanks for joining us. I’m Jeff Guin. We’ll have that interview in a moment. First, here are a couple of briefs about the heritage world online.
—————————————————-
An online magazine dedicated to conservation science is welcoming a new feature. E-Conservation is now featuring a regular column by conservator and blogger Daniel Cull. Now, Dan tells us his articles will discuss conservation-related news and controversial issues.
[Cull Soundbite]
According to its publishers, the objective of e-Conservation features news, events, and scientific articles from around the world. The magazine features items about conservation of detached mural paintings in Portugal and wood science for conservation of cultural heritage. In addition to the magazine, the e-Conservation website features internships and job opportunities, and an online forum.
Now, you can learn more about Dan and his personal conservation blog by reading our interview with him at the Voices of the Past website as well.
—————————————————-
Trees are among the least-understood historic features, often removed because of safety fears or to make way for new construction.
A 170-year-old tree is still standing thanks to the power of the internet. The osage-orange tree is the lone survivor of a hedgerow planted in KeeWanEEE, Illinois circa 1840. The concept was promoted by Illinois College professor Jonathan Baldwin Turner and became the shelterbelt system saving America’s soils from the Dust Bowl of the 1930s. Because of its significance, Illinois arborist Guy Sternberg mobilized his online contacts to preserve the tree.
Sternberg learned of the tree’s fate just days before its scheduled removal. Within a 48-hour period, the city received dozens of e-mails from arborists, forestry professors, and other professionals contributing their expert opinions and support. Others from across the country offered the city donations and technical assistance to help preserve the tree.
The campaign branched out into other forms of electronic communication as well, including blogs and podcasts. In the end, the efforts paid off and the tree was saved. If you would like to contribute to the tree’s continuing preservation, you can donate via the PayPal link at its Facebook fan page.
——————————————————
Intro: In a world that communicates 140 characters at a time, Dale Jarvis has found a way to keep the storytelling tradition alive. In fact, he’s broadening the world of storytelling through creative uses of web-based tools.
Dale is the Intangible Cultural Heritage development officer for Newfoundland, Canada. And when he’s not sharing ghost stories and legends with community groups, he might be found in Secondlife sharing stories around a virtual campfire. Or collaborating with others to tell stories on Twitter.
I spoke to Dale Jarvis recently, and here’s what he had to say about how he captures the essence of the oral tradition while adapting it to new media.
Now, Dale just published his first book “Ghostly Ballerinas.” He was also involved in organizing the Place, Narrative and New Media conference, a half-day symposium on how new technologies are being incorporated into storytelling. We have links to Dale’s blog at our shownotes site. While you’re there, check out our extended audio podcast with Dale.
That’s it for this edition of the Voices of the Past netcast. Until next time, we’ll see you online.
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http://www.e-conservationline.com/component/option,com_frontpage/Itemid,1/
http://web.archive.org/web/20130301234209/http://ncptt.nps.gov/speedy-e-mails-save-a-historic-tree-in-illinois/

Transcript Intro: Coming up in this edition of the Voices of the Past Netcast, we’ll meet Dale Jarvis. Dale is a folklorist and storyteller who is pioneering ways to share his art with new generations using online media. He experiments with traditional storytelling methods using social tools like Twitter, Facebook, podcasts and even Second Life. He’ll talk about the timelessness of storytelling and how you can still communicate the power of place through the web.

Thanks for joining us. I’m Jeff Guin. We’ll have that interview in a moment. First, here are a couple of briefs about the heritage world online.

E-Conservation Magazine

An online magazine dedicated to conservation science is welcoming a new feature. E-Conservation is now featuring a regular column by conservator and blogger Daniel Cull. Dan tells us his articles will discuss conservation-related news and controversial issues.

[Dan Cull Soundbite]

E-conservation is an open-access magazine produced by and for the international conservation community. Issue 12 features the first edition of my regular column as a permanent collaborator. For our previous collaborations, we developed a good working relationship and I was delighted to accept this position. The column will cover topical, controversial or otherwise interesting topics in the field of conservation. My hope is that it will foster dialog that will in turn feed back into the magazine.

[Dan Cull Soundbite Ends]

According to its publishers, the objective of e-Conservation features news, events, and scientific articles from around the world. The magazine features items about conservation of detached mural paintings in Portugal and wood science for conservation of cultural heritage. In addition to the magazine, the e-Conservation website features internships and job opportunities, and an online forum.

You can learn more about Dan and his personal conservation blog by reading our interview with him at the Voices of the Past website as well.

E-mail Saves a Tree

Trees are among the least-understood historic features, often removed because of safety fears or to make way for new construction.

A 170-year-old tree is still standing thanks to the power of the internet. The osage-orange tree is the lone survivor of a hedgerow planted in Kewanee, Illinois circa 1840. The concept was promoted by Illinois College professor Jonathan Baldwin Turner and became the shelterbelt system saving America’s soils from the Dust Bowl of the 1930s. Because of its significance, Illinois arborist Guy Sternberg mobilized his online contacts to preserve the tree.

Sternberg learned of the tree’s fate just days before its scheduled removal. Within a 48-hour period, the city received dozens of e-mails from arborists, forestry professors, and other professionals contributing their expert opinions and support. Others from across the country offered the city donations and technical assistance to help preserve the tree.

The campaign branched out into other forms of electronic communication as well, including blogs and podcasts. In the end, the efforts paid off and the tree was saved. If you would like to contribute to the tree’s continuing preservation, you can donate via its Facebook fan page.

Dale Jarvis, Folklorist/Storyteller

In a world that communicates 140 characters at a time, Dale Jarvis has found a way to keep the storytelling tradition alive. In fact, he’s broadening the world of storytelling through creative uses of web-based tools.

Dale is the Intangible Cultural Heritage development officer for Newfoundland, Canada. And when he’s not sharing ghost stories and legends with community groups, he might be found in Secondlife sharing stories around a virtual campfire. Or collaborating with others to tell stories on Twitter.

Here’s what Dale had to say about how he captures the essence of the oral tradition while adapting it to new media.

[Interview]

Dale Jarvis: As a storyteller, one thing that people ask me all the time is is storytelling dying. You know, is this a dying art? And I really believe that things are always in a constant state of evolution. I think traditions are always changing, and I think that the rise of things like YouTube indicate that people are really passionate about storytelling. They really want to share their own personal stories.

So, it is sort of a really great democratization of storytelling in a way. Maybe people don’t sit around and tell the long form fairy tales in quite the same way that they used to, but people are incredibly interested in sharing their own personal stories and creating stories and sharing them.

So I am fascinated by sites like YouTube because I think it does indicate that their is this human desire to share stories. That storytelling is something that is something that is really important to us as a species. Everyone wants to share their story in some way.

I think technologies, like cell phones, are something that we are going to see more and more get used for some of this stuff, especially like the iPhone. Especially with the GPS capabilities, and I mentioned before that I am real interested in place-based narratives, place-based storytelling. I think that we are going to see more and more of this type of stuff.

One of the projects I am involved with right now is a project that was started in Toronto called Murmur. The murmur project started off as an art project in downtown Toronto, where people collected local stories told by local people, they recorded those stories, they put them all online.

So there is a map of the neighborhood and you can go to the site and click on the little dot and listen to a person tell the story about that particular location. But then if you actually go to the street and walk down the street, there is a little sign on the street with a phone number and a six-digit code, so you can take your cell phone and dial the number, punch in the six-digit code and listen to the person tell their story on that spot.

And this a project that started in Toronto, it’s moved across Canada. There are now projects in South Pablo and Brazil, there’s projects in Scotland and Ireland, and we are starting up a similar project here in Newfoundland.

I think that that has great potential. That these sort of cell phone based stories and sort of using new technologies to get local stories and local traditions and local knowledge out to a wider public are going to be very, very popular.

I know places like the Appellation Trail and national historic sites in the United Kingdom are starting to experiment with GPS based narrative-type devices, so you can have your iPhone and walk around the site and listen to different types of stories. And I think we are going to see a lot more of that type of stuff happening more in the very, very near future.

Jeff Guin: Storytelling is evolving. There are different ways of telling a story now, and I actually noticed that one of the things you are involved with is using Twitter to tell a story. Tell us a little bit more about that.

Dale Jarvis: Yes, Twitter is one of these things that you have to sort of boil down to something to a very little short sort of thing.

So storytellers are sort of used to waxing poetic and telling these long stories. I can tell stories as a storyteller, you know, sort of those long fairy tales that take 30 minutes 45 minutes to tell, and I know storytellers who can tell one story that can last three hours.

So Twitter sort of forces you to rethink how you approach a story. I have told stories on Twitter. As part of a storytelling festival I was involved with, I actually told a long-form story just 100 characters at a time in over the course of a week.

So people could sort of follow my tweets and then read the whole story as I posted it. But I think that there is also the potential to use Twitter as well to share some tiny little stories.

There are some great little websites. There is one called Twistory, which is sort of one of these sites that collects all the things that people are putting as updates on Twitter and post them under different categories. So you can find everything someone hates or loves at a certain moment or what they believe in at a certain moment. And they are fascinating.

Dale Jarvis

It is maybe not sort of narrative storytelling in the way that we think of it, but it is sort of a remarkable insight on into current moods and how people are perceiving their own little personal worlds.

[Interview Ends]

Now, Dale just published his first book about Ghostly Ballerinas. He was also involved in organizing the Place, Narrative and New Media conference, a half-day symposium on how new technologies are being incorporated into storytelling. We have links to Dale’s blog at our shownotes site. While you’re there, check out our extended audio podcast with Dale.

That’s it for this edition of the Voices of the Past netcast. Until next time, we’ll see you online.

Voices of the Past Video Netcast: Genealogy Gems’ Lisa Louise Cooke on establishing roots in the social web

Coming up in this edition of the Voices of the Past Netcast, we’ll meet Lisa Louise Cooke. Lisa created and maintains Genealogy Gems–one of the world’s most popular genealogy websites. She’ll tell us about the learning curve involved in using online media, and how she uses the web to create a deeper connection to her audience.

Thanks for joining us. I’m Jeff Guin. We’ll have that interview in a moment. First, here are a couple of briefs about heritage in the online world.

National Parks on Expedia

Expedia is partnering with the National Park Foundation on a new Web site to help travelers enjoy their trips to U.S. national parks a little more.

The site at includes downloadable park maps and other content from the National Park Foundation, as well as information about lodging options outside the parks.

The content also includes suggestions for long weekend itineraries with stops at national park sites in Colorado, Texas and Michigan, and a series of stories called “Can’t-Miss National Parks.” The first five parks featured in the “Can’t-Miss” series are the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Glacier, Olympic and Yosemite.

The timing of the Web site launch was designed to coincide with the airing of Ken Burns’ new documentary on public television, “The National Parks: America’s Best Idea.”

Virtual Museum of Iraq

Italy is putting the Baghdad museum online.

The Virtual Museum of Iraq is designed to make some of the world’s most important artifacts accessible to everyone.

The site offers visitors the chance to walk through eight virtual halls and admire works from the prehistoric to the Islamic period, while videoclips reconstruct the history of the country’s main cities.

The site is available in Arabic, English and Italian.

Visitors can rotate some objects in the virtual museum to get an almost 360 degree view.

Italy contributed one million euros and provided expert staff to help restore the museum, creating a restoration laboratory in Baghdad and overhauling the museum’s Assyrian and Islamic galleries.

Present-day Iraq lies on the site of ancient Mesopotamia between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers and the Baghdad museum boasts one of the best collections of ancient artfacts in the world.

Around 15,000 of the museum’s relics were carried off during a 48-hour looting spree in 2003 in the wake of the US invasion.

While around 6,000 works have been returned, many other pieces are still missing.

The Baghdad Museum Project is looking for international partners to help with its four-part plan to help save the museum. The program hopes to establish an online catalog to help locate the artifacts from the Baghdad museum.

It would also like to create collaborative workspace within the virtual Baghdad Museum, to allow international teams to work together.

Featured Voice of the Past: Lisa Louise Cooke
October is family history month in the U.S. And to celebrate, we’re featuring one of genealogy’s most prolific and beloved web personalities.

Lisa Louise Cooke has been passionate about family history since she was a child, looking at old family scrapbooks with her grandmother.  Since then, she’s turned that passion into a career.

She is the producer and host of the popular  Genealogy Gems Podcast, an audio and video genealogy show available in iTunes.

Additionally, she hosts the monthly Family Tree Magazine Podcast and videocasts for Family History Expos. I spoke to Lisa Louise Cooke recently, and here’s what she had to say about how she learned to use social media tools to promote genealogy.

[INTERVIEW BEGINS]
Cooke: I think it wasn’t difficult because I was so passionate about it. It’s like when it hits you, this is the right way to go, this is the right medium, I know what my message is then it was like, there aren’t enough hours in the day. And so for 30 days I think I was doing it around the clock just eating up everything I could find in just terms of how do you podcast, how do you hook the computer up, where do you get a mic, how do you set up a blog, and I was constantly–if I wasn’t podcasting or setting things up myself, I was out running around and doing arraigns  and listening to other people on podcasts explain how to do it. And that’s why I think that within the month I was able to get it up and running. But the ideas have been formulating for a long time, and it is kind of the classic story of you can look back and your life and say, “Wow. Everything I have been doing up to this point has been about getting ready to do this.” Because everything from my theatrical background to producing videos to being on a television show and learning about interviewing, my passion for family histories, some of the teaching opportunities I had had in small class settings, all came together and it was like, “This is the time, this is the moment where it all gels.”

Guin: So here’s a scenario: Someone’s watching this and they’re inspired, and they are developing their own sense of mission, and they want to involve new media in it. What advice would you have for that person? How do they get started?

Cooke: Education. Educating yourself and know that there are a lot of free options out there to educate yourself. I mean there are some great books and things, but life keeps going on and you want to try to get as up to speed as possible as quickly as you can. I tapped into a lot of podcasts, I just went in there and I did key word searches on how do you do this, how do you do that, video, podcasts, whatever. And I would typically find somebody who had great information. So constantly educating yourself, thinking about what your message is. You really can’t be everything to everybody. In fact, I was just interviewing a blogger on my family podcast, and she was saying, “You know, you can’t be so and so, they are already there, you know? Don’t try to mimic somebody else, but take what your strengths are and use that. And then decide what the focus of your message is. And also one thing I have just been using lately when I wrote my courses for the university was YouTube. People, particularly older folks, tend to get nervous about going onto YouTube because there is a lot of stuff out there that they don’t want to see. I’m with them on that, but if you use that search box you will be able to hone right into what you are looking for and you bypass all that stuff. And so when I was looking for these different topics that I was writing about, I would go out and throw a key word out into YouTube and I would find somebody who produced a video about it and I got a little snippet here and there, and I was able to reference that and give that to my students. My gosh, I just took up knitting. Couldn’t figure out how to do a yarn over and I went and put up “knitting yarn over,” and there was somebody showing me how to do it on the video. So that can be applied to anything. And there is a lot of great people producing content, and every single day there is something new. So it’s always worth going back and checking. I dunno, does that answer your question?
Guin: It certainly does. And I think it’s important for people to realize as well for people doing that knitting video probably had a $300 camera from Walmart. It doesn’t take a lot of money or fancy equipment to produce this stuff. So I guess what would be valuable if you could just share some of the equipment you use.

Cooke: It’s evolved over time. I have started out with one of those little $10 RadioShack microphones, you know, the little plastic ones. Very quickly realized I didn’t like the sound of it, and I went and bought a podcasting kit, which had the microphone and that type of thing on Amazon and have upgraded from there. And that brings me back to when you are trying to learn how to do some of this stuff, you think I do want to do a blog or I do want to do video, go out and find somebody that you think is doing a terrific job. And watch it. And look for the details. Don’t worry about all the big picture stuff that they are talking about. I really believe that it’s in the details. That’s where the real connection happens, and the quality happens. And then right now I have my new Macintosh, which is kind of the video, auto center. I have my old PC that I finally got a new flatscreen for. I had my laptop because I do go and I do do presentations. Last year I invested in my own projector so now I can say, “Yep. I can go to a seminar,” and I can be set up to go. And my latest is my Boom, I guess you can call it a Boom for my mic. Before it was always on my desk, and you know, I would go crashing and it would hit the floor, and I would bump it and that kind of thing. Now it’s on a Boom. It looks like like it does in a radio station. And I think it was a $100, but it seemed like an extravagance to me. I waiting a long time to spend the money on it, and it is a godsend. That and the popscreen for the microphone. So, like you are asking me, if you hear somebody you think is doing a great job or you like their video. You’d be amazed. People are so helpful. I email people all the time, “By the way, can you give me an idea or an clue or whatever,” and people are always willing to share. That’s one of my mottos: ask, ask, ask. Don’t be afraid to ask, all they can do is say, “No, I’m too busy.”
Guin: And that’s the great thing about the web, you can ask people all over the world. You’re not limited to just your local area.

Cooke: I had a podcaster in Australia contact me and say, “Oh, I heard your podcast. Loved this, loved that, but you might tweak this to get the sound better.” And he had been doing podcasts for two years, so it was amazing.
[INTERVIEW ENDS]
Lisa Louise Cooke speaks nationally on genealogy topics. She is also the author of the book Genealogy Gems: Ultimate Research Strategies as well as the Genealogy Gems News Blog.You can listen to more of our interview in the Voices of the Past audio podcast on the shownotes site and on iTunes. 

And our shownotes site is also the place to find out more about all of the stories we’ve told you about today. That’s all for this edition of the netcast. In the meantime, we’ll see you online.

Voices of the Past Video Netcast: Featuring Dave Moyer, teenage new media producer and historic preservation activist

Voices of the Past Episode 1: Transcript


Coming up in this edition of the Voices of the Past netcast, we’ll meet Dave Moyer. Moyer is a new media professional and a historic preservation activist. We’ll learn how he became involved in those efforts, and how he manages his role as founding president of Bitwire media … at just sixteen years old.


Welcome to Voices of the Past. I’m Jeff Guin. We’ll have that interview will be coming up for you in just a few moments. But first, here are a few briefs about heritage in the online world.

ONLINE HERITAGE RESEARCH CATALOG


The Oriental Institute at the University of Chicago is offering a wealth of downloadable research documents about the ancient Middle East at no cost. The material comes from the institute’s extensive collection which includes important academic books on the languages, history and cultures of the ancient Middle East.


The Oriental Institute first announced the Electronic Publications Initiative in 2004. The initiative’s mission is for all publications from the Oriental Institute to be published in print and electronically. The institute has published nearly 300 books since 1906. Topics range from dictionaries of the Assyrian and Hittite languages to oversized folio volumes that document Egyptian temples and tombs. Past volumes are being added online as funding permits.


Now, the Insititute says that the availability of free downloads has actually increased print sales by seven percent.


CONSERVATION WIKI


The American Institute for Conservation and its Foundation recently launched a collaborative wiki based on their conservation catalogs. The catalogs include descriptions of materials and techniques used to preserve and treat works of art and historic artifacts. These include topics such as books and paper, paintings, photographic materials, and textiles.


The site is based on the MediaWiki platform software that was designed for Wikipedia.org. This wiki will allow editors to work collaboratively to update the information. It will also ensure that innovative methods and materials are documented and widely disseminated to practicing conservators and conservation scientists.


The wiki was created with a grant from the National Center for Preservation Technology and Training.


HERITAGE VIDEO TRAVEL WEBSITE


For the past three years, Michael Phillips has had a dream that he hopes will someday spread to the rest of the world: to create usense of place with video. It seems the tech world has helped set the stage for that dream, incorporating video functionality into everything from mobile phones to music players. With his heritage travel site and blog, iGuidez, Phillips provides a template for capturing and sharing special sites for netizens everywhere to enjoy.


I recently spoke with Michael Phillips about his dream for the Voices of the Past podcast. Phillips talks about how he developed iGuidez and the challenges of running a heritage website. You can listen to his insights by visiting our shownotes site or by searching for us on iTunes.


FEATURED VOICE OF THE PAST: DAVE MOYER


While many sixteen year olds are obsessing about their next social event or prospects for college, one young man is taking a broader view. His name is Dave Moyer, and he is the founding president of Bitwire Media. Bitwire is a digital media content network that produces a variety of podcasts, websites and blogs featuring some of the world’s top new-media professionals.


But beyond his work as a prodigy in social media, he is also an active proponent of historic preservation. In fact, Moyer was one of the select few chosen across the country to work alongside First Lady Laura Bush in New Orleans during a summit with the History Channel and the Preserve America initiative. Since then, he has co-chaired three local and national summits promoting youth activism in historic preservation.


I had the opportunity to chat with Dave Moyer during a recent meeting of WordPress users. This is what he had to say about how he first became interested in podcasting, and the importance of teachers as heritage values advocates:


MOYER: I was lucky. In 7th grade, I went into the normal history class idea of “here we are, we are going to get the history textbooks an learn a bunch of facts and then forget them by the time its summer.”


I was ready for that. Then the first day, we learned primary sources. We learned Library of Congress, American Memory. We learned all of these places to get stuff, and I am like, “OK, this is a little different. What is this?”


By the spring we are asked by historic Denver because its teacher, Michelle Pierson is an incredible historic preservationist and educator at the same time. And she does both very well, and she gave us the opportunity to work with historic Denver on a project for the first annual Historic Colfax avenue marathon. And they said, “Alright, make us a brochure,” and we were like, “No, we are going to make a podcast.”


I just learned about podcasting, and so I came up and said, “Alright, what if we tried a podcast form?” And we posted…we recorded in conjunction with the Library of Congress’s teaching of primary sources, History Channel, a few other organizations. We recorded six podcasts on different areas of Colfax so that the runners could download these things onto their iPods and listen to them while they are running. So, we got within, probably the first couple of months over 100,000 downloads in the state of Colorado alone with these podcasts. We have gotten grants from Best Buy, the History Channel, it’s been national recognized as a program, and I have had the honor of being able to go down to New Orleans to work with First Lady Laura Bush on the first annual Preserve America Summit down there. I’ve worked with a bunch of other youth from the nation. I have co-chaired, I think there have been four now, of the regional Colorado Preserve America Youth Summits that have stemmed off of that as a separate endeavor. It’s been a great, great dream…it’s all snowballed. But it’s been awesome. I’ve had all those opportunities.


GUIN: So, you’ve been speaking at social media conferences, obviously, and you are here at WordCamp now. Have you added historic preservation conferences to your speaking schedule? Are you in demand yet as a speaker in those circles?


MOYER: There’s some of that. I’ve done, I came just recently, they had the state Preserve America Youth Summit, I talk about the Colorado Preserve America Summit and I work there, I’m speaking there, it is sort of a….. I do a couple things. I’ve done the National Trust for Historic Preservation, those kinds of things. Not as much as the social media, and that’s just kind of picked up as of late. But there are occasional times where I will go out there and be requested to talk about the student side of things and the tech side of things. Because that is what I live, that is what I do.


GUIN: So, do you find that sometimes maybe it’s a little harder when you’re dealing with people dealing with historic preservation that they seem a little distrustful or reticent with these technologies?


MOYER: Oh they do. There are all sorts of…well, a lot of historic preservationists are also the teachers, they are also the educators who have learned through their years and years of teaching that tech equals bad because it distracts kids in my classroom. So the cell phones have to be put away and taken away, and iPods have to be shoved in a box that they get back when its June. And really, there’s technologies…you can’t fight ’em. They come out of the closet.. from under the table, I know that. What you need to do is take that and turn it into a tool so that it is actually being an educational thing. I keep going back to Michelle Piersen. We’ve done wikis, we’ve done blogs in her history class. There was a kid who did a Ben Franklin’s blog because he came to Denver for the Ben Franklin museum and was touring around and trying to fit into modern society. All kinds of great, great stuff, and when you are taking it out of the text book and…and textbook worksheets, they have a horrible negative connotation with kids, you get such a better connection when you connect it to something that we know. Back in the 1920s, kids read nonstop, that was their life. Either they read or they go play down in the park. Now we listen to our iPods or we go play down in the park. You have to adapt as the kids are adapting. You have to adapt as the work is adapting, and it’s hard sometimes for some of the preservationists and some of the people who are active in this stuff to do that. That’s what we are trying to work on a lot, is show them that this is kinda works.


GUIN: So, are you doing…you mentioned the original series of podcasts. Are you following those up in any kind of way? Do you have plans to do more work with either podcasts or other forms of social media related to heritage preservation?


MOYER: We recently did a big project with the local veterans museum for World War II veterans, and we did podcasts associated with that, actual interviews with some of the vets there. There are lots of things that are always being worked on. We’ve not been able to do as much as we’ve liked to because of different issues associated with the museum there, and just as we were talking about before, curators who are stuck in the days of “we need to have a wall, and we need to have the glass behind it” and that’s all we can do. And sometimes that creates a roadblock, but there’s always stuff in the works and there are many many plans in the future on this…



GUIN: Now, Dave actually hosts several podcasts, including the WordCast, The Aimless Agenda Show, and the Best of the Net. Additionally, he is one of the few recipients of MITs Promise of the Future Award, which recognizes students for outstanding work and activism in the technology world.


Well, that’s it for this edition of Voices of the Past. If you are using the web to communicate heritage, we’d like to hear from you. Share your story with us by going to our Voices of the Past shownotes site. There, you can also find links to all of today’s stories. And, until next time, we’ll see you on-line.







Using Ning to talk about the future of museums

Note: This is a 2009 repost from a previous iteration of Voices of the Past. The original transcribed interview with Angelina Russo is below, though the video reflects the updated branding.

Museum3 (formerly Museum 3.0) is according its website “a non-profit organisation dedicated to the future of museums, galleries, science centres, libraries and archives.”

Q: Tell us a little bit about your site.

A: Museum 3.0 was set up by Dr. Linda Kelly at the Australian museum in 2008. And it was essentially established to connect professionals from the cultural institution sector.

What it aims to do is to explore relevant issues, share knowledge and to identify future trends.

Q: And what motivated the creation of the site?

A: I worked very closely with Linda Kelly on a federally funded research project called “Engaging with Social Media in Museums.” And through discussions that we had as part of this project, the Ning site formed as a way to really drawing together professionals to discuss some of the ideas within that project. That project’s been looking at the impact of social media on museum learning and communication. And so we set up the site to explore how we could use social media to develop discussions in the sector, to identify future trends and create a better understand of who is doing what.

Q: Tell us a little bit about the members who are on your site, and who do you hope to reach?

A: We are hoping to reach professionals, students and possibly even policymakers. We have had quite a number of cultural heritage museum studies programs actually linked to us, and through that, that has brought a number of particularly post-graduate students to our site, which I think is just fantastic. I like the fact that we have some museum directors, civic commentators, students, along with museum and library professionals, and people who are just interested, which is wonderful.

Q: Now anyone who as actually created one of these sites knows that creating the site is the easy part. The hard part comes with trying to create the sense of community around it.  What do you do to keep it active and growing?

A: As I said, Linda and I started the network about a year ago, and at that time it was mainly us who wrote the posts and we invited people to join and get discussions going. We had a couple of early adopters in this. Sebastian Chen from the Powerhouse Museum was of course there with us right up from the very beginning making sure it was a three-way conversation and not just a two-way conversation. And at every event we presented or where we gave a talk, we promoted the Museum 3.0 site as a way of museum professionals or cultural heritage professionals connecting to each other and finding out what is going on in sector. About four months ago, the site took off.  And this year, I believe, I only started two or three conversations, so I contribute to many of the conversations. I am careful to spend an appropriate amount of time really answering those questions or those discussions that are absolutely in keeping with the research that we’re undertaking. In terms of maintaining the network, I introduce myself to each new member, and we have about 800 at the moment, I read through their websites and blogs where appropriate, and I ask them whether they are willing to contribute something about their work to the site. And periodically, I send broadcast messages about events that are coming up. So in all, the site takes about six hours a week to maintain. So there is always a lot going on. It’s really quite a vibrant community.

Q: Now as we all know, any venue that is truly social has some conflict of opinion or personality. Can you give me an example of how you deal with some of those types of conflicts?

A: We have certainly had some robust conversations, in particularly around changes of design and practices for exhibition development. I have yet to see conflict arise though.

We did have a funny incident once when someone twittered about a blog site called “MuseumsSuck.com.” I read the site and wrote a blog post about it, and as I went through, I had seen that the website owner had written a short piece about the Museum 3.0 site. So I pulled a screen grab and added it to the Ning site to ask the question of our members, “What do we do when someone sets up a site called ‘Museums Suck?’” The owner of the site came to know about this and wrote to me personally. And a little while later, he took down the site. I was surprised when he took down the site. I thought that it was quite interesting for a whole lot of reasons, and that he had been inspired to give his opinions about what was happening in the sector and that they were also, they were just as relevant as anyone else’s. And you know, if you are out there, it would be great if it came back on because it was actually a lot of fun.

Q:  Why did you choose a Ning site as opposed to a Facebook group or maybe even a regular blog?

A: I think that Ning is a truly corroborative network tool. I have run a blog for the past two and a half years, and while I can see that we get quite a lot of traffic, I have no idea of who’s reading that blog. And as many blogs, I don’t get many responses.

With the Ning site, I can see who’s interested and participating, who’s inviting colleagues. It is much more democratic, much more lively, and I think that in the end it’s actually, there are fewer barriers with the Ning site than there are with a blog site.

I think that blogs, for the most part, in particularly one-person blogs, tend to assume some level of expertise in whatever you’re discussing. Where as with a Ning site, we have everyone from Linda and myself and Seth posting through to students who are doing internships at museums. So I think it is a much more democratic and dynamic site because of that.

I also love the fact that neither Linda or I have to start any of the discussions anymore. Our members have taken the opportunity to seek out other interested members who they can share their knowledge with, and so there are lots and lots of conversations that occur without my input or Linda’s input, nothing. That is really one of the strengths of the Ning site.

Q: What other forms of social media do you actively use to enhance the Museum 3.0 Ning site?

A: I contribute to other blogs where I know the discussions are in the same vein.  I am careful to be sure that I give back to the community of bloggers in the cultural institution sector, sort of network, in as much as they give to us. Because I think it’s important to be seen to contribute across a number of different sites, so that it is not just your own conversation that you are interested in, but in fact lots and lots of different ideas.  Even so, I am probably not as good at marketing the Ning as maybe I should be, and that’s something I will be looking at this year along with Linda.

Q: And Angelina, on a personal level, what other forms of social media do you actively use outside of Museum 3.0?

A: I have quite a solid and growing social media presence. As I mentioned, I run a blog, I have a LinkedIn presence, I have a Twitter account, I keep Facebook for my personal stuff, and I contribute to other blogs and other groups according to my personal and professional interests.

Q:  What most excites you about using social media in the fields of cultural heritage?

A: I think that sites like the National Center for Preservation Technology and Training is a great example of the potential value of social media in the field of cultural heritage.  By sharing knowledge across organizations and individuals is much less chance of that knowledge disappearing as people move on or into different parts of their working lives or to different parts of the sector.

Creative Commons is another fantastic social media and cultural heritage sector. Many of the organizations involved have contributed their historical photographs, which audiences have then added sometimes extremely significant amounts of research to, and all in the name of providing a much more complex, rich and deep record for future generations. I think that really demonstrates the power of social media and of the partnerships that can be created between cultural heritage sector and audience members.

Q: What is in store for the future of Museum 3.0?

A: I would like to do some Museum 3.0 meet-ups, particularly with our international members. I am hoping to meet some people in Indianapolis at the museums and web conference later this month. I will also contact some of the New York members and see if we can catch up in some of the days after the conference.

In the longer term, I am just about to start working with some people to start analyzing some of the data around some of the conversation stands, which have occurred within the Ning site particularly to try to assist some of the future trends to determine what audience members are interested in terms of the future for social media as we sort of move past this first wave of really tremendous initiatives within the sector. I think that what we will be seeing much more of in the sector, itself, and hopefully that will be reflected in the Ning site is that convergence between cultural heritage and cultural heritage professionals and audience members, as well as much stronger convergence between the exhibition and the public program, educational programs and curatorial research within museums.

In the short term, I will be continuing to work with Linda to develop the site further as part of the engaging with social media research project. If you visit the site, you’ll see we actually have the group set up for the engaging of social media and museums research project. That has about 90 members and we actually run a number of the initiatives from the Australian museums through the Ning site. So we can get real-time response to the research ideas as they’re developing.

One of the initiatives that we have developed as part of that is a Facebook site for exhibition development for a project for the Australian museum called “All About Evil.” And we decided to set up a Facebook site for that initiative to really garner a broad rang for audience ideas about what sorts of objects, things, activities, events might actually go into an exhibition called, “All About Evil.” It’s quite interesting to see how that has developed and part of the research now to look at how the Facebook site influences the final exhibition product.

We are looking forward to Museum 3.0 to continuing to develop, we are looking forward to attracting more members, and those members really sharing great deal of knowledge and connecting with each other.  And through that networking, we hope there is some value that we give back to the community by leading through example in the sense we have the opportunity finally to be able to have conversations across the sector, and I’d like to see those continue to develop. And I’d also like to see more curatorial kind of stuff become part of our membership so we can be certain that the issues that are being discussed and in fact reflective of the broad range of professionals working within the sector.

Preservation Today Netcast – May 2009


The World Digital Library received more than seven million page views on its debut April 21. The World Digital Library promotes international and inter-cultural understanding and awareness, provides resources to educators, expands non-English and non-Western content on the Internet, and contributes to scholarly research.


The site features significant primary materials from cultures around the world, including maps, rare books, musical scores, photographs and architectural drawings. Other features include “search and browse” by place, time, topic, type of item and contributing institution. It will also include a “Memory of” section devoted to in-depth exploration of the culture and history of individual countries.


Since Librarian of Congress James Billington first proposed the establishment of a World Digital Library during his speech to the U.S. National Commission for Unesco in 2005, the Library of Congress, with Google’s assistance, has worked to create the online library.


The Museums and the Web conference in Indianapolis addressed the social, cultural and technological issues of heritage online in April. The conference included workshops, professional forums and “best of the web” awards.


To celebrate Preservation Month this May, the National Trust for Historic Preservation is bring back its popular This Place Matters social media campaign. The campaign encourages people across the country to showcase the places that matter to them. To participate, start by downloading the This Place Matters sign and take a photo or shoot a video of your favorite site. Then, share your content with the trust using online media sharing services like Flickr and YouTube.

Preservation Month was designed to raise awareness about how historic preservation can protect and enhance our homes, neighborhoods and communities. And it provides an opportunity for all of us to become involved in the growing preservation movement.


Cemetery care and maintenance are undergoing a surge in popularity that hasn’t been seen since the Victorian era. Cemetery grave markers are at once memorials to those we’ve loved and pieces of art. Caring for them provides a connection to a world before the Internet absorbed all of our attention.


The National Center for Preservation Technology and Training is planning a nationwide cemetery preservation summit in Nashville later this year to bring together people from all over the country who are doing cemetery preservation. Anybody interested in cemeteries, conservators, people who manage and run cemeteries, and cemetery support groups are all invited to attend the summit. The summit will cover an array of issues with a wide range of people doing preservation work in different areas. For more information, visit the NCPTT website or any of the center’s groups or feeds on Facebook and Twitter.

Video Netcast: Past Horizons Magazine, Heritage Travel Community, Smithsonian 2.0

(Note: Preservation Today was a previous iteration of “Voices of the Past”)

Stories this time:

The March edition of Past Horizons Magazine is now out. The magazine features articles on field school opportunities and how to make archeology accessible to the disabled. According to its publishers, the goal of Past Horizons is to give everyone a voice in heritage.  In addition to the magazine, Past Horizons Heritage Media features a blog on archeological discovery and a YouTube-style video sharing service. Past Horizons is based in Scotland.

The U.S.-based National Trust for Historic Preservation is developing a new online community (now defunct).  According to the Trust, this new community is designed to ignite interest in places rich with heritage, history and culture. The site will allow participants to interact around the heritage of town’s and cities, allowing vacationers to quote Travel With Purpose. The Trust is now holding a pre-launch recognition program that offers special benefits to those who sign up for the site now. Participants will have the opportunity to share travel experiences through reviews and ratings and photographs. The community will be a part of the National Trust’s subsidiary, Heritage Travel Incorporated.

The Trust is also using Facebook to raise funds for its rebuilding effort in the Gulf Coast. Facebook’s new marketplace feature is launching an initiative called “Celebrities Selling for a Cause.” Actress Jennifer Coolidge is selling a custom-made dress she wore when starring in the film Legally Blonde 2 and donating the proceeds to benefit the National Trust’s “Rebuilding New Orleans” project. You don’t have to be a celebrity to participate. Anyone can buy an item or sell one on behalf of the National Trust and all the proceeds will go toward our efforts along the Gulf Coast.

The Smithsonian Institution recently held a two-day gathering exploring how to make the organization’s collections, educational resources, and staff more accessible, engaging, and useful in the digital age. The event, called Smithsonian 2.0, brought together professionals from the web and new media world to meet with Smithsonian staff members. Together, they worked to envision generate what a digital Smithsonian might be like in the years ahead. Speakers included representatives from Facebook, Myspace and Microsoft. Professionals in the museum field are welcoming the Smithsonian’s interest in social media. The event was the brianchild of G. Wayne Clough, who became the Smithsonian’s new secretary in July. According to Clough, the Smithsonian intends to aggressively pursue a participatory web-based presence following the conference.

The UNESCO office in Lima, Peru is seeking international specialists to aid in the development of heritage site management plans for the Pachacamac archeological complex and the Lines and Geoglyphs of Nazca and Pampas de Jumana. The heritage plans would include establishing priorities for halting site deterioration, reviving building and land use techniques, and raising community awareness about the historical and cultural meaning and importance of both sites. The project is being conducted in agreement with the National Institute of Culture of Peru.

The Obama administration recently unveiled the new Whitehouse.gov website. According to Macon Phillips, the Director of New Media for the White House, the new site is being built on the social media principles of communication, transparency and participation. Among the site features so far are a blog, a comment form and a briefing room. Obama, who currently has four and a half million Facebook friends, used social media extensively during his campaign for the presidency.

And finally, Preservation Today now has its own Friendfeed room. The room will allow fast-paced discussions on the latest in heritage preservation. Sign-up is quick, easy and free.

 

All you have to do is visit our shownotes site at preservation today dot com and click the “News Stream” link at the top of the page.

Voices of the Past Video Netcast: Taj Hotel Artworks, Kate Chopin House salvage operation

As India continues its recovery from the recent terrorist attacks, attention is shifting to the resulting damage to cultural resources. The Taj Hotel was one of the worst-hit locations in the attacks. The hotel is home to more than 2,500 works of art valued in the millions. Among the works confirmed destroyed are a series of three paintings by Maqbul Fida Hussain, who is a significant figure in the Indian modernism. The ninety-three-year-old Hussain says he will begin a news series of paintings for the hotel that condemn the attack. The fate of many of the hotel’s other paintings is still unknown. Heritage resources have not been immune to the downturn in the economy.

State parks are suffering drastic cuts or closing altogether across the country. In his remarks at a governor’s conference in Philadelphia on December second, President-elect Barack Obama acknowledged the risk the bad economy poses to the United States’ heritage resources.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation named California’s State Parks to its annual list of America’s Eleven Most Endangered Historic Places earlier this year when Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger recommended cuts that would have closed 48 parks. Likewise, New Jersey and Illinois announced high-profile closings in their state parks this year.

A new research project is investigating a new aspect of the Underground Railroad along the Texas-Louisiana border during that region’s colonial era. According to principal investigator Rolonda Teal, her research focuses on Los Adaes, the former capital of Spanish Texas. Teal hopes to have the region recognized as a part of the Network to Freedom program, which promotes and preserves sites that played major roles in the liberation of slaves in the United States.. The program is a partnership of the National Park Service and the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center.

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Recovery work is continuing on the Kate Chopin House in north Louisiana. The National Historic Landmark was destroyed by fire in October. The structure was named for the legendary feminist writer who lived there during the eighteen eighties. It was also home to the Bayou Folk Museum, which contained hundreds of artifacts related to the history of the Cane River region. Joining Garrett in the studio to talk about the recovery and what the significance of the building is Dustin Fuqua. Fuqua is co-founder of the heritage research organization Cultural Lore, which had recently completed an inventory of the museum contents. The inventory was funded by a grant from the Cane River National Heritage Area.

Researchers at the University of Texas at Austin are taking a closer look at their campus as a cultural landscape. The research began as a grant from the Getty Foundation as part of its Campus Heritage Grant program. The grant is funding a survey of the campuses’ original forty acres, which dates to the 1880s. According to Fran Gale, Director of the UT Architectural Conservation Laboratory, researchers are making valuable discoveries as a result of this project. The recommendations coming out of this survey will be used to recommend methods to preserve and maintain historic buildings on the campus.

Contribute to our report by using the tag “VoicesofthePast” for your online heritage preservation content. We’ll use it for our blog and maybe even report on it in our next show.