RSS workshop for Museums and the Web 2009 – Indianapolis

Following on from last year’s cool RSS workshop at Montreal by Jim Spadaccini, I’m doing a similar, but less tech-orientated half day session at MW 2009 in Indianapolis.

What’s driving it?  Well – you might think, if you’re a culture-savvy technowonk, that we know all there is to know about RSS, syndication and ‘getting stuff out there’.  Well, how come there are still very many museums and galleries worldwide who don’t yet use any form of non-traditional web output? A simple glance at the bulk of UK museum websites reveals that few have RSS output. What’s going wrong?

It seems to me that while many venues have begun to successfully pursuade museum trustees that the web actually exists, the next step beyond has yet to be reached. So while a ‘brochure-ware’ site can be greenlighted,  anything involving outward broadcast of data (for free) is akin to suggesting that the museum should sponsor a Mars mission. Which, come to think of it, might be a good personal quest for some of the trustees. Whether they want to go or not…

So this workshop will explore what RSS output is for. Why do it? What does it look like when others use it in websites? With RSS, context is king (or queen) – not necessarily content. In the workshop we’ll be cooking up a real feed from a mix of museum event RSS output from across the top US museums, and seeing what it looks like on a real web homepage.

Ray Shah and his team from Think Design in New York will be helping to put together a web homepage that houses our specially-made US culture sector RSS event feed. Once that’s up, we’ll be workshopping the result, and encouraging participants to go one step beyond when they get back to their own digital domains. See you at Indianapolis!



About Jon Pratty

Human - for now
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