Although user-generated content continues to be a buzzword in online exhibition, it often amounts to nothing more than a glorified talkback board. Comments or stories are collected, but they are rarely integrated with curatorial content. We say we want to involve the public in telling their own stories, but by the time we give them an opportunity to participate, we’ve already written their story, printed the panels, designed the website, etc. However, the public often holds valuable information that could improve or even change the narrative of our exhibitions.
How can we create a more inclusive approach to historical storytelling? How can we better integrate user-generated content into our exhibits? How do we find these users? How do we sustain interest in project that may need time to change or evolve?
In trying to determine answers to these questions, consultant Elizabeth Hansen is partnering with the Texas Archive of the Moving to explore new approaches to the online exhibition of film. Using an episodic approach, the organization plans to roll out thematic content on a weekly basis allowing users to contribute and change the exhibit story as it develops.
Although these stories will have a global reach, a series of on-the-ground activities and events will work to sustain local interest in the stories and to discover new contributors. Locals will encounter the exhibit in places outside the web through the distribution of artworks, record albums, public performances and other curiosity building activities as well as partnerships with local media.In this presentation, Elizabeth Hansen (Elizabeth Hansen Museum, Media and History Services) and Madeline Moya (Texas Archive of the Moving Image) will share their approaches to the projects, the tools they will be utilizing and their progress thus far. They will also be looking for input from the MCN community on how to improve the unfolding project.