Mapping the #MCN2016 Twitter conversation

Guest post by Andrea Ledesma

 

GIF is TAGS, a tool to map twitter conversations

As someone who fancies herself a lurker on Twitter, I was a little intimidated heading into the MCN 2016. Would I be able to follow along? What exactly should I tweet? How fast would I need to type?

Luckily, someone’s made a script for that.

I trackedss_dashboard #MCN2016 using TAGS v6.1. Developed by Martin Hawksey, Innovation Community & Technology Officer at the Association for Learning and Technology (@mhawksey), TAGS is a Google Sheets template that pulls data from Twitter. It runs directly through Twitter’s API.

In this instance, I set TAGS to search #MCN2016 every hour, on the hour starting November 1st. To control the archive, I only collected data from users with over 150 followers.

 

At the end of the conference, TAGS logged 9000+ tweets from over 1000 users. (Good work guys!)

A map of twitter conversations at #MCN2016

The most compelling feature of TAGS is its TAGSExplorer. This maps tweets across a network graph with all the interactivity of d3 and JavaScript/JQuery with none of the headaches. Each edge represents an interaction. Each node represents a user. Rolling over a node reveals a feed of tweets, as well as a replay feature animating conversations as they unfolded over time. For those who like a bit of competition, TAGSExplorer also ranks users. Top tweets are based on number of tweets, conversationalists the number of interactions.

TAGS is not without its glitches. For one, it only allows users to reach as far back as 9 days from the date on which the sheet is activated. Also, the archive is a little messy, truncating tweets seemingly at random and distinguishing retweets with the classic “RT.” Most importantly, Hawksey himself recognizes that TAGS prioritizes “relevance” over “completeness.” Some researchers have found that his makes for a visualization that “over-represents the more central users and does not offer an accurate picture of peripheral activity.”

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Still, armed with a predetermined window of activity and a hashtag to capture all the goings-on from the event of interest, TAGS proved the ideal tool for real-time, quick-and- dirty data analytics. As a first time MCN attendee this was invaluable. Sitting in my hotel room on the first night, I made and sifted through the first day’s network map forming a game plan the rest of the week. What were the conversations inspired by and happening around the conference? How would these develop over the course of the week? Who to follow? Who to talk to?

Now, looking at the web of nodes and edges in hindsight. There’s a material trace of #MCN2016’s major dialogue and debates, creations and critique to take us into #mcn50.

 

 

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#MCN2016 recaps, reactions, and responses

A panorama shot of MCN 2016 Ignite at the House of Blues, New Orleans

Last year we did a follow up blog post on the conference but instead of us trying to sum up the conference, we let you do that. We value our community here at MCN and love reading about your conference experiences. Over the last two weeks we’ve combed the #MCN2016 tag looking for posts but if we’ve missed any please do let us know!

Robert WeisbergThe Human League: 10 Takeaways from Museum Computer Network 2016

A Storify by Racheal Ropeik: https://storify.com/TheArtRopeik/mcn2016-a-human-centered-conference

Racheal Ropeik – #MCN2016: A Love Letter

Mark McKayMy Key Take Aways from MCN 2016

Jennifer Foley#MCN2016 and the way forward

Liz FilardiInnovation, The Mission, and the Business: Frameworks for Institutional Success at Museum Tech Conference #MCN2016

A Storify by Miranda Kerrhttps://storify.com/Mirandarhk/museum-computer-network-2016

Cuberis – #MCN2016 twitter moment

Phil Leers – https://storify.com/altitudemadness/mcn-2016

Susan Edwards – https://storify.com/jolifanta/mcn2016

MCN Twitter moments:

#MCN2016 Day 1

#MCN2016 Day 2

 #MCN2016 Day 3

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About MCN Sponsor Emails

Over the last few days, we’ve seen a couple of tweets about the number of MCN sponsor emails landing in your inbox. This might be a little surprising to those new to the conference, so I thought I’d try to clear things up a bit.

Expanding strategic partnerships that include opportunities for sponsors is a core goal of MCN’s current Strategic Plan. Commercial partners are intrinsic to the fabric of our community: they bring tremendous innovation to the museum sector, and without their support, the annual conference just would not be possible. This year, we’re introducing new ways for sponsors to share their insights and actively participate in the conversation at the conference: “Partners in Conversation” is a new conference program series in which vendors partner with a museum for a conversation on a current museum technology topic; our “Market Trends” sponsor will partner with MCN to develop and co-present an annual survey that will provide market intelligence to our sector; and we will be hosting our first “Birds of a Feather SIGs Breakfast”, a one-hour event giving vendors an opportunity to have a conversation with members of Special Interest Groups around topics relevant to their respective practice area.

As a result of this new approach, we’ve broadened the pool of commercial vendors that we typically target and have secured a record number of sponsors and exhibitors for the 2016 annual conference: 26 in total, 13 of which are brand new to MCN! We also decided to share attendees’ emails with all of our sponsors and exhibitors ahead of the conference: we believe this will benefit everyone. We have updated our Privacy Policy to reflect this change.

We realize the last thing many of us wish is a few more emails in our inbox; just know that these emails are legitimate communications from vendors that are excited to attend next week’s conference, share their presence with you, and look forward to making new connections with all of us.

MCN is grateful for the support of our 2016 sponsors. Please make sure to stop by to meet them in the Sponsor Hall during the conference. In the meantime, safe travels, and see y’all next week in New Orleans.

 
Eric Longo
Executive Director
MCN

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MCN2016 registration update

The response to this year’s conference has been extraordinary, and so far, the number of registrations has exceeded even our most optimistic projections. It has however created a very acute capacity issue, which explains why some of you may have noticed when you registered that the Ignite reception is already sold out.

We are in the process of managing this issue by exploring alternative conference spaces and an even larger space at the House of Blues to host the Ignite reception. We have decided not to suspend or close registration until we have a better sense of how we can solve the capacity issue, while concurrently encouraging many speakers who have yet to register, to do so urgently, which explains recent reminders some of you may have received.

With this in mind, if you haven’t already done so, we encourage everyone to register as soon you can as well as to secure a hotel room or other local accommodation.

Stay tuned as we will continue to share updates on the conference.

Thank you for your continued support.

 
Eric Longo
Executive Director
MCN

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Meet the #MCN2016 Scholars!

Tiled image of the MCN2016 scholars

Each year, we are pleased to offer scholarships to 15 talented individuals from the cultural heritage sector to attend the annual MCN conference and join the MCN community. This year the Scholarship Committee received 88 strong applications from museum professionals located all over the US, UK, Europe, and Australia. As we do every year, the Committee had a tough time choosing 15 recipients.

We’re very excited to introduce the #MCN2016 Scholars! From an interactive media producer to a principal project officer, this year’s scholarship recipients represent a strong, diverse group of emerging leaders in the museum technology field. These individuals were chosen based on their ability to demonstrate a serious interest in MCN, explain how they will contribute to MCN community, and their involvement in exciting or innovative #musetech projects.  

This year, we have been making some changes to improve the scholarship program before, during, and after the conference. To streamline the process for applicants, we have moved up the application deadline and reviewing process.

Additionally, we are highlighting the scholars’ unique experiences and impressive projects through a brand new series of lightning talks during the conference on Friday morning, November 4.

As a former scholarship recipient myself now serving as a Co-Chair of the Scholarship Committee, I want the scholars to feel as welcome to the MCN community as I have felt. We hope each scholar will become an active member of the MCN community throughout the year, engaging online, in-person, and through our Special Interest Groups (SIGs).  

Meet our 2016 MCN Scholars online and meet them in person at the conference in November!

 

Laura Hoffman,
Co-Chair
MCN 2016 Scholarship Committee

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MCN 2016 PREVIEW: ALL THAT JAZZ!

View from MCN2015 Ignite stage

Every year, the MCN conference evolves in response to feedback from the community. This year, we dug into several years of MCN’s attendance data, and discovered that as many as 50% of attendees are new to the conference annually. Wow! This prompted us to rethink our assumptions about how knowledgeable attendees are when they arrive. As a result, we’re trying to be more deliberate about the information we provide, to help ensure everyone–whether new or a long-time attendee–gets the most out of their experience. So here are some of program highlights for New Orleans:

 

First Timer’s Session: Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Are you an MCN newbie?  Be sure  to attend our first-timer’s session to meet new people, and learn everything you need to know to make your first MCN awesome. We loved the first-timer’s session that Emily Lytle-Painter and Margaret Collerd Sternbergh ran at Museums and the Web 2016. It’s time for a similar event at MCN!

Meet the MCN 2016 Scholars! Lightning Talks, Friday AM.

Every year, MCN offers scholarships to 15 qualified applicants from the cultural sector to attend our annual conference. These individuals are chosen based on their ability to demonstrate a serious interest in MCN, explain how they will contribute to MCN community, and their involvement in exciting or innovative #musetech projects.  Scholars are asked to add to the conference experience by capturing important ideas and themes that develop during sessions and events. This year, for the first time, you’ll also have a chance to hear directly from our Scholars about their exciting work during a series of Lightning Talks.

MCN Professional Development Sessions

One of MCN’s strategic priorities is to better accommodate professionals at different stages in their careers. This year, the Program will include a few short “professional development” sessions that will bring together seasoned, mid-career, and emerging professionals to discuss topics related to professional development.  One session will feature tips on presenting at MCN.  Speed networking will also be returning as part of this new thematic track.

We will also have a session addressing how the conference is put together, including insights into what makes proposals stand out. Come along if you’re interested in putting together a proposal for future years, or want to get involved with the Program Committee.

Speak Up! MCN Discussion spaces

We have access to two great rooms away from the main conference hall that make perfect discursive spaces, so we’re going to use these for explicitly intimate or discussion-based sessions. We are not programming these rooms at all times, since we don’t want too much competition during sessions, but we will use them when appropriate.

This is also where we can make room for your conversations. Stay tuned for more details about how you can use or book these spaces for your emergent discussions.

MCN Annual Meeting

Join the MCN Board of Directors for our annual business meeting. This is a great chance for MCN members and other interested conference attendees to hear the latest about the organization from MCN’s leaders. Following brief presentations, there will be time for your questions to the MCN Board.

SIG Meetings

After consultations with the Special Interest Group (SIG) Chairs, we heard that many of the SIGs would like an opportunity for a formal business meeting at the conference. We have blocked off time for these important community discussions.

Other Changes to the Program

We heard your feedback from MCN 2015 that our case study format didn’t work particularly well, so these sessions will now be in 30 minute blocks of paired case studies. Additionally, we received so many wonderful proposals that we’re extending by an hour on the final day to fit a few more in.

All-time Favorite Events

Of course, the program still includes many of your favorite sessions, such as Ignite MCN, and our keynote in conversation with plenary speaker Catherine Bracy. Get ready to dive into a living collection at our reception at Audubon Aquarium of the Americas. Rejuvenate your motivation while rubbing elbows with MCN newcomers, oldtimers, and otters!

Still want more?

We’re pleased to support the Cultural Heritage and Social Change Summit, taking place just after MCN 2016 and hosted by Southern University at New Orleans MA Museum Studies Program. The Summit invites delegates from across the cultural heritage fields in a two-day unconference to dig deeper into issues of cultural equity and move toward collaborative and concrete strategy. There is a separate registration and application process for the Summit, which can be found at http://chscsummit.net.

 

This is just a taste of what you can expect at MCN 2016 this November. The draft timetable will be online next week, and we look forward to bringing you more updates as the conference gets closer.


Suse Cairns, Jennifer Foley, & Trish Oxford

Program Co-Chairs

MCN 2016 Conference

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The Ultimate Mixtape: Putting Together the #MCN2016 Program

Post it notes with MCN 2016 session proposals written on them.

This week, we sent out acceptances for the MCN 2016 conference program. Whew!

The overall quality of proposals was exceptionally high this year and we are so excited about all the sessions we have lined up. That being said, due to the high number of proposals we received (nearly 300), we have unfortunately had to reject a high number of proposals, so we wanted to provide some insight into the evaluation and selection process.

How it all starts…

The Program Committee is made up of 28 people, each bringing a different perspective from across the sector. Every proposal was assigned for review by three Program Committee members with relevant professional expertise on the topic. Evaluators were asked to provide feedback in three ways:

  1. A recommendation about whether the session was a “must have,” “nice to have,” “ok,” or “not suitable.”
  2. Number-based ratings on a series of criteria, such as relevance to the conference theme and the session’s potential to contribute to the museum sector.
  3. Additional descriptive comments to contextualize ratings, including recommendations to the Program Co-Chairs about things that could improve the proposal.

Putting the program together

Once all of the proposals were reviewed by the Committee, the Program Co-Chairs spent an entire weekend locked in a hotel room putting the first draft of the program together. (This involved a lot of Post-It notes!) Each session’s name was written on a Post-It showing its overall rating, and the three descriptive tags its owner included with the submission.

Our first job was to look for the top-ranking proposals from all of the session types (workshops, case studies, presentations, and professional forums). Then, each session was reviewed to ensure that the comments and recommendations supported the high rankings. From there, the process became a little more complex. We looked at topic representation. Were key topics areas covered? Were there any redundancies? We also considered the diversity of presenters. We wanted a good mix of speakers, including first timers and more experienced presenters, small museums, non-art museums, and sessions that included a gender mix. Next, we looked to include topics relevant to each Special Interest Group (SIG), prompting us to reach out to some SIGs with follow-up questions. In response to the Committee’s comments, we reached out to some of the proposers to ask whether they would be willing to edit a few things. Finally, we assigned sessions to time slots and to conference rooms in the hotel, looking for ways to get the most out of every minute possible.

Getting excited for an inspiring conference in November

This process took around three weeks, leading up to sending acceptance emails on Tuesday morning. Ultimately, the Chairs trusted the qualified opinions of the Program Committee. When tough decisions had to be made, we returned to the language of the original proposals in question and evaluated their merit for ourselves. Each Program Co-Chair brought her own partialities and priorities, but all decisions sprung from open and generative discussions about what kind of experience we wanted to create for attendees. Our goal was to build a challenging and surprising compilation of sessions with real world applications that would, together, create an inspiring conference. We think MCN 2016 is going to be exactly that, and we cannot wait to share the full program with you soon.

If you did receive an offer to the Program, please confirm your acceptance by June 20. If your session was not selected, and you’d like feedback, please contact us at program@mcn.edu. We’ll also be running a short session at the Conference on how the Program Committee works, including some trends we noticed amongst the strongest proposals. Please come if you’d like to learn more or want to register your interest in being part of the MCN 2017 Program Committee.

Thank you to all the members of the MCN 2016 Program Committee for the hard work they’ve done to guide us in shaping the MCN 2016 Program.

Suse Cairns, Jennifer Foley, & Trish Oxford

Program Co-Chairs

MCN 2016 Conference

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Help spread the word about MCN 2016

Do you have access to a lunch room, student lounge, or community bulletin board? Then you can help us spread the word and widen the MCN community. This printable flyer includes all of the information you need to submit a proposal, apply for a scholarship, or volunteer with MCN. Pick one of two full-color designs, thanks to volunteer Chris Evans.

Let us know where you post it! We’d love to see your photos. Use the hashtag #MCN2016.

MCN2016OneSheet-1

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Welcome to our new conference program co-chairs!

By Suse Cairn, MCN Conference Program Chair

I’m delighted to announce that Jennifer Foley and Trish Oxford have agreed to join me as Co-Chairs for #MCN2016! Every year, the conference Program Committee has the daunting task of shaping the conference, from creating the Call for Proposals, to reading, discussing and deciding on the conference sessions, as well as the overall organization of the conference. It is a large and challenging task and I look forward to working with Jennifer and Trish to build this year’s event. Please join me in welcoming them to the team!

This is the first year that we ran an open call for the conference Co-Chair and the response from the community was amazing. If you haven’t yet been in touch, but are interested in helping shape the future of the annual conference, we’d love to hear from you. All ideas are welcome. Please write to program@mcn.edu

 

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Jennifer Foley

Jennifer Foley is the Director of Interpretation at the Cleveland Museum of Art. She and the CMA’s Interpretation team focus on connecting visitors to the museum’s collection and the intersection of digital technology and interpretation through exhibition audio and multimedia tours, exhibition interactives, and digital content in the museum’s collection-wide app, ArtLens. Before joining the CMA she held positions with the Virginia Museum of Fine Art, the Humanities Council of Washington, DC, and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

 

 
kaRFviPL_400x400Trish Oxford

Trish Oxford is a technologist, writer and artist specializing in digital communications to market and promote cultural initiatives driven by results. Most recently she served as the Assistant Director of Marketing & Communications at Reynolda House Museum of American Art in Winston-Salem, NC. Her professional experience is anchored in technology, sales, and project management having worked for Yahoo! Inc., Cisco Systems, and her own online furniture company. Trish’s academic experience is entrenched in the creative arts. Having earned her M.F.A. in Media Arts at California College of the Arts in San Francisco, CA and her B.A. in English Literature & Creative Writing from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is the mother of two little ones and wife to a wildcard artist/businessman, both of which serve as fodder for her passion for stand-up comedy.

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A collection of #MCN2015 recaps!

Here is a list of recap blog posts and Storify stories from #MCN2015. Of course, we have our 2015 scholarship recipients blog posts but we wanted to make sure we collected as many of the conference recaps we could find. Enjoy!

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Blog Posts

Ed Rodley:

MCN 2015: Bottling the Magic

#MCN2015 recap: What does ‘digital’ mean to you?

Jennifer Foley

MCN2015– Content and its discontents

Jeffery Inscho

http://staticmade.com/technology-and-bias/

Gavin Mallory

http://www.cogapp.com/blog/mcn2015-museum-computer-network-conference-2015-minneapolis

Dana Mitroff Silvers

Cooking with your users: reflections on the Museum Computer Network (MCN) Keynote

Laura Mann

http://www.franklygreenwebb.com/2015/11/19/weeknotes-46-2015-lauras-mcn-report-and-the-surprising-student-voice-on-museum-interactivity/

Cathy Sigmond

It’s about people, not technology.

 

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Storify

Cogapphttps://storify.com/Gavin_Mallory/mcn2015-mcn-minneapolis-the-cogapp-experience

Rachel Ropeikhttps://storify.com/TheArtRopeik/mcn2015

Susan Edwardshttps://storify.com/jolifanta/mcn-2015-minneapolis-mn

Phil Leershttps://storify.com/altitudemadness/mcn2015

Miranda Kerrhttps://storify.com/Mirandarhk/museum-computer-network-2015

Jennifer Schmitt: https://storify.com/bantryhill/mentoring-in-museums

 

If I’ve missed anyone please do let me know!

Ryan

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