From Legacy Systems to Connected Futures

Approaches to creating data structures in the museum sector are evolving rapidly – seemingly almost daily. There’s little consensus on how to do it, and no one-size-fits all approach, as every set of requirements differs. One of the things that makes Cooper Hewitt’s requirements unique is our need to develop a data structure that will support both in gallery digital and online experiences. The success of the Pen provided insight into how visitors access museum data in the gallery and use it to interact with the museum at a physical level. As we look to the future, this session will offer a view into our own process of designing and building data infrastructure that supports a unified experience across physical and digital environments. The session will combine a technical look at our internal workings, with a work-in-progress overview of our internal roadmap and the prototyping model that is helping us to define our own requirements and answer questions around best practices in the gallery, for accessibility, and across the web. We’re in the process of reevaluating everything under the hood and giving session attendees insight not only into how we’re restructuring, but the decision making process along the way.


Unknown Speaker 00:00
Okay, well, good morning, San Diego. All right. Let's try to kick off the first presentation and MCN. My name is Adam Quinn. And the name of my presentation is from Legacy six systems to connected futures. A bit about myself, I am a digital product manager at the Cooper Hewitt. I come from a design background, I worked in product design and architecture for a while. And actually, while studying as a design student, I visited the Cooper Hewitt in 2003. And there I saw a an installation by antenna design. And it was my first introduction into oh my gosh, digital stuff can be art, digital stuff can be interesting and digital stuff can be in museums. I began to work until one day after many years in the design profession, I realized that I wanted to pursue that technology. In museums, I found out where Siggy most Legger went to school who designed this, see, and masa, Noona Kowa are better well known for designing the subway trains. I'm in New York City. This is one of their installations, found out where they went to school, went there, got into art got into technology, and decided that I would pursue this and eventually led me back to the Cooper Hewitt where it all started. So I feel it's a good. Getting back to the origins. Just a little bit about the Cooper Hewitt in 2014, the museum reopened with a brand new digital experience. And it's been about five years of that running. We've learned a lot in that time. But no major changes have happened. And the digital experiences both in the galleries and on the web. So where I come in, I'm actually focused very much on the website. But as our web and our galleries are connected by current systems, they sort of intertwine. So we'll be talking today, a little about both of them. So what's next for Cooper Hewitt? It's a very big question. And we're actually just starting to figure it out. Well, we've been trying to figure it out for a few months now six to nine months. But we're pretty much just starting, these are some of my colleagues as well on the front row giving notes than they can Yeah, that's fine. Totally fine. Keep going. No, very good. So we're actually starting out by doing a lot of cross departmental workshops, If you've anything from education, for membership, to curatorial exhibitions, and marketing to figure out sort of what's working, what are the needs, the departments, why do they? What do they want to do? What's happening right now and what's not happening? So we're really taking an approach to look internally as the different departments ask a lot of questions among ourselves, and then try to figure out what everybody wants. And this comes again, within auditing the infrastructure, right? What do we have? Or what do we want to have? What do we want to do? And what can we do with what we have? And what can't we do? And we're sort of developing a roadmap to align with those goals. So this is pretty basic stuff, right? Where are we going? Where do we want to go? What's not working? And how do we get there? This has been through a series of workshops that we've been doing for maybe for about a few months, but really putting all this together. So but also asking the departments really what are their what are their inspirations? What are their aspirations? What do they want to do? What are their goals? And importantly, what are their roadblocks? And so we've been doing these workshops, and trying to understand these questions. And we've been learning a few things. And probably the things that we've learning, we're learning are very similar to many of you when you talk about the needs of the departments or what's happening between departments. So what did we find out?

Unknown Speaker 04:11
Well, what we have our siloed, but related content. So there's many similarities between our departments, but they're all creating content, the content is all going online. But whether it's marketing content for a show, or a blog that we create about an object or blog that we create about a show, if it's an exhibition page that we create about the exhibition page, educational department, an educational program that might have to do with a certain show, or curators, again, putting objects into TMS so that we can get them onto our collection site. All of these things are linked, but all departments are working independently to create them. And then as you do you go into WordPress, you build your blog, you build your page, and then you put out there, what's out there, but everyone's sort of doing it independently. But again, it's all related. The educational departments relate to the exhibitions, the exhibitions relate to the marketing material, the marketing material relates to the curatorial content. And it's all it's all related. So what we kind of understand that we need is a comprehensive content strategy. And a content strategy is, you know, what are we saying, Who are we saying it to? And why are we saying it because everyone is speaking independently and independent voices, different departments are talking about similar things to similar audiences, but they're all doing it siloed. So one of our biggest gaps is that we don't actually have a comprehensive content strategy, to have one voice so that everyone knows what voice they're speaking to, or knows who they're speaking to, when they go to create this content, because everyone is creating a lot of content a lot of the times and they're all doing it independently. But even if they're even if we have a content strategy, everyone is still using the same tools, right? They're still going on to WordPress, they're still making a blog, they're still they're still creating content in the same way. So what we're looking to do is create an information architecture to connect the content. So if we implement a content strategy that is says, you know, we know our content is related. But how do we connect it? We know our exhibitions, content is connected to our educational content, but how do we connect it? So our current infrastructure, this is gonna be very high level, but bear with me. So we have a collections database, which has all of our collection objects, right. But we also have a web database for all of the blog posts, and exhibition posts and everything that's coming out of all of these departments creating this content. Our collection database is pulling that content out and making that available to the public through an API. And our web database is making that public through this CMS and through WordPress, because it's WordPress. So this is how things are happening. But they come out in sort of different ways, right? The collections database comes out, serves information as sort of structured data in a way that our WordPress blog doesn't. The collections database, this data is served to the galleries in the web's also in a way that our WordPress content isn't. But it's all related. And right now, these never the twain shall meet, right? Our collection site is very independent of our web content, but they're related. Are you seeing a pattern, I'm hoping that you're seeing a pattern. So we've actually built some links internally, WordPress plugins, modifications to try to link these two. So you can go back and forth and it does work. But it wasn't built from the ground up to be able to support some of these things, or some of these future goals. And the goals are really coming from the departments. The goals are saying, I want my exhibitions page to be able to link to objects. This is what the departments are telling us about what's happening. So right now, is this okay, right. Can we continue doing this? Yeah, no, maybe not. So. Spoiler. So I'm going to talk a little bit about a book I read. The book is called Three Men in a Boat. It's about three men in a boat, and it's called Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome. It was published in 1888. It's a Victorian era book. So a lot of it is talking about John Cage Rohn talks about a towline getting nodded and nodding itself up. In any case, like an anti Macassar. Obviously, it knots itself like an anti Macassar. Because I know what an anti Macassar is, and I'm sure that you know what an anti Macassar is, so the presentation is over.

Unknown Speaker 08:50
So this is an anti Macassar. As we know, today, I don't know whether this is meant to keep the chair off of your head or your head off of the chair. But these things exists in the world. But they also exist in our collection. So when a when a curator talks about an ancient Macassar they have TMS and they have certain fields and they talk about an anti Macassar in the ways that you would implement them in whatever collections information system. So this says this is an anti Macassar. It is a 20th century and we acquired it in 1974. Its medium is linen. And this technique is a patchwork of techniques need to work on not a net. Jerome K. Jerome was right about that. bobbin and needle lace, it is part of the textiles department. And this is how big it is. And this is what the curators are giving us right because they have a certain amount of fields in our collections bandages, and they fill them in and there you go, you have your object and it's on the collection system, but it at Macassar in reality has more to do with this guy, or rather his head or rather the oil that's in his head. The oil itself comes from the port of Macassar in Tunisia from a plant that I don't know how to pronounce this, this shliach holiest plant. If anyone knows how please correct me. And it was created into a product called roelens Macassar oil. The product became so popular that people had to create something a product to protect their furniture from the oil, called an anti Macassar. It was one of the first advertised products ever to be advertised as the Victorian ever poster. Thomas Rowlinson a famous political cartoonist even talked about Macassar oil, he's pouring it on this guy's head. He's bald, I don't know, maybe it cares baldness. Thomas Rowlinson, very popular at the time even got in on the party. Alexander Rowland, son of Alexander Rowland wrote the book and historical, philosophical and practical essay on the human hair combining a full and copious description of its growth analysis of its various properties, the causes of its varied colors with the EU elucidation of the different disorders to which it is subject and the best means of eradicating those diseases, and mentions Macassar oil about 100 times. Macassar oil is also mentioned in Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll as the white knight claims to have discovered its ingredients. So this was a very, very popular product. But when you get to our collections page, you get, you know, it is dated 20th century, it's patchwork of techniques, and you don't get the story. So what can we do about it? I'm going to make it put a stake in the ground and say that stories are precious. And the stories about objects are as precious and need to be treated as precious as the collections themselves. So this is Willie Smith, he was a designer who passed away in 1987, one of the first African American designers in the country produced a lot of clothes, but you may remember him from Willie wear those really baggy pants that you may have bought in the 1980s and 90s. That is Willie Smith, and that is part of his legacy. But a lot of his legacy is actually missing because he was forgotten. So right now we are asking the public to submit content to us to fill in the blanks, right? We're trying to fill out this man's story because a lot of it was lost.

Unknown Speaker 12:32
But we have an actual and a very real problem. When we get that content that fills out Willie Smith story. What do we do with it? Right? We could we can't put it in our collections. Because it's not really a collection stuff. When we told registrar's about this. There's like no, no, no too much stuff. We're not going to, we're gonna you know, we don't want to touch it. What are we going to do about this? We can't really put in our dams, because it's not really dams material. It's not archival stuff. It's not high res photos of collection objects. So it doesn't really sit in dams. So what do we do? Right? We haven't we have a real problem of what to do with this content, because we're putting a show together for the first time about somebody who basically went unknown, and we have nowhere to put the content in anywhere that's meaningful or anywhere that will last, right. So what we have to do, or what we're ended up doing is putting it on WordPress and putting it into a CMS and pretending that maybe one day we'll figure out a good place to put this stuff. But we don't really have a good place, right? There's nothing as Fort Knox as our collections database. And there's nothing as Fort Knox as our dams. But right now we have WordPress. And for anyone who's used WordPress, or any of these things, you know, it's just a mess, right? The CMS is not a place where you can put anything of importance, and it'll probably be entirely wiped out with the rebuild of your next web project. But the problem is, this story is as important to Willie Smith as the items in our collection. But we have to do something about those. So on the left, obviously, is our collection items. And on the right is an on a pedestal in our collection. And on the right is the house of cards in which we are building Willie Smith story forever to fall down for whether it's Willie Smith, or whether it's an anti Macassar. What we need to do is actually figure out how to put these stories on a pedestal, and how to find a way to keep them and keep track of them in a way that's meaningful and lasting. The second thing I want to talk about is linked. So I think if you're at Ignite last night, we talked a lot about linked open data, and about the Semantic Web. So one of the things we really want to be able to do is link these things together, right? Because right now, if you remember the old diagram, the collections objects and the WordPress diagram was there not connected at all. So when we start to think about collection objects, and we start to think about these stories, what we're really looking to do is think about this information or Architecture in a way that we would think about the Semantic Web or linked open data, right, you have your story that might have a story URI or a location of that story or is related to that object. That story itself as a whole, that story is a thing, that story itself has objects within it. Those objects themselves have other links to other objects, right? So you can see how, by encapsulating a story into one, information architecture and linking it to the collection object that these things might all link together and build out. But the real important thing is that the story itself is crafted by a person, right? We're not listening, we're not relying on AI to find every connection to an Auntie Macassar and pull it in and do these things. What we're really doing is relying on people to craft the story in a way that can connect to someone in a way that I hope my Auntie Macassar story connected with you and being able to link those. And again, this looks like data, but right now it's separate. So the question is, can we go from something that looks like this, where our data is separate, where our blogs are separate, where our our web content is separate from our collections database, and into something where those two pieces of data can be connected, and linked, so that when you look up a collection object, maybe you get the metadata around the entire story that's written about it, or various stories, or everything that we have in our collection, or anything that we're writing about. And then this can be delivered to the web, or in galleries? Or other apps perhaps. Yeah, so I think the big question, I think one of the big questions were asking, and again, this is all sort of work in progress, right? We are very much starting off with this. So this is a bit

Unknown Speaker 16:54
a hypothesis right now. And we're looking into how we can build this. So the great thing about WordPress is, it's easy, right? You can go in, you can type up, you want to type, you can download an image from the internet, you save it to your desktop, you drop it, you drop it in your blog, and you publish it, right. So the hard part is actually building a framework where you can connect these things. So can we build a tool to develop narratives with built in semantic web standards and enable this type of storytelling? And then can we leverage these links, Link stories with machine learning and AI to create more robust and human centered discovery methods, right, so you're starting with something that's created by a person that's emotionally engaging, but that also has all these other great connections to it, because we built it that way from the beginning. But this also makes these things are searchable, right. So if we build it in a way that it's searchable, we can actually do more of that searching. And we can actually do make more of those connections. So there's two ladies that were very influential to the creation of the Cooper Hewitt, they were the Hewitt sisters. They traveled the world collecting objects from all over the globe, bringing them out, bringing them back and creating the collection. At the Cooper Hewitt, they had a large social network, including JP Morgan, who donated objects. And they basically tasked all of their friends to donate objects. And they built a learning school, where a learning museum where you could go to school and be surrounded by all these objects. And this thing then became what is now the collection at the Cooper Hewitt. We do have a blog right now of the Hewlett sisters that people have been writing and authoring for years. They include images, people stories about all of the different people's lives. But again, they're only in a blog forum by so we're looking at being able to create an architecture going forward to connect these things. But we're also looking back right at this content, can we pull out these images? Can we take the content that we already have, and make these connections with the content that we already have? But these things, you know, can we create that social network out of this. We also have an object of the Day collection. As I mentioned before the museum closed in 2012. But to keep the excitement about the Cooper Hewitt going, and to keep people interested in all the objects in the collection, we started publishing a blog every single day, a new blog post was posted about an object in our collection. But again, it's separate. It's in WordPress, right. We are able to connect it back we are able to connect it back to the collection. But right now when you search the collection, you don't necessarily get the blog posts when you search the blog post. You don't when you search our WordPress, you don't get all of that information because so Senate can we search both of these databases at the same time and get all this information. So these are really what we're looking at. Going forward what our goals are So, we do have a lot of content through our blogs, and at least if you consider the Hewitt sisters, I think there's about 50 different blog posts about the Hewitt sisters, all of images, images of people, images, art, images with objects. So can we actually go back into our collection? And search through those things for those posts about? What's in them? Can we do a cognitive search to search for the dates and people and places and events and objects that are in those in those collections? And maybe we'll make connections that the original authors didn't? Didn't think of? Or didn't know? And can we map those things? Again, can we map their social structure? Can we map their, their influence the objects in theirs? Can we end up with something? And what but what if we could really start off with some of that link data and build a blog with some of that link data and build out these stories in a way that it can all be connected? So So what can we connect, right? We're really thinking about, it's not just an object story that we want to connect to the collections. These might be exhibition pages, exhibition pages have curated information about the shows in which they're associated. The thing about an exhibition page is it has a lot of information about that show about that person, information about the what's on exhibit, but often they come down, right, they come down either at the end of the show, and they disappear forever, the curator might not consider them as important. But if you're searching for those objects, you might want that exhibition page to understand what was the curators point of view

Unknown Speaker 21:43
for those objects for that story. Educational Programs, again, often educational programs are designed to focus on a specific object to talk about a specific thing or different time period, a person or a place on that was influential in creating whatever is in the museum, in our case, it's designed. But again, these things are also linked. Interviews. And videos and audio are also amazing resources because they have transcriptions. If you're working with transcriptions, you have content, you have speech, you have context. Around the content that we're we're talking about that can all be used as data, and it can all be linked. So to use cognitive search to search those transcriptions, they can all be used to link this stuff together. So what are our next steps? That's actually a really good question. And we are actually we're working on it now. And then it's really trying to understand what a an information architecture might be, to actually build this out in a way that it can work for us, but also not for us. Because going back to the beginning, talking about everyone creating the content, every department is going to be creating the content, we don't see that changing, right? That's everybody's mode of working. And so we're really trying to understand if they're going to be working in a future way, how can we support the ways in which in which people are creating content, so that we can link it together in the future. So in short, if you take relatable stories, like the anti Macassar, and you connect it with linked information architecture in some way, you really end up with an emotional, emotional connections with deep semantic connections. And, and it's not so much about just those deep semantic connections. It's not about you know, the great Semantic Web where everything is linked, and everything is you can, you're asking a museum visitor to just like dive into a web of content, you're really crafting an emotional story, to make a connection with the visitor to the website, or into the galleries. And then from there, now that you've got them hooked, the stories that you're telling can actually bring them into deeper parts of the collection into deeper stories into other objects. And deeper into the museum experience. So where are we were between being precious, linked and searchable in the scope of where we are, we're, like sorta right about here. We know that they're precious. We've made that stake in the ground. And we've decided that we want to make them precious. But we're actually in the process of a little research and discovery on how to do the things that we want to do, right. So this is all this is all great. And I can sit up here and talk about it, but to make it as a whole other thing. So that's what we're looking to do. Could be headless CMS, I don't know we can throw out some jargon around how to map all these things together. But But that's where we are and that's what we're looking to do. So it's a work in progress. risk, which means if you want, if you have any ideas as to how to do this, I'm all yours. And I'd really love your feedback or to collaborate somehow, on making this possible or for joining into a discussion about how to do these things going forward. So I am Adam Quinn, that is my handle. I am Adam Quinn and my email, which is not that, but looking forward to getting in touch with any or all of you in the future about how to do this. Are there any questions? Yes. How long it took us? I would say, I think about maybe six months, we really didn't know what we wanted. When we started off. It was just let's ask everybody some questions. Right? We didn't start off coming up with this. It wasn't like we wanted to do this.

Unknown Speaker 26:00
But it was a workshop. You know, it was really the workshops were focused on. Okay, what do people want? What are they? What are they looking for? What are they want to do? And after a while, we just heard the same thing over and over and over that everyone was looking for a content strategy. So they wanted, they knew why they were doing what they were doing. They wanted to know who they were talking to. But also everybody realized that all these things were connected. And that wouldn't it be great if we could have an exhibition page that had all this stuff? And wouldn't it be great if on our blog post, it could connect to the exhibition page in a way, and we're doing a lot of those things manually now, right? We're building. We have some frameworks online, that is that is connecting some of our blog posts to the exhibition channel, connecting them to an exhibition page. But they're, they're there. They're only linked in a way that is sort of afforded by our WordPress framework, and perhaps that perhaps we can work with WordPress to do some of these things in the future. But it's the goal, right? So that's the goal. Maybe it is WordPress, maybe we just build on what we have. But we're sort of in that discovery phase of Okay, can we build on what we have? Or do we have to, you know, start over? Do we need a different type of content management system? Does our API need to be looking at some of this other content in a way that it can relate this content? If it is going to relate to this content? What would it have to do going forward? So we're starting with those questions that are coming out from our departments? And then we're looking at okay, what do we have to build to actually really make that stuff happen? Yes,

Unknown Speaker 27:39
I mean, you might not have gotten to this process. But at this point, do you see yourself creating the technology in house or outsourcing, development or

Unknown Speaker 27:50
what we are considering it? I mean, we I definitely want, we're definitely going to need consulting on it. So one way or the other, we're going to want consulting, I don't think we have enough in house resources to solve this on our own. Definitely. Whoever either builds this, it might be outsourced. But I'd like it to be done in a way that it is collaborative, right. So it's, it's not we deliver an RFP and somebody goes and builds a thing, it's actually coming in and prototyping and testing this stuff. And because it has been so collaborative with the different departments up to this point, I'd really like it to stay that way going forward.

Unknown Speaker 28:29
So where this discussion would be that we talked about how would you do it? Online experience stories in Genesis?

Unknown Speaker 28:40
That's it. That's, that's great. Yeah. I, you know, I really, I think that we have a presentation on Friday that Carolyn and Rachel are going to be talking about the Interaction Lab, we'll be talking all about interactions in the gallery. So you can go to that it's Friday morning at 1010 1015. So definitely go to that if you want to hear more about that. But I think these things are linked, right. So, you know, in right now, our collections is linked into the galleries, they're fed onto giant tables, you can use a pen to collect these things and do these things. The visitors are very entwined with what's happening. But we want to see like, Okay, if if stories are delivered online, you know, are you just getting objects? Or are you able to see like, it's not just online, it's sort of anything digital, right. So our hope is that, you know, we can build stories that are interesting enough for interactions that are interesting enough that they can be viewed online. You know, we are still trying to understand the data around first time visitors, whether they visit the website first, or whether they visit after so we're actually trying to collect that data. So we're, we understand it, but right now honestly, I don't I don't have a great answer as to you know, this is a pre visit thing. Is it a post visit thing? Or is it just So we're gonna build this thing because we think we can create great experiences and narratives for visitors through a content strategy, right, I'm going to create a story for a specific type of visitor, whether it's a kid, whether it's a design student, whether it's a design professional, or a first time visitor, I'm gonna design a story for them, and hope that the story I create pulls them into the rest of the collection. Because I was not a museum person, right? I was a design person. I didn't know that museums had collections, right? In my previous days of being an ignorant designer, I didn't realize that the Cooper Hewitt did have 210,000 objects. And I'm not unlike most museum visitors. And so this is coming out of what do we do for those 90% of people who don't know that a museum has 1000s and 1000s of objects or millions of objects in a collection? How do we deliver them stories in a way that engages them, and then make those stories open up the world to the rest of the collection in a way that is interesting to them? So after learning about the anti Macassar, maybe you want to visit the textiles department to realize that we have one of the largest textiles departments in the world, we have one of the largest and best tech textiles collections, you know, out there. But if you just on at McAfee like okay, this weird thing, I don't know what it is. But hopefully after the story, you'd say, Okay, that's pretty cool. What else do you got? So, yeah, in the back,

Unknown Speaker 31:23
I wonder if internally, you encountered any roadblocks or culture challenges with the idea of bringing in

Unknown Speaker 31:33
strictly non Korean voices into the object page or more that your content objects need, which is typically the territorial?

Unknown Speaker 31:43
Oh, yeah, that's totally. No, we're totally stepping on toes. But yeah, I mean, I think that Well, I think that part of the my own personal my own, this is my view, my own personal view is that the curators, you know, they are there in part, overseeing a database of objects. They are not inherently storytellers. So if they are talking about an object, they are totally doing all of their jobs, too. Some of them are storytellers. Some of them are librarians. They're not necessarily always there to tell stories, although some of them are good at it. I think that there's a you know, I, I think there's an openness generally, if you approach it correctly, to people being really open to being able to tell stories about objects, in a way. Yes, Aaron?

Unknown Speaker 32:45
Yes, I think it's important to recognize the distinction between curatorial discretion, yes. Around structured data that comes out of the database, and you don't want to work with is true, and crafting narrative is important. But that's what curators do. That's what they always do. They do it in a very specific language. And part of the longest days is 10,000 Word documents scattered halfway across the world, and but to curious, aren't telling stories? I mean, seriously?

Unknown Speaker 33:27
Yeah, I mean, when they're putting together show, definitely, or trying to talk about these objects. But and maybe you can't tell an amazing story about every single object in the collection. Yeah, and but it's, I do understand the question of is it going to be stepping on someone's toes for someone else to come in and tell stories about objects? And I think that's a really important question and a really good distinction to ask, because right now, our curators are, you know, they have a lot to do. So creating these stories might not be the greatest thing to do for them or use of their time. But we are looking to, you know, really focus on interpretation. So go back to that content strategy and focus on interpretation. So if we are having a show, what are the objects that are going to be the best objects to talk about? And maybe you are working with the curator and a storyteller or someone who's involved in narrative to tell the story about that object in a way that isn't just in TMS in a way that isn't there. So I hope for the future, that it'll be seamless, but I can't promise that it'll be the most seamless. Yeah, we have

Unknown Speaker 34:38
worked with a little bit like generated content. That is clear reasons of what you don't want us to put any interpretive work to sanction collections database to store objects and the information that's required to manage that. Is that reasonable? Can you speak more to why decided It seems like the solution for this

Unknown Speaker 35:04
is a damned might be the solution. But our dams right now with the Smithsonian is not set up to be that solution. Our it is in might be very specific to the Smithsonian might be very specific to our museum. I would like to have a dams that could do this. I think having a dams that does do this might be part of the solution. But right now, for us, it's not the solution. Our dams is really more about archival storing images about collection objects. It's not necessarily about storytelling. Yeah. So it could be part of the solution. And I imagine it is part of the solution going forward. But for right now, it's not part of our current grouping of things that we can use. Yeah. In the back.

Unknown Speaker 35:53
When you did your, your meetings with stakeholders, or workshops, did you find that the content creators had a lot of ideas, really helpful ideas about what your final product should look like? And if so how did you steer them away from that and start to talk more about, we're creating a content strategy and an information architecture is something that they don't really understand or want to understand. Did you have that? Did you get away from it?

Unknown Speaker 36:17
Yeah. Well, I mean, I think I think because we we addressed it. I mean, obviously, we did look at things in the world, many, maybe we looked at your website, maybe we looked at the things that people in here are doing also for inspiration. But we tried to bring it back to really goals, what are their goals? What are their roadblocks? And what do they want to and what do they want to create? So we tried to get away from what it is we're building and stick to why it is we're building it. And to represent, you know, and to really preface this by say, Listen, this is going to be a process, we're only going to focus on why today and really lay out the framework and lay out the steps ahead of time and say, you know, in that step of the process, here's where we are, we're trying to figure out why we will get to the what eventually, but right now, we really got to figure out why and what it is that's, you know, you know, causing problems or roadblocks to the people involved with it, or what they want to see and really focus on the inspirational stuff to start, you know, and that was met with some criticism, to be honest, there are some departments that were like, I don't know why we're doing this, you know, we got a lot of like, pushback from people saying, I don't know why I want to be part of this, there's going to be design company that's going to come in six months anyway, and redo this. So you're just wasting our time, I got a lot of that. And so not a lot, but selects you know, there's a select, there's a prickly people every now and again. But you just work through it and keep going and try to be positive and try to get as much as you can and make as many connections as you can. And it wasn't easy. It's not always easy. You sometimes got to deal with a little verbal slack. But other than that, it was mostly positive. I think most people were receptive. Yeah. Yes, the options

Unknown Speaker 38:05
are created, and they can be created further in the future. So in your current work, are you addressing your own story? Are you open to address, you know, all kinds of stories,

Unknown Speaker 38:18
people could write about it?

Unknown Speaker 38:21
Yeah, one of the things that we will be talking about on Friday is user generated stories and stories in the galleries, and actually addressing people while they're at the museum, so that they can talk about some of these things in ways that we may not have understood. I think the the willie Smith show that is opening in March, it started with an open call for people to submit content, but we hope that actually we'll be able to get more stories as people come to the museum. And we realize that the stories that we're getting, it'll be an organic thing. So there might be things created by people, it is user generated content. So for us that is like, you know, we're gonna use that as a case study of can we take user generated content? And to be honest, right now, the only place that we can really put it is the web, right? We don't have this thing. We don't have a way to connect it. But we're still we're thinking about it in a way. Okay, if we were to do this again, and we had an ideal structure, how could we do this? If we had something that was better than our dams? How could we do it? And what would we want? And what would be the requirements for that? And then using that show in this process as a way to say, okay, what are the requirements going forward? So that if we were to do this again, or in the future, because I'm guessing we're going to be doing a show that's going to have user generated content in the future eventually. So what might that be as to you know, how do we connect it to your blog or something else? I don't have that. I haven't really considered that. So but for right now, we're thinking this more as an internal thing, but it could eventually be an external thing or I don't know. Yeah. Yes.

Unknown Speaker 39:53
So we are in the second year now but I am doing it by I've been working with the application developer to build our content for all. CMS related. Yes. So we've been using strappy, and we're in the process.

Unknown Speaker 40:12
That's great to know. Come up and talk to me after that would be great. This. All right, this conference is working out. Yeah, I think yes, in the back. Right. Yeah. So I think as a very good question, we're thinking about our new web, we are thinking about a new website and how to do it. So there is a there is a we're going to create it, we're in the process of creating a rubric for, you know, what do we keep going forward? What do we get rid of what's important, we can look at analytics to see what's popular. But it also could be trying to keep all these things. I think that I mean, I don't have I don't have a great answer for that. Because I don't know how the story creation is going to be. But I don't know that storage space right now is an, you know, it's not on top of my mind, I'd rather get one, you know, I'd rather do the thing and then figure out like, that's a great problem to have, if we have so many stories that we need extra storage, like I would welcome that problem. So, you know, hopefully, we'll get there, I would love to have that problem. But right now, we don't even have the first part of it to have that problem. But there is definitely a going to be a processor is now a process of looking at the content that we already have looking through those blog posts, looking through all that things, and what do we keep what have we created over the last few years? And what do we take forward with us? Because it'll have to be reformatted. A lot of changes might have to be made to it. So we are going to have to go through the process to understand what it is we have and what it is we want to keep and what's valuable, but it's a that's that's a huge task that I'm kind of dreading. Yeah, anymore. Great. Well, thank you very much.