Not all new ideas are good ideas . . .

And IMHO, this initiative from ICOM is a truly awful idea. Here is an excerpt from an email that I saw this morning. It starts like this:
ICOM cordially invites all members of the global museum community to participate in IMD on 18 May 2008 with activities in their museums based on our theme “Museums as agents of social change and development”.
Sounds good so far. IMD is International Museum Day. They invite us all to participate in both the real and virtual worlds with activities consistent with their theme. And here is where they lose the plot completely:
The highlight of the suggested online activities on is hosted by The Tech Museum of Innovation on 18 May in the replica of its Silicon Valley museum of technology on SECOND LIFE, the virtual 3-D platform created by Linden Lab. From real-world museums, museum professionals and the public will be able to communicate with colleagues, artists and “residents” in the virtual world. They will therefore be able to participate in the collective development of exhibits in The Tech in SECOND LIFE.
I am not at all sorry to say that this is simply one of the worst ideas I’ve heard of recently.


  1. Mal Booth

    Nina,I knew this would probably get me into trouble, but it is just my own opninion of Second Life. It might be a good idea, but coming from a curatorial and managerial perspective within a pretty big and reasonably well-resourced national museum, I see it as a distraction of very limited appeal that we simply cannot afford to devote resources too. Certainly not before we’ve digitised priority collections, made real content easier to find on our website, provided better services to the real needs of our users and visitors, etc. I realise there are people who will disagree with me, but nobody has yet convinced me that Second Life has any relevance at all to our museum.

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