Saturday, October 20, 2007

Interesting Use of Social Networking Technology at the Smithsonian

Catching up on my reading list that has been sitting patiently among my delicious tags.

In September it was announced that the Smithsonian Institution was launching an interactive website to build collections for its newest museum that won't open until 2015.

The museum is the National Museum of African American History and Culture and with the online content that people are contributing a virtual museum now exists. Here's the link for the virtual museum:

The IBM corporation has donated hardware and software to allow for the use of social networking technologies to be employed on the interactive website so that people can add to the collections and direct the content of this new museum. "The museum thought, ‘Let's harness this. Let's build a social network that brings together people interested in the African American experience ... all those people that are your visitors but who have great stories to tell," said John Tolva, IBM's senior manager for cultural programs, in an article in the e-School News magazine (see

I'm not the first blogger to write about this topic -- see for example this blog entry from the Netherlands at, and this entry from the Chronicle of Higher Education at, and IBM's posting on this venture at

It will be interesting to watch how this type of application may spread to other endeavors. ...still the digital immigrant...Lois

Note: Logo from the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History at

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