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Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales

April 2007

Moving outside our web-site

Posted by Chris Owen on 14 April 2007

It's always interesting at conferences like Museums & The Web how individuals seem to be independently moving the in the same direction. Dafydd mentioned the Brooklyn Museum's Graffiti Mural which is a really nice example of how gallery spaces and online spaces can be combined to provide an experience for everybody.

There's also a distinction developing between a museum's web-site and a museum's online presence. In the past, if you spread your wings outside your own site, it was to pay a tourism or web-links site to promote your museum, and I think it was mostly a fruitless venture. A lot of the teams here have actively participating on a new generation of participatory sites like MySpace, Facebook, Flickr, Digg, YouTube and the community of museum bloggers (the 'blog-o-sphere'). The audience for these sites tends to be a little different to the average web-site visitor looking for opening times or driving directions.

Actively participating in online communities - leaving comments, flagging up related links, and linking to others - can be one of the big drivers for people to come to your site. If you can get this community talking to the people standing in the exhibitions, you can build a much stronger community than museums have ever had before, and reach a wider variety of people too.

Web 2.0

Posted by Chris Owen on 13 April 2007

The web 2.0 workshop yesterday allowed us to see how some of the world's leading institutions are connecting to social networks to gain new audiences.

Jeff Gates from the Smithsonian explained how they had assembled a blog team, and developed an online identity (Eye Level) that has gained popularity. I was quite suprised at the workflow involved with posting a blog - but happy to see that even a heavliy moderated blog can be successful.

Shelley Bernstein and Nicole Caruth from Brooklyn Museum showed some very interesting uses of social networking sites like Flickr. I was particularly impressed with their 'Graffiti Mural' project where people leave tags or comments on the wall, and track the progress of the wall on Flickr - check it out here. You can even upload pictures of exhisting Graffiti. They are really blurring the line between visitors that are physical and virtual - I look forward to visiting them in NYC.

Finally there was an enjoyable presentation by Mike Ellis from the Science Museum (UK). Out of the many valid comments Mike made (ranging from bureaucratic to technical), the point of 'start doing' was the main message that came through.

On the right track?

Posted by Chris Owen on 13 April 2007

From our tour of San Francisco both Chris and I were quite relieved that other Museums were using similar technology to Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales. Web based delivery of in-gallery digital media seems to be quite popular, and our custom built content management system allows us to roll out responsibility for some services to selected editors.

The new gallery at St Fagans, Oriel 1, uses web-based technology for most of its applications. This means that most of the audio-visual content is quite flexible and can be accessed across networks. It's a bit of a testing ground for us!

Blogging at Museums & The Web 2007

Posted by Chris Owen on 12 April 2007

It's now Dafydd and I's second day at the Museums & The Web conference, and appropriately today's workshop was on blogging. It was hosted by the web team at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis. They've been running a series of blogs for quite some time, and it's grown from the first few 'new media' entries into the most popular part of their website, and one of the best museum blogs on the net. We're looking forward to meeting them next week and seeing more of what they do.

It was interesting to hear how their blogs have evolved in that time - I think the only way for us to make this area as engaging for people as possible is to keep posting, listen to your feedback (we'll introduce better mechanisms for this soon) and let it happen. What you read now is not the corporate tone, or perhaps what you'll read here in 2 years time.

Another striking difference from the rest of the site is how our blog entries are not directly translated into both Welsh and English, but are presented simply as they're written. It's a personal, off-the-cuff medium and I feel this is in the right spirit. We welcome your feedback on this.

In later posts, I'll talk a bit about how we work with bilingual content and our own Content Management System (CMS). This will be a major consideration as we take our blogging further.

Ebrill 11, 2007

Posted by Sara Huws on 11 April 2007

'Dych chi'n ymuno â fi heddiw ar chwa fach dawel - cyfle, o'r diwedd, i wneud 'chydig o ymchwil ac i ddechrau gwaith ar ddigideiddio (tocyn iaith i fi plis ...) llawer o'r wybodaeth sydd gennym am Eglwys Teilo Sant.

Dwi'n gobeithio y bydd hynny'n gallu cyflenwi dipyn ar y wybodaeth fydd ar gael i ymwelwyr wedi'r agoriad - rydym ni'n colli ein gofod arddangos (collwyd sawl deigryn dros ddifodiant y 'Ddehongl-fan', neu'r 'Chalet Gwybodaeth', credwch fi!) ac yn gorfod meddwl am ffyrdd amgenach o ddifyrru'r ymwelydd. Mae llawer o'r wybodaeth 'dyn ni'n ei gasglu, fodd bynnag, ar gof aelodau o staff yr amgueddfa, ambell i ysgolhaig, criw y Bont (a Hendy, Gorseinon ac ati!). Rhaid i fi ymuno, felly, â rhaglen hyfforddi hanes llafar yr amgueddfa.

Fe fydd pobl yn sôn yn ffeind iawn am gen-garafan-hel-straeon Sain Ffagan, oedd yn arfer teithio hyd a lled y wlad yn recordio coelion gwerin, hanes lleol a thafodieithau. Mae'n technegau ni wedi newid dipyn ers hynny, a mae'r garafan wedi mynd i, wel, i le bynnag y ma carafannau'n mynd ar ôl darfod: "the great steddfod in the sky" ella.

Ta waeth - mae'r casgliad yn enfawr, yn eang ei sgôp a bron wastad yn ddifyr. Braf oedd darganfod llais fy Nain, fu farw yn ystod fy mhlentyndod cynnar, ar dâp yn yr archif ac yn trafod arferion Gwrachod Llanddona yn serchus. Dwi'n gobeithio y gallwn ni gael hanesion yr Eglwys ar dâp, a'u rhoi ar wefan yr Amgueddfa'n fuan.

Gan roi'r 'ymchwil' i'r naill ochr am eiliad, rhaid i fi gyfadde fy mod i wedi cuddio yn y swyddfa heddiw - weithie ma'r diwrnod yn cael ei amlyncu gan ebyst a chyfarfodydd: mae angen 'diwrnod hanes' arnai bob ryw dipyn. Dwi'n ail-adrodd yr un ffeithiau ar lafar mor aml yn fy swydd, rhaid gwneud yn hollol si?r, weithiau, eu bod nhw dal yn wir! Rheswm gwell fyth cael diwrnod tawel heddiw: roedd gweithio dros benwythnos y Pasg yn yr Eglwys yn brysur eithriadol. Fe welsom ni filoedd o ymwelwyr bob dydd: cofion cynnes at unryw rai o'r staff blaen ty sydd yn dal i orwedd lawr mewn stafell dywyll yn eu sgil. I'r rhai ohonoch welais i - gobeithio i chi fwynhau. I'r rhai na ddaeth i'n gweld ni: mae gynnoch chi tan 16 o Ebrill i ddod i beintio ffenestr liw gyda ni!

Tour of San Francisco Museums

Posted by Chris Owen on 10 April 2007

[image: De Young exterior]

[image: ]

As part of our Museums and the Web conference, Chris and I had a tour of some of the museums of San Francisco. We visited the SF MoMA (Museum of Modern Art), the de Young Museum, and the Exploratorium.

The SF MoMA had a concept similar to Oriel 1's (St Fagans' new Belonging exhibition) 'Read and Reveal' - these were called 'Learning Lounges', which included computer workstations (with a custom made user interface to access all online materials), books, and graphics on the walls and panels. Both Chris and myself liked the design of the Flash-based user interface.

At the de Young Museum we had a chance to try out their PDA based tour developed by Antenna Audio. The interface was robust and easy to use. They also showed their digital signage system - which was a Flash display accessing the Museum's web-based CMS (Content Management System).

Then finally we went to the Exploratorium, which was similar to Techniquest - but they had an array of web feeds and microsites within their massive 17,000 page (I think!) web site. 

The conference continues tomorrow with pre-conference workshops, and we are attending the blogging workshop presented by staff from the Walker Art Center, in Minneapolis which we are visiting next week.

Mawrth 27, 2007

Posted by David Thorpe on 3 April 2007

Pnawn da. Gai ddechre trwy estyn gwahoddiad ichi (nage, ddim i'r Eglwys. 'Dych chi ddim wedi blino darllen am honno eto...)?

Mae Oriel 'Perthyn' (neu 'Belonging') newydd Sain Ffagan yn agor yn swyddogol ar ddydd Sadwrn, Mawrth 31, 2007 - gobeithio y gallwch ymweld â ni! Mae'r Oriel wedi bod yn wagle tywyll ers rhai misoedd 'nawr, ond mae'r goleuadau, y camerâu a'r gwrthrychau i gyd wedi'u gosod - ac un ohonynt yn arbennig â chysylltiad gyda'r Eglwys. Dim ond jyst a ffitio i mewn i'w chornel 'mae hi, ond mae murlun Santes Catrin yn werth ei gweld. Rhaid ifi gyfadde' teimlo braidd yn bigog-tu-fewn pan welais i hi'n cael ei symud o'i chuddfan yn y Castell i lawr i'w chartref newydd - mae hi gyda un o'r olion hynaf o ddarlunio o'r Eglwys ac yn fregus iawn.

Cafodd y Santes ei phaentio yng nghanol y 14eg Ganrif, ac yn ffigwr pwerus, gosgeiddig iawn. Mae'r olwyn y tu ol iddi, wrth gwrs, yn ein hatgoffa o artaith y Cristnogion cynnar - yn ogystal ag agwedd hard sell yr Eglwys Gatholig Ganol Oesol. Mae gan bob un o'r seintiau yn yr Eglwys wrthrychcau i'n atgoffa o stori eu bywyd - ond canolbwyntio ar eu rhinweddau fyddwn ni heddiw, yn hytrach na'r aberth a'r boen welwn yn y darluniau canoloesol. Ta waeth, mae 'na gannoedd o bethau eraill (o oes cyn Crist i foddi Capel Celyn) i'w gweld yn yr Oriel newydd - ond cofiwch ddweud helo wrth y Gatrin pan ewch chi heibio.

Cyffro yng nghasgliad yr Amgueddfa - a chyffro felly i'n dehonglwyr: roedd rhaid ffarwelio â'n 'Celt' preswyl, Owain (hwnnw wedi mynd i adeiladu nyth wiail i'w epil newydd), a chroesawu Anna i'n plith (y hi fydd yn gweithio yn Oriel Perthyn) yr wythnos hon. Ychwanegu hwnnw at chwa'r gwanwyn o fysus ysgol, ynghyd â'r gobaith y cai amser i dynnu gwynt a sgrifennu'r wythnos nesa, a dyna fy wythnos. Hwyl am y tro!

Ebrill 3, 2007

Posted by David Thorpe on 3 April 2007

Ers dechrau gweithio yn Sain Ffagan, mae fy 'niddordeb' mewn materion crefyddol wedi gorfod tyfu'n sylweddol. Ydw, wir, dwi'n ddigon hapus (wrth fy modd, bron) yn mwydro am oriau am yr Eglwys Ganoloesol; llafarganu, cerfluniau, darluniau Almaenig o'r Apocalyps hydnoed - ond mae maes 'Yr Eglwys Heddiw' yn llawer mwy niwlog a chythryblus ei olwg i fi na'r hen, hen hanes. Ces i ddipyn o gyflwyniad i'r pwnc pan yn trafod ail-gysegru'r Eglwys. Roedd yn rhaid ystyried pob math o broblemau dyrys - rhyw hybrid ysbrydol-ymarferol sy'n gorfod ystyried anghenion trigolion Pontarddulais, yr Eglwys yn Nghymru a thros chwe chan mil o ymwelwyr y flwyddyn. Mae'n codi sylw at nyth gacwn o enwadau, defodau, ac, yn naturiol, hanes difodiant adeiladau tebyg, nad oedd lle iddynt yma yn Sain Ffagan.

Roedd hi'n braf, felly, gweld yr erthygl hon (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/default.stm), felly, ar dudalen Saesneg y BBC. Mae'n adlewyrchu cymaint o'r themau yr hoffem ni - ac y bydd raid i ni - fynd i'r afa'l â nhw wedi i'r Eglwys agor yn swyddogol fis Hydref. Beth yw rôl addoldy heddiw - ai creiryn yn unig fydd yr Eglwys wrth iddi agor? Gobeithio y bydd digon ohonoch chi'n ymweld â ni i roi dipyn o fywyd i'r lle - does dim byd tebyg i'r teimlad yna pan fydd hi'n llawn pobl!

Felly, gyda'r mwydro lled-athronyddol o'r ffordd, rhaid troi ngolwg i'r Pasg. Stori'r Atgyfodiad yw prif thema ein murluniau - a bydd yr artist Tracey Williams a minnau'n cynnal gweithgareddau'n peintio a dehongli'r stori dros y pythefnos nesa'. Mae croeso i chi alw i mewn i gymryd rhan - dewch â'ch het artist gyda chi!

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