Smithsonian Web & New Media Strategy


Further to my recent post on Transparency, Strategy & Success where I linked to Michael Edson‘s talk on the Smithsonian’s transparency strategy process, the Smithsonian Institution has relased its web and new media strategy.

“The strategy talks about an updated digital experience, a new learning model that helps people with their “lifelong learning journeys,” and the creation of a Smithsonian Commons—a new part of our digital presence dedicated to stimulating learning, creation, and innovation through open access to Smithsonian research, collections and communities.” Check out Edson’s post for more about the transparent process and to see more details of SI’s web & new media strategy.

Transparency, Strategy & Success


Change is not easy and it’s definitely not a fast process. It requires a lot of communication and transparency. Transparency first came on my radar in 2003 with Don Tapscott and his book, The Naked Corporation: How the Age of Transparency Will Revolutionize Business. We have been talking to our clients about transparency a fair bit lately, and so has Michael Edson, Director of Web & New Media Strategy, Office of the CIO, Smithsonian Institution SI). Michael was a keynote speaker in April at Computers in Libraries 2009 and just spoke to the Potomoc Forum about the transparency strategy process. The first number of slides are similar to those he used for CIL2009, but this new presentation has a lot more about the actually process that the Smithsonian is using. The SI has now developed three themes in their strategy: update the Smithsonian digital experience, update the Smithsonian learning model, balance autonomy & contrl at SI. Interesting and probably something that many libraries should be thinking about. They have eight goals: mission, brand, learning, experience, interpretation, business model, technology & governance. And, they have 54 tactical recommendations with 5 “do next” items: post doc to wiki, synchronize with other strategy efforts, appoint a leader, develop a tactical road map, & embrace the Smithsonian Commons, the centerpiece of the strategy, “facilitate learning, creativity, innovation through open access to Smithsonian collections, resources & communities.” Libraries have a lot to learn from Michael. I first heard him speak in Dec 08 and he

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Transparency, FB & Social Networking


Ever since Bill Drew pointed me on Facebook (FB) to this article, The Underwear Theory of Social Networking, it has been bothering me. It features a guy who does not want business colleagues as friends on FB. He’s dropping them. He feels LinkedIn is a better place for his business communications. Andrew Conry-Murray says on an InformationWeek site:“Here’s the mental picture I’ve created for the Big 3 social networking platforms I use.

LinkedIn is a suit and tie. It’s a conference room for business meetings, and people tend to be on their best behavior.

Twitter is a sports coat and jeans. It’s the hotel bar at a security conference or trade show. Technically I’m still at work, but there’s alcohol. The industry chatter, shop talk, and self-promotion gets salted with gossip, mild flirting, and swear words. You might even see a fight.

Facebook is boxer shorts and a T-shirt with burrito stains. It’s the couch where you sprawl out to watch “Family Guy,” eat Phish Food straight from the carton, and leave your socks laying around.”

And, now I’ve just read about employees being fired for their comments on FB. We know that people have always had less than flattering things to say, and do say it in many ways, what’s different about this media? Anyway, I like what C. G. Lynch had to say on CIO’s Web 2.0 Advisor site,

“Transparency (with good, bad and ugly information) ultimately betters your organization and keeps it honest. Social technologies enable that

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