Sunday, March 27, 2011

Passion in person, and at a distance

Today, I'm viewing some of the video presentations from the recent Danish museum educator seminar on "passion" in museums.
Watch live streaming video from formidlingsnet at

Most of the lectures are in Danish, but several of the guests speak in English. If I had had the time, I would have joined the seminar in person. But like most other museum professionals, I can't be everywhere at once. My congratulations to the Association of Danish Museums for making the presentations available!

But perhaps one really can be everywhere at once. Could the streaming experience be considered just another way of participating?

Watching these seminar presentations reminds me that only last night I attended a Nepalese cultural evening which also used streaming technology to allow people back home in Nepal and other places join along in singing, dancing and dinner. The Nepalese Society in Trondheim has been making their activities available on YouTube and live streams already for several years, and has perhaps more virtual participants than those in person.

I wonder how much time it will take before live streaming techniques become taken for granted. When will people begin saying that you haven't really done an event unless it has been made available for your family, friends or colleagues at a distance? Some people already use Twitter and Facebook in this way, with constant text, video and photo uploads from their mobile phones. But what "passion" do we expect from participation in such social media, and how much intimacy do we search for at a distance?

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