Happy New Year, all! I’m writing a book…
After writing my last post of 2018 on the EMOTIVE workshop I attended in Athens, I fell headlong into one of those existential crises where I realized that I was in the grip of a prolonged flow experience. All these seemingly disparate events I’d been attending on storytelling, gaming, immersion, and emotion were all interconnected, and I had to somehow tease out what those connections were. So, it seems I’m writing a book. Stay tuned for more, but I’ve said it publicly now. No backsies!
After that revelation, I spent a good part of December calling and emailing critical friends to put this harebrained idea to the test, and nobody dissuaded me. Several of you were downright encouraging, so it became a more substantial idea, and started to develop a plan, and timeline, and all the other accoutrements of an actual project. Then I got sick right before Christmas, stayed sick through New Year’s Eve, and started the New Year kinda fuzzy-headed and feeling like I’d lost all momentum. So I tweeted a question on January 1st.
I will confess I launched this Tweet into the world with little forethought other than “I really need to start ground truthing my assumptions about this book. I’ve got a bunch of challenges I want to talk about, but what does the audience think are the important challenges?”
Twitter then got busy. In the next couple of days, it generated about 100 different replies, and more affirmations and retweets. I guess it’s a live issue. I include a few of my favorites, in no particular order, just to give you a sense of the breadth of responses.
If you’re at all interested, I’d recommend you dig through the threads. The replies and subtweeting were interesting, and if nothing else, will give you suggestions for other people worth following. Anyway, after scraping all the tweets and exporting them, I started trying to code the responses. Interestingly, they broke down into categories pretty quickly. Here’s my (admittedly unscientific and idiosyncratic) breakdown.
- Climate change,
- Digital as opportunity and threat,
- Fighting the malaise,
- Finding balance,
- Lack of attention to the visitor experience,
- The larger society’s impact,
- Organizational structure issues,
- Reinventing the wheel,
- Systems Thinking,
- Vision and Teamwork
Free pro tip: Wait until the replies actually stop before you start exporting and coding. You’ll save yourself from having to start over when more replies come in.
I generated a word cloud for the visual thinkers who don’t want to read through ~100 tweets and subtweets.
If I had to sum up the responses in a single statement, it would seem that you think the challenges museums face in 2019 are the following:
Seems like a pretty tall order for 2019. Thoughts?
P.S. For those of you who want to dig into the details, I put all the tweets I scraped and grouped into a Google doc here.