You may have read about the departure of George Oates in the media, but if not check out Seb’s blog post on the subject for starters. The thing that I worried about most with George’s absence was the idea that our cheerleader—the person who had a very personal connection to each Commons Institution, the one who spread her enthusiasm for our collections to the Flickr crowd—was suddenly gone and how does a gaping hole like that get filled? Well, I learned something very valuable. When community is strong, shifts can take place that fill the gap and in this instance, that’s exactly what happened.
To my relief, a few days after we found out about George, I came in to work one morning to a message in the Brooklyn Museum’s Flickr inbox. I won’t quote the whole thing here, but BigBean sent a lovely note asking us to join a group – “I was very surprised to find that there was not one single flickr group devoted to the Commons! In true flickr tradition, I decided to start one. On flickr, groups is where it’s at!”
Boom! In the simplest way, using Flickr’s existing structure, suddenly we have a fantastic group run by some really committed admins and the participation that is going on there is as rich as it gets and it’s only been two days. This new group provides a direct link to the people within the Flickr community who really love The Commons and this was something we had been missing. Previously, we could make one-on-one connections, but the group allows for much greater interaction among all participants.
As most of you know, we’ve got a set of challenges we have to think about as we move forward in The Commons and, now, the feedback from this group will help us greatly. To say we are looking forward to following and participating in this group is, well, a bit of an understatement.
Looking for something fun? How about this thread where Brenda Anderson is curating mail delivery across Commons collections? Awesome.
Shelley Bernstein is the former Vice Director of Digital Engagement & Technology at the Brooklyn Museum where she spearheaded digital projects with public participation at their center. In the most recent example—ASK Brooklyn Museum—visitors ask questions using their mobile devices and experts answer in real time. She organized three award-winning projects—Click! A Crowd-Curated Exhibition, Split Second: Indian Paintings, GO: a community-curated open studio project—which enabled the public to participate in the exhibition process.
Shelley was named one of the 40 Under 40 in Crain's New York Business and her work on the Museum's digital strategy has been featured in the New York Times.
In 2016, Shelley joined the staff at the Barnes Foundation as the Deputy Director of Digital Initiatives and Chief Experience Officer.