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Museums and the Web

An annual conference exploring the social, cultural, design, technological, economic, and organizational issues of culture, science and heritage on-line.

Open Innovation and Open Source: A Guide for Content Developers


The Tech Open Source museum project launched in late 2007 (as "The
Tech Virtual") with the goal to apply the latest in open source
collaboration methods and tools to the creation of museum content. It
is composed of an online platform (a website with user-generated
content) and modeling resources hosted in a 3D virtual world. Offered
as a resource for the museum community as a whole, the project was
funded by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, and is hosted by The
Tech Museum in San Jose, CA.

The ambitions of the program include development of museum exhibits
and content through open contribution by a diverse community of
curators, experts, hobbyists, scientists, and thinkers. This is
accomplished by connecting with individuals, institutions, and online
communities internationally. Thus far the project has involved the
participation of over 20 institutions and 1300 site members, who have
generated more than 400 exhibit designs and video projects.

As part of the grant products we will present a report of these
methods for the museum industry in the form of a project white paper
at Museums and the Web 2012.

The paper includes descriptions of the methods in use and results
obtained by the project. These are summarized in a practical structure
which covers open source approaches for Casual Contribution, Mentored
Development, or Expert Network level contributors. It also explains
how to apply a range of open innovation categories to structure open
source projects.

The paper is meant as a guide for institutions considering open
innovation programs or open design projects.


Paper - in formal session


bobk's picture
Bob Ketner Curator, The Tech Open Source at The Tech Museum in San Jose, CA Since mid-2008 Bob Ketner has managed The Tech Open Source, an online design community website for science and technology centers. Before returning to the museum industry, Bob worked in e-commerce and was on a team that...