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SI Web and New Media Strategy Wiki
SI Web and New Media Strategy Wiki
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SI Web and New Media Strategy 2009 - 2014
SI Mobile Home
The public wiki for
all things mobile at the
Web Strategy Process (2009)
Deliverables, Success, Risks
Technology & Ops
Curation & Research
Smithsonian Commons Prototype
Smithsonian Commons Prototype
Public comments (2010)
Experience Brief - Attributes
Story 1: Museum Visitor
Story 2: Teacher/Family
Story 3: Millennial
Story 4: Citizen Scientist/Enthusiast
Addendum: The Smithsonian Commons Will...
Note: This is an official Smithsonian Institution website, but it is hosted by Wikispaces.
Technology and Operations Discussion Guide
This is a discussion guide for the
Technology and Operations workshop
THEME: Understanding SI’s current approach to technology and operations
At the end of the day, whatever the online vision and mission of the Smithsonian Institution will be, there must be a concept of operations upon which that vision can be built, and there must be a concept for a technology platform that supports the enterprise vision.
Obviously, everyone here has a very clear idea of the Smithsonian’s mission, right? And how well are you doing supporting that mission with your operations and technology management?
What do you think that mission is?
How well are you supporting the mission from an operations perspective?
How well are you aligning your technology planning with that mission?
I made a comment at our last strategy workshop that I was starting to realize that the Smithsonian was probably one of the most siloed and bureaucratic organization I had ever worked with, but at the same time, it was also among the most inventive and entrepreneurial organizations I had ever seen. Is that true?
How can this be possible? How can an operations and technology team support both of those totally disparate states?
Does the Smithsonian really exist as a core entity, or it is more like a holding company umbrella that sits across 39 unique museums and research centers?
What happens at the core of SI that’s different from what’s happening in the 39 museums and research centers?
Does all budgeting for operations and technology occur at the core or at the unit level?
What is it that makes the Smithsonian bureaucratic in some regards?
What is it that stimulates all the innovation and entrepreneurial energy at the edges of SI?
Is there a centralized “concept of operations” for the Smithsonian or are operations managed more at a local or business level?
What are the principal responsibilities of OCIO?
How does OCIO sync up with the individual museums and business units?
Where are the Smithsonian’s technical teams housed? In OCIO or in the units?
How does the Smithsonian determine which aspects of technology and operations are controlled centrally vs. which are controlled within the museums and units?
How do you know if the technology and operations function at Smithsonian is being successful?
THEME: Understanding SI’s current technology strategy and priorities for action
How important is the Web and New Media to SI’s technology planning?
Is your current technology budgeting in alignment with that level of importance?
What’s the process for securing budgeting / FTEs to support a newly planned web initiative?
Hardware, infrastructure and hosting?
User experience and content?
Utilities like search, analytics, ecommerce?
Who “owns” each of the museum sites?
Infrastructure / applications?
Content, user experience?
What, if any, technology services are shared across the entire SI web enterprise?
How do you determine which technology services should be provided by centralized services (OCIO) vs. which ones should be provided at the museum / unit level?
From a best-practices perspective, how much of your technology could be standardized into a pan-institution framework vs. how much should be determined independently within each museum or research center?
From a cost perspective, what is the ideal balance between centralized technology services and decentralized services?
What are the reasons given by the museums and research unity for NOT using centralized technology services?
Does the Smithsonian support a standardized technology platform? ( PHP, .NET, Java/ J2ee, Ruby)
What is your standard development environment?
What are the most important technology initiatives you’re currently working on?
What was the process you used to establish these initiatives as priorities?
How are these initiatives being funded?
Were there business cases created to support these initiatives?
Who has the responsibility for approving those business cases prior to actually making a technology investment?
Do you have clear objectives for the initiative set forth to measure its performance and judge its success?
THEME: Understanding SI’s views on Web 2.0
How were you impacted by Secretary Clough’s announcement in January of the Web 2.0 initiative?
What are the implications of Web 2.0 for operations and technology management within SI?
When we talk about Web 2.0, what are we really talking about?
Greater levels of interactivity with our virtual audiences
Enabling user generated content in the form of blogs, wikis,
Enabling our content to be used and shared in social networking sites
Are there pan-institutional policies regarding the use of social media sites / tools?
Does each museum do whatever it wants?
Who owns the Smithsonian’s Facebook page or the Smithsonian Channel on YouTube? Who determines what is and is not posted there?
Many organizations have a social media presence on FaceBook, flickr, YouTube, etc. What should SI do and not do on those social networking sites?
What kind of restrictions do you place on content that is posted to a social media site? Why?
Regarding Web 2.0 technologies, do you have back-end and front-end support? Do you have developers capable of building these projects?
How are you managing user-generated-content on Smithsonian sites today?
What technologies are you using to build relationships with younger audiences?
Do you currently support any logins or restricted content (other than admin services) with the public or with partners?
THEME: Understanding digitization, storage and retrieval of assets
How much of your collection is currently captured in digital formats?
Who determines what assets are digitized and when?
How much of the collection are you committed to digitize?
How does the current digitization process work at SI?
Who does the actual scanning work?
How are the digital files it stored? Is there a central repository?
How do potential users of these digital assets get access to the files?
Who pays for the digitization?
Who benefits from the sale or licensing of digitized assets?
Are these digitized databases accessible to web search engines?
What would you like to do from an operations or technology perspective to improve the digitization process?
What are the other major technology initiatives that you’re planning for the next year or two?
THEME: General concluding questions:
What are the best things you hear people say about SI’s current web presence?
What are the most frequent complaints you hear?
If you were responsible for driving only one technology initiative across SI next year, what would it be?
If you had only one message to deliver to Secretary Clough through this Web Strategy, what would you tell him?
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