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http://twitter.com/DavidBeavan/status/208209994221498369/photo/1/large

Yesterday we held an advisory board meeting for the Social Interpretation project, and we wanted our advisory panel to work for their tea and biscuits. After giving a good cop/bad cop account of where we were at we let the advisory panel lose on the Family in Wartime exhibition. It was great to get feedback on the work that we have done so far. We know it is a work in progress, and there is still a long way to go. We discussed the ergonomic problems of the placement of the kiosks, institutional differences, bugs in the software, atmosphere in the exhibition, size of the screen, and overall the quality of the comments we are getting.

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Men of a Territorial Army Anti-Aircraft Battery training on a 3 inch anti-aircraft gun, aircraft height finder and predictor in their drill hall.

I was really very interested to read this post on the success of going mobile in museums lying in the hands of Visitor Services departments.  The usual museum visitor neither knows nor cares about the machinations and politications of getting a project like Social Interpretation off the ground. They don’t much care about budgets, stakeholders, design sign-offs, advisory committees, and mobile phone icon debates. Or any of that stuff. They care, or they remember, their experience in the museum – of which mobile is going to become a more and more common part.

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We both own necklaces, for starters. Necklace, handmade, Turkish. On display at IWM North. EPH 796

So, what else does Claire’s Accessories have to do with Social Interpretation?

Recently, Claire’s Accessories got into a bit of bother. They were apparently caught taking a little too much inspiration in their designs from an independent jewellery designer. This post isn’t about the ethics of design and intellectual property however. Instead, it’s about how Claire’s reacted when their users started to complain / debate / kick-off about their actions.

Or more specifically: how they didn’t react.

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Public house debate, 1945. An American soldier is amongst the audience listening to the second speaker of the evening, Miss Crooks (not pictured), on the topic of 'America and Britain'. The original caption states that "the few Americans present were unusually tongue-tied, had nothing to say to frank discussion of their qualities".

How do you control what information is online?  In the case of Twitter and Facebook, with difficulty, as Ryan Giggs found out last summer.  But these are huge sites with a lot of organisation behind them, and they will have a fair amount of resources to fight legal claims.

So what about your smaller site?  How do you control content?  What about the issues of defamation, data protection, and, with public authorities, freedom of information?   Or just insults, bullying and heated debates getting out of hand?

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