Director of Web and New Media Strategy, Smithsonian Institution
Michael Edson is the Smithsonian Institution’s Director of Web and New Media Strategy. Michael has worked on numerous award-winning projects and has been involved in practically every aspect of technology and New Media for museums, including content development, digitization, blogging, gaming, public access to collections, information architecture, networking, place-of-business applications, programming, project management, graphic design, animation, audio and video production, mobile platforms, and citizen-created content.
In addition to developing the Smithsonian’s first Web and New Media Strategy (this wiki site was awarded The best museum professional site) and the Smithsonian Commons concept, Michael helped create the Smithsonian’s first blog, Eye Level, and the first Alternative Reality Game to take place in a museum, Ghosts of a Chance. Michael has a BA from Wesleyan University.
Note also, that he has worked at the Smithsonian for 20 years (his first job was cleaning Plexiglas in the Basement of the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery.)
See a brief trailer for the talk in Philadelphia below:
The Smithsonian Institution is an educational and research institute and associated museum complex, administered and funded by the government of the United States and by funds from its endowment, contributions, and profits from its retail operations, concessions, licensing activities, and magazines.
While most of its 19 museums, its zoo, and its nine research centers facilities are located in Washington, D.C., sites are also located in New York City, Virginia, Panama, and elsewhere. The Smithsonian has over 136 million items in its collections, publishes two magazines named Smithsonian (monthly) and Air & Space (bimonthly), and employs the Smithsonian Police to protect visitors, staff, and the property of its museums.
The Smithsonian Institution is the largest museum complex in the world, and many of its buildings are historical and architectural landmarks. In addition, 156 other museums are Smithsonian affiliates.
The Smithsonian Institution, with 137 million physical artifacts and a vast network of scholars and experts, is the world's largest museum and research complex. A new digital initiative called the Smithsonian Commons aspires to update the traditional work of the Institution by catalyzing creativity, innovation, and learning through open access to Smithsonian resources, expertise, and communities. But how does one measure progress towards these lofty goals? And what facts can be used to persuade and inspire internal stakeholders?
In this session, Michael Edson, the Smithsonian's Director of Web and New Media Strategy, describes the challenges and opportunities of the Smithsonian Commons project and the role that measurement, analysis, and a user-centric philosophy have played in the inception of this important initiative.
For more on this session, read How to measure your online efforts
Washingtonian named Michael “Tech Titan to watch” in 2011