Time to reinforce my relentless message: even when it seems like a guilty pleasure or a waste of time, you should carve out space each day to study a least one short piece of news, read a blog post, or watch a video that is not directly relevant to your current work. Broad, eclectic scanning helps expand your mental map of possible futures. (Also, the brain charge provided by material like this this fuels your creativity and may end up spurring on your current projects after all.)
To help you meet this goal of habitual scanning, I periodically share some of my favorite Tweeters or Bloggers you might want to add to your scanning radar. Here are some interesting folks I have recently added to my Twitter feed and to Google Reader:
- The ArtsFwd Blog, part of EmcArts’ ArtFwd (@ArtsFwd) initiative, shares insights into innovation and “next practices” in the cultural sector, featuring case studies and analysis of innovation and adaptive change in the arts. Recent posts have featured thoughts from staff at Off-Center @theJones on how to measure success and provided a sneak peek behind the scenes at the first Innovation Lab for Museums retreat. Earlier this year, they featured an essay sparked by staff cuts at the Getty Museum, musing on the consequences of pitting art acquisition against education funding. (Karina Mangu-Ward, EmcArts’ director of activating innovation, is looking for blogging fellows, and you have until September 17.)
- At the Museum of the Future Jasper Visser (@jaspervisser) shares his thoughts on innovation and participation in culture. I like Jasper’s concise and pithy commentary about museums and museum exhibits: for example this essay on what makes the Museum of Broken Relationships so great, or what other museums can learn from how the Museum of Rotterdam has “left its building” to become distributed throughout its community.
- I recently found the Nonprofit Quarterly through Twitter (@NPQuarterly) and have quickly become a fan of their coverage of issues and research in philanthropy, policy and nonprofit governance. They have the most readable commentary I have found on government policy and philanthropy (see this recent post, for example, on the complex intersection of taxation, charity and religion in the U.S.)
- @BryanAlexander is an eclectic reader who is generous in sharing links to good articles on a variety of topics, with a focus on the future of education & education technology, and some interesting asides about science fiction. Bryan also blogs at Scanning for Futures.
- @cascio (Jamais Cascio) spots great material about the collision of emerging technologies, environmental dilemmas, and cultural transformation, and he is one of my favorite creators of scenarios of the future. James’ online home is Open the Future.
- I frequently retweet @nealstimler, who keeps an eye on the museum blogosphere, humanities and arts in general, as well as developments in digital technology. He himself is a prolific retweeter of good stuff, which helps me spot new people to follow.
Here are some links to past posts on recommended reading, including blogs that cover the future of education. Please use the comments section, below, to share your favorite scanning sources—blogs, Twitter feeds, YouTube channels—or tweet links to these sources tagged with @futureofmuseums. Thank you!