Skip to content

September Suggestions: Spice up your Scanning

Category: Center for the Future Of Museums Blog

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.)

  • 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.)

On Twitter:

  • @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.
Skip over related stories to continue reading article

  • @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!

AAM Member-Only Content

AAM Members get exclusive access to premium digital content including:

  • Featured articles from Museum magazine
  • Access to more than 1,500 resource listings from the Resource Center
  • Tools, reports, and templates for equipping your work in museums
Log In

We're Sorry

Your current membership level does not allow you to access this content.

Upgrade Your Membership


1 Comment

  1. Thanks for the shout out!

    The ArtsFwd team also subscribes to You've Cott Mail, a daily eblast from Thomas Cott that rounds up the most intriguing news in arts management. Sign up here:

    We also follow the blogs Createquity, Museum 2.0, Doug Borwick on Arts Journal, and Seth Goodin.

    Happy reading!

    Karina Mangu-Ward
    Director of Activating Innovation, EmcArts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to Field Notes!

Packed with stories and insights for museum people, Field Notes is delivered to your inbox every Monday. Once you've completed the form below, confirm your subscription in the email sent to you.

If you are a current AAM member, please sign-up using the email address associated with your account.

Are you a museum professional?

Are you a current AAM member?

Success! Now check your email to confirm your subscription, and please add to your safe sender list.