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Crowdsourcing the Annual Meeting Stage Two: Get Out the Vote

Category: Center for the Future Of Museums Blog
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 The Alliance is trying a lot of new things this year, sometimes using the principles of rapid prototypingto test new ideas and learn from our experiments. Those of you who sew may appreciate the fact that I think of some of these trials as basting together the patterns we are working on.
One of our experiments (instigated by the awesome folks who bring you the miracle of orchestration that is the AAM annual meeting each year) is crowdsourcing input on session proposals. Back in July we invited you to post your ideas to our session proposal site, comment on other folks’ proposals, and help session chairs find appropriate speakers.
You were generous with your input, both on the sessions and on the design glitches of the (basted together) site itself. (One of the recent trends spotted by cultural media mavens has been dubbed “Flawsome” –customers feeling good about brands that are honest about their flaws, showing some humility and humor. With that in mind, I feel better about sharing the fact that I managed to “break” the site at least a dozen times myself.)
By the closing date for proposals, people submitted 550 sessions that will go to the National Program Committee when it meets next week. This week you have the chance for a second round of input—voting for your favorite proposals.
Full disclosure: there is no specific formula for how your votes will be used. The program committee members will use the vote count to inform their decision making, but there is no formal outcome such as NEMA’s “45 Minutes of Fame” people’s choice award to pick a keynote for their 2012 meeting. (Maybe next year!) However, as the Alliance wets its toes in the waters of popular input, the level of participation we see in voting will help us decide what to do next year. Give more power to the people by improving and expanding the process? Abandon the experiment?
Preview of the voting site. First, sign in with your AAM id. (You can sign up for a free login id without being a member of the Alliance.) Then you can:
·         Filter sessions by either format or subject area or keyword tag (but not a combination)
·         Browse sessions by reading descriptions, one at a time. Keep notes, so you can go back to find promising candidates again if you don’t vote for them right away.
·         Vote by “Liking” a session. You can like an unlimited number of sessions (but be careful, you can’t unlike a session once it is selected).
·         You can only “like” a session once. You are, of course, free to use personal connections, social media, or any other avenue of communications to lobby others to vote for sessions you are particularly enthusiastic about.
Please let us know via emailif you have problems with the site, and use the comments section, below, to suggest how you would like it to work differently, and better, next year. Links to other proposal site you think are particularly well-done would be very useful.
Voting closes at the end of the day this Friday, October 5. Go forth and vote!

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