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Balboa Park Online Collaborative Blog


Maren Dougherty, Balboa Park Online Collaborative
Email: | Phone: (619) 819-9200

SAN DIEGO, CA (September 24, 2012) – After more than three years as a pilot project of the Legler Benbough Foundation, the Balboa Park Online Collaborative (BPOC) will become an independent nonprofit organization. BPOC is becoming a national model for independent, technology-focused collaboration among art, science, and cultural institutions.

Vivian Kung Haga, formerly Deputy Director, has been named BPOC’s Director and CEO. She succeeds Rich Cherry, who served as Director during its start-up period from 2009-2012.

“Vivian brings to the organization a breadth of experience in cultural institutions as an administrator, curator, and educator,” said Peter Ellsworth, President of the Legler Benbough Foundation. “Her experience in bringing diverse partners from universities, industry, and cultural institutions together to create innovative technology collaborations aligns with the mission and goals of BPOC.”

In 2008, the Legler Benbough Foundation initiated BPOC to address common technological problems faced by museums and performing arts organizations in Balboa Park while improving public access to their rich cultural resources. In a departure from past practice of funding individual projects at organizations in the Park, the Foundation invested significant funding ($3...

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The Call for Proposals is open for the 2013 Museums and the Web conference in Portland. The annual conference features research and applications of digital practice for cultural, natural, and scientific heritage. BPOC staff regularly participate in MW to stay up-to-date on the latest tools and trends. I’m serving on this year’s program committee.

Deadlines and proposal types include:

September 30 Deadline

Pre-conference workshop: Full or half-day workshop on a specific area of museum technology. No written paper is required.

Formal paper. Share your work through a written paper and oral presentation in a conference session.

Professional forum. Convene a one-hour discussion or debate. No written paper is required.

How-to Session: Demonstrate and teach a practical skill through a one-hour workshop.

December 31 Deadline

Demonstration: Showcase projects in an exhibit-booth setting.

Lightning Talk: Give a pecha kucha-style as part of a 1.5 hour session that includes 6 lightning talks.

Additional information is available on the MW website and via Twitter (@MuseWeb).


--Maren Dougherty

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This month I’d like to introduce the newest member of our IT services family, The New Children’s Museum. Located downtown in the Marina District, The New Children’s Museum is a fantastic children’s art museum that commissions original works of art expressly designed for children and families. Their current exhibition is themed entirely around the concept of trash. In this exhibit, you can experience 12 different artists’ ideas about trash in a fun, kid-friendly way. For a sneak peek of one of my personal favorites, check out this video.  If you have kids (or even if, like me, you don’t), I would encourage you to stop by sometime.

The New Children’s Museum has been in San Diego since 1983 and moved into its current space in 2008. The new Director, Julianne Markow (a name that may be familiar to park veterans), and Director of Finance and Administration, Wade Lindenberger, reached out to BPOC as a way to improve their level of IT service. Thanks to both of them for giving us a chance! We will be providing our comprehensive IT services package, which includes unlimited desktop and server support and maintenance from our friendly IT staff; backup, anti-virus, and spam protection services; and IT consulting including development of technology strategy, IT policy, and disaster recovery plans.

Our team is excited for this opportunity to bring more innovative technology projects to the rest...

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Balboa Park Online Collaborative and Balboa Art Conservation Center (BACC) received a generous grant from the Kress Foundation in fall 2011 to launch an exciting new project for sharing information about conservation with students and museum professionals. Seven months later we are now in full production on a series of videos with BACC.

The videos we are creating cover a range of topics in both short and long format videos relating to collections care and the use of conservation science in art historical research. The collections care videos will be a valuable resource for not just small museums but also to those maintaining personal collections and even artists themselves. We are producing videos that address detailed collections care practices such as materials for matting paper objects, framing techniques, hanging hardware and soft-packing for short-distance local transport.

Our series of videos that addresses the role of conservation science in art historical research was created in collaboration with Dr. John Marciari, Curator of European Art and Head of Provenance Research at The San Diego Museum of Art. I had the opportunity to document him in conversation with BACC Paintings Conservator Alexis Miller about several works that revealed detailed historical...

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Along with the core IT support and website management services we provide for our member orgs, we’re often asked to advise on tools and strategies. Following are five of the tech-related tools we’re loving right now:

Google Hangouts

On any given day, you can find someone in our office using Google Hangout to meet with a vendor, consultant, or off-site staff member. Up to 10 people from different locations can join a hangout, and the integration of Google Docs and screen sharing makes virtual collaboration a breeze. Oh, and it’s free.


MailChimp has become our enewsletter tool of choice because of its ease of use and low cost options (typically $50 - $150/month for our members, depending on list size). Importing lists, formatting, sending, tracking – it’s all simple and fun. The resource guides are helpful for more advanced uses.


Because of the rave reviews from other BPOC staff, I recently signed up for Trello, an online collaboration tool that organizes your projects into boards (somewhat like Pinterest, but with more text and fewer cake pops). You can add tasks, prioritize them, and easily move them between categories like “Do,” “Doing” and “Done.”


For the past eight months or so, we...

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