And IMHO, this initiative from ICOM is a truly awful idea. Here is an excerpt from an email that I saw this morning. It starts like this:
ICOM cordially invites all members of the global museum community to participate in IMD on 18 May 2008 with activities in their museums based on our theme “Museums as agents of social change and development".
Sounds good so far. IMD is International Museum Day. They invite us all to participate in both the real and virtual worlds with activities consistent with their theme. And here is where they lose the plot completely:
The highlight of the suggested online activities on http://icom.museum is hosted by The Tech Museum of Innovation on 18 May in the replica of its Silicon Valley museum of technology on SECOND LIFE, the virtual 3-D platform created by Linden Lab. From real-world museums, museum professionals and the public will be able to communicate with colleagues, artists and “residents” in the virtual world. They will therefore be able to participate in the collective development of exhibits in The Tech in SECOND LIFE.
I am not at all sorry to say that this is simply one of the worst ideas I’ve heard of recently.