Museums, open data, and YQL

There is nothing more exciting for a data and web junkie with a message of data distribution, social media, and sharing on the web than reaching out to new audiences. On Tuesday, the 28th of April I was fortunate enough to do exactly that. I was invited to come to the National Maritime Museum in London, England to talk to representatives of several museums about data distribution, YQL, and open tables.

The whole thing was initiated by Jim O'Donnell who had spent quite some time with YQL and the museum data.

In my talk Reaching those web folk [PDF, 6.2mb] I covered the switch from seeing web sites as end points to seeing open data as an opportunity to reach many more users. By making your data available, you turn any visitor from a receiver to a re-broadcaster, who can distribute your information to their friends, contacts, and channels you are not even aware of.

You can download the audio recording of the talk, too: Reaching those web folk [MP3, 76.6mb].

Big thanks to Jim and also to Mia Ridge for taking notes during the talk. I was amazed that there is actually a thriving community of hackers and quite a large amount of unconference-style developer events in the museum community. Furthermore, people who deal with large amounts of categorized data in museums are really savvy about search technology, data feeds, and content management, and it was fun to hear about their technological and communication barriers and problems.

I wonder what other groups I don't know about yet, that want tools to help bring their data to audiences they've yet to discover.

Christian Heilmann
Yahoo Developer Network