Saturday, April 16, 2011

The week that Seth came to town

We rarely have visitors at the office.  We're a little out of the way, so unless you're checking out the new Seaport Farmer's Market and somehow wander into the wrong building, or you have a meeting with us, chances are that we won't accidentally run into you.  But somehow, someone managed to find us this week.

This week we had a very fun and special guest in Halifax, all the way from the U.S. of A.  We (royal we) first started talking to the CollectiveAccess team last summer when I was looking for a replacement database system to our rapidly devolving MS Access system.  In less than a year we went from discussing options to having a totally customized CollectiveAccess database for the community museums of Nova Scotia to use.  We've got instructional videos on YouTube, and the traditional pdf user manual.  We now have 8 of 55 museums migrated into the new system, and plan on bringing two more in next week.  Sometimes it feels like it has taken us forever to get here, and sometimes it seems like we just started the process.

Our next door neighbour, the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21, is also working with Seth's team on a database project, and so he was invited to town to talk shop.  This provided us with an opportunity to bring a few IMAC people and one of our beta-testers to town for a meeting with him as well.  Unfortunately we were missing a few committee members, but we were still able to have some good discussion, and Seth was able to answer a lot of questions.  We looked at the database and talked about what needs to be done to set up phase II of our database renewal project.  Based on these discussions we'll be coming out with a new version of the Passage Game Plan, which will focus on improving data for the launch of our new Nova Scotia collections website.

There's still a long road ahead in this project, which means many more Skype conversations about databases, websites, desserts, vintage kids' tv shows, Lego, and Heritage Moments.
Seth also hopes to return over the summer, which means we might be able to make a few museum site visits together.  Until then, thank you Seth for visiting, and sorry about the bad weather.  You're welcome any time, so long as you realize it's your turn to supply the chocolate.

Aidan, Katie & Seth
Derek, Christine & Anita

Lessons learned during Seth's visit:

  1. Taking photos of a man who is swinging his arms in front of a massive Canadian flag can be tricky.  I have promised not to share these since this man ended up looking like a ballerina.  
  2. My blog is "too serious".
  3. Cadbury Flake chocolate bars and PG tips tea are good productivity incentives.
  4. Homemade fudge is another good incentive.
  5. Computer models grossly overestimate my weight.

1 comment:

canary said...

It was a great session. Enjoyed meeting Seth and getting a good orientation to our Collective Access.