We launched a new mini-project at work yesterday. It's called My Life As An Object (named by me in crass-TV-documentary-style), and the aim is to take museum objects and give them a 'life' online. I say 'life', because what normally happens when museum objects get placed online (or 'digitised', in museum parlance) is that they get a webpage, with a photo, description and some meta data (which, if you're lucky, leads you to more objects). Nothing wrong with this - it's all important and useful and time-consuming to get right - and it's also pretty much what you get on the My Life As An Object site, which acts as an archive and a starting point for project. However, a webpage-per-object doesn't leave much room for user interaction, and we wondered whether you could encourage participation and engagement by treating an object as if it were a person.
To this end, we'll be introducing a new object on the site every Monday for the next few weeks. Over the course of the week, the object will 'live' and tell its story via a profile on a social website. The exact mechanism for this will change week by week. At the end of the week, the object doesn't 'die', but rather goes into stasis by being preserved within its museum (where you can go visit it, if you like).
The first object came to life yesterday, on Twitter, and is a yellow Mk 1 Raleigh Chopper. You can follow it and interact with it at @yellowchopper.
The chopper is being wonderfully 'voiced' by Greg Povey, and the project was commissioned by Renaissance East Midlands, who have been fantastic in giving us an open brief to try something creative and experimental.