Build on this structure and stay friendly to make your ideas shine!

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See what I did there? (CC-ZERO Image by Comfreak on Pixabay)

Bleurgh! Writing can be tough. You’ve worked on something for ages, the process meandered all over the place, and now you need to write it up in a way that’s clear for other people. What a pain.

Well guess what!? You can read this post (this very one, you’re already doing it! Go you!) then steal some sections to have a handy list of things to build your post around.

Right, let’s:

Review the fundamentals: Questions to come back to

Look at some structure: Starting and signposting

Picture your reader: Who are you writing for?

Think about your voice: Are you David or Emily? …


An attempt at honesty about my mental health and working life.

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St Paul’s Cathedral by Bompas & Parr (adapted from Wikimedia Commons User Jellorama)

It’s the turn of 2019 and here I am contemplating a big shift in my career. Again.
After two-and-a-half marvellous years at Cogapp I’m off again with a spring in my step to seek my fortune. Or not.

This post is going to be a bit more candid about where I’m at: it’s about work/life and what happens next. As such, it’s going to be written by this go-getting, future-facing, reflexive but positive voice that has always been a huge part of me. …


How we added music and a team selector to our stand up light show!

If there’s one lesson I’ve learned on Brighton Pier, it’s that seagulls are absolute bast@%~… Wait, no, it’s that flashing lights and cheesy music belong together.

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How we got to here! (An iPad showing our new display with a team-member picker and intro button)

So, at the last Cogapp Hackday I worked with Ben Kyriakou and Stephen Norris to add Spotify music and a teammate selection menu to the amazing illuminated NanoLeaf stand up Kay White and Ben had already built.

This post is going to cover some bits of the Spotify API and Spotipy (A Python library for Spotify). So if you’re not down with variables and API calls, you may want to bail out now.


Sound, music and mindful art appreciation with Cogapp’s new IIIF tool

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Slowing down is hard to do digitally: speed is fetishised in connection speed, post rates, skimming content and almost everything else online. At Cogapp however, we’ve been thinking about ways to encourage slow looking for a while. This post offers four lovely slow looking examples, paired with sounds and music, for you to try.

But first, a little background. My team mate Gavin wrote about how we built slow looking into the Clyfford Still Museum’s online collection: Deeper, more meaningful art-experiences with digital.

We’ve now taken this further with a slow looking viewer that works for any IIIF* image:

slowlooking.cogapp.com

* IIIF — The International Image Interoperability Framework is the technical wizardry behind our slow looking viewer. It allows zooming, keeps image metadata and images together and enables annotation. …


Four great IIIF art collections to get you started

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Skating on the Frozen Amstel River by Adam van Breen | National Gallery of Art, Washington DC

This post follows my Four seasons of slow looking. In that post I shared four images using our new slow looking viewer. In this one, I’ll explain how to slow look other collection images from Art Institute of Chicago, Yale Center for British Art, National Gallery of Art and Bibliothèque nationale de France.

Then you should have all you need to use the viewer with your own IIIF images.

Art Institute of Chicago

The Art Institute of Chicago has nearly a hundred thousand works in its online collection. To slow look their images:

  • Search/browse around till you get to the ‘About This Artwork’ page for your chosen work. …

Keep checking your perspective on problems to nourish innovation and avoid expensive mistakes

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Don’t demand a racing car and then realise you need a merry-go-round

If you work in a museum, gallery or the like, you will often have to collaborate across specialisms. In this post, we’ll go through some of the lessons I’ve learned (from both sides of the digital divide) about framing goals when developing the early stages of digital projects and collaborating with technologists.

I’m going to set these up as five chances to ‘reframe’ the problems you’re tackling. Some of these ideas are quite general and are about how you treat your visitors and key elements of your offer. But they can be crucial to ensuring you design digital projects effectively. …


We analysed 24 museum websites to distill the three groups of questions you need to answer for your visitors.

How strong is your museum’s website as part of the whole offer? Does it reflect your identity as an organisation? Does it appeal to your visitors? What does it really need? Are there trends to pay attention to? Others to ignore? What makes the site appealing? What mistakes can you avoid?

If your work involves museum websites these will be questions you’ll have to tackle, whether you’re commissioning a new site or just trying to keep the current one healthy.

This post will take you through the essential ways in which your site needs to answer key visitor questions for 2017. First, we’ll spin through the process we used. Then, the main points: three key groups of questions your site needs to answer for your visitors. …


Clichés about mirrors, art and emotions… so tempting to trawl through them all! Don’t worry, I won’t! Nonetheless, there is a powerful metaphor there about the way we with engage with art: taking our own feelings to it and having them reflected back.

For our #Coghack day (a hackathon — rapid prototyping in small teams) my colleague Andy Cummins came up with a genius, playful way to bring this to life with tech:

“What if we could look at a ‘mirror’ that read our mood and presented us with an artwork that reflected that mood?”

We had a team of five (myself, Andy, Jon White, Adrian Hindle and Steve Norris) and just under seven hours to put Andy’s dream together! …


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British Library items related to Gulf history waiting to be scanned.

Cogapp visits the Qatar Foundation project at the British Library

My colleague Gavin Mallory, has made a brilliant case for the idea that Museums are experience factories. In many ways the British Library is also a wonderful experience factory, but down in the depths of stacks they mine knowledge. At least that’s how it felt after learning about the mighty digitisation and documentation factory that is the British Library Qatar Foundation Project.

Our team (Tristan Roddis, Gavin Mallory, Jon White, Adrian Hindle, Neil Hawkins and myself) went along on 1 March to catch up with the latest updates from the team at the British Library. We found out more about their workflow and we explained how we build the qdl.qa


My habit, when thinking about anything as big, human, and numinous as stories, is to think of them in terms of deep time and the origins of humanity. Today, at The Story I seem to be amongst a mix of broadcasters, advertisers, authors, digital builders and people who work with various definitions of the word ‘media’. …

About

Pat Hadley

Cultural comms and digital bod. (On a partial mental health break) Poorly preserved archaeologist remains. Formerly @cogapp @YorkMuseumTrust

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