Title:Open Innovation and Open Source: A Guide for Content Developers
Authors:Bob Ketner
Publication:MW2012: Museums and the Web 2012

The Tech Open Source museum project launched in late 2007 (as "The Tech Virtual") with the goal to apply the latest in open source collaboration methods and tools to the creation of museum content. It is composed of an online platform (a website with user-generated content) and modeling resources hosted in a 3D virtual world. Offered as a resource for the museum community as a whole, the project was funded by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, and is hosted by The Tech Museum in San Jose, CA. The ambitions of the program include development of museum exhibits and content through open contribution by a diverse community of curators, experts, hobbyists, scientists, and thinkers. This is accomplished by connecting with individuals, institutions, and online communities internationally. Thus far the project has involved the participation of over 20 institutions and 1300 site members, who have generated more than 400 exhibit designs and video projects. As part of the grant products we will present a report of these methods for the museum industry in the form of a project white paper at Museums and the Web 2012. The paper includes descriptions of the methods in use and results obtained by the project. These are summarized in a practical structure which covers open source approaches for Casual Contribution, Mentored Development, or Expert Network level contributors. It also explains how to apply a range of open innovation categories to structure open source projects. The paper is meant as a guide for institutions considering open innovation programs or open design projects.