I’ve been shamefully lax about blogging on thatcamp.org — I can’t think why. In any case, I’ve set myself some firm deadlines (and startlines), so you can expect to see more here from now on. I’m also going to post copies of THATCamp News here as well as e-mails that I’ve sent to the THATCamp organizers e-mail list (which is populated by those who have registered a THATCamp). Here’s one such e-mail below about changes in the THATCamp fellowship program, deprecation of the term “BootCamp,” and a couple of other issues.
Hi THATCamp organizers,
I wanted to alert you to a couple of changes in the fellowship program.
First of all, I’m deprecating the “BootCamp” terminology, because it winds up causing confusion about whether “BootCamp” is a separate event from “THATCamp.” I’m recommending the more generic term “workshops” now, and have changed the text on the main thatcamp.org site to reflect that. This is of course a recommendation only, so if you’ve been calling it “BootCamp” on your site, you can continue doing that if you like.
Second, we’re offering both more and fewer fellowships now, depending on how you look at it. We have awarded (or rather are shortly about to award) all remaning available Kress fellowships to museum professionals and students, so the only fellowship funder is now the Mellon foundation. However, due largely to an excellent suggestion by THATCamp New England organizer Lincoln Mullen, we are offering four additional $250 fellowships per THATCamp in addition to the current number of four $500 fellowships. The idea is that so many people are relatively local to THATCamp, some don’t need as much as $500 for travel money, so we’re going to see whether making smaller amounts available is useful for people. These can all be called “Mellon THATCamp Fellowships” now, should you need a name for them. I’ve updated the page at thatcamp.org/fellowships with current information.
In general, I do want to figure out various ways to attract more fellowship applicants, as well, so let me know if you have ideas on that score. I am going to start automatically adding a page to new THATCamp sites with a description of the fellowship program and prominent link to the fellowship application, for instance, and will start providing sample e-mail templates for organizers that should help you publicize both your THATCamp and the fellowship program, but let me know whatever else you think might work.
We’re also going to start mailing (yes, by snail! well, not literally) a publicity kit with things like posters and stickers (and possibly bookmarks, thanks to an excellent idea by THATCamp Bay Area organizer Scott McGinnis) to new THATCamp organizers, so unless your THATCamp is happening in September or early October, keep an eye out for that.
Let me know if you have questions. Thanks, as always, for all the hard work you do, for no other reason than that it’s a bloody good idea to get people together to learn from one another once in awhile.