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Hidden Newcastle - failed inventors and body dredgers

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This case study looksat the successes and challenges in creating compelling content for Hidden Newcastle, an app revealing strange and forgetten stories in Newcastle upon Tyne. …

This case study looksat the successes and challenges in creating compelling content for Hidden Newcastle, an app revealing strange and forgetten stories in Newcastle upon Tyne.

Session: Mobile learning case studies

Published in: Education, Technology, Travel
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  • Hello, I ’m …
  • Hidden Newcastle is an app designed to uncover strange and forgotten stories of people who lived/worked in Newcastle upon Tyne
  • Hidden Newcastle is an app designed to uncover strange and forgotten stories of people who lived/worked in Newcastle upon Tyne
  • Hidden Newcastle is an app designed to uncover strange and forgotten stories of people who lived/worked in Newcastle upon Tyne
  • More of a lying egomaniac than a failure
  • But really, it wasn ’t about sharing collections. It ’s the story that creates the impact NOT the object The stories are thematically linked but that ’s their only connection
  • This was story-led and characte-led. Weren ’t being guided by a collection or an exhibition. We had the freedom to identify compelling stories from any era. Looking to popular images on Flickr Commons We ’ll probably need an editorial policy to ensure content is thematically related
  • We deliberately didn ’t have any! Not strictly true. But this wasn ’t about teachable moments or knowledge acquistion. This wasn’t about shoehorning factual historical information through a nice shiny app.
  • About stirring public imagination and wonder. We didn ’t provide full historical context to each story, and periods. They were driven by characters and narratives. We concealed some of the historical facts so it didn’t feel like a particuarly dull history lesson, to create greater intrigue about who these people were and the times they lived in. Compel exploration- encourage people to visit locations to unlock stories
  • Just out of interest…Seb Chan has already blogged about this idea. Creating experiences that are viscerally more powerful, more immersive, more intriguing….that strive to stir an audience ’s sense of wonder Interesting but pie in the sky? How the hell do we measure that?
  • As a follow on…. His hypothesis is that in order to create this wondrous and magical user experiences, we should avoid temptation to provide all the facts and all the historical contexts. Conceal information, pack in dense cinematic detail with no explanation to hand, create intrigue. VISIT PUNCHDRUNK ’S WEBSITE TO GET A SENSE OF THIS
  • Can only be downloaded using wifi (50MB limit for 3g download from app store) Made more sense to have videos reliably ready to play on location
  • This is just build time. The time it took nearer 6 months to source and create stories. Creating and designing valuable content is the really tricky part. Much trickier than the tech side of it.
  • We expected comparatively low unlock stats
  • Slightly shocking to us
  • A similarly shocking stat (we still need to triple check these). Reasonably suggests visitors to Newcastle were visiting the city with the app pre-installed
  • Other feedback online suggests has been positive- whether he did or not??????!!! We ’re about to do more evaluation work with a focus group and a short questionnaire
  • This is just version 1. More of the same content. For 2012-13, we ’re looking to add more photography. Appealing to creative writers to caption images. May or may not be historically factual. Ultimately, intended to arouse human imagination. Creating new contexts for collections- promoting the creative reuse of them- creating new value from collections
  • Compelling, but totally fabricated, moments in time.
  • This is just version 1. More of the same content. For 2012-13, we ’re looking to add more photography. Appealing to creative writers to caption images. May or may not be historically factual. Ultimately, intended to arouse human imagination. Creating new contexts for collections- promoting the creative reuse of them- creating new value from collections
  • Transcript

    • 1. Failed inventors and body dredgersJohn Coburn, Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums
    • 2. @j0hncoburnwww.hiddennewcastle.org
    • 3. App uncovering strange andforgotten stories of people who lived and worked in Newcastle upon Tyne.
    • 4. Stories were created as videos. 1st person audio, supported by photography, maps, paintings, extracts from archive newspapers and texts.
    • 5. Created by Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums in partnership with Newcastle Libraries.Ideonic were commissioned to build it.
    • 6. John WilsonCommissioned by Newcastle council to dredge bodies from the River Tyne.
    • 7. Ellen Woodman 11 years oldImprisoned in Newcastle Gaol
    • 8. William Martin Inventor and eccentricHated every great scientist and philosopher in historyFalsely claimed to designed the High Level Bridge
    • 9. Version 1 of the app 13 first person storiesPreviously “uncommemorated” people who lived or worked in Newcastle
    • 10. Version 1 of the app13 city centre locations linked to story 7 stories “locked” 6 stories “unlocked”
    • 11. Intended outcomes
    • 12. Improve access to and improve quality of experience with collections
    • 13. It’s not about sharing collections or objects It’s about sharing compelling storiesObjects provide raw source material for the story
    • 14. Story criteria Failure Macabre Eccentricity The unexplainedVisually strong, cinematic imagesStrange events at familiar locations 1st person Strong narrative
    • 15. Learning outcomes
    • 16. Learning outcomes
    • 17. Stir public imaginationCreate spark of empathy Compel exploration
    • 18. “What if we made ‘wonderment’ our key performance indicator?” Seb Chan www.freshandnew.org
    • 19. “Explanation is the killer of wonderment”. Pete Higgin, Punchdrunk
    • 20. Cost and build
    • 21. £6,900iOS version
    • 22. £4,500Android version
    • 23. 87MBStreamed video vs. in-built
    • 24. 23 days build time iOS 15 days Android
    • 25. Stats
    • 26. 1,942 downloads in 9 weeks (iOS)
    • 27. Android version launches imminently
    • 28. Average duration on app 13 mins 44 secs
    • 29. UK city with most numberof downloads…Newcastle
    • 30. London
    • 31. Doncaster
    • 32. Compelling exploration?
    • 33. 3.4% stories watched “on location”
    • 34. 1.6% app users fromNewcastle watched stories on location (!)
    • 35. 5% app users from outsideNewcastle watched stories on location
    • 36. What’s next?
    • 37. Android launch
    • 38. New content, new partners
    • 39. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, people, but we’re all doomed
    • 40. New content, new partners
    • 41. www.HiddenNewcastle.org @j0hncoburnjohn.coburn@twmuseums.org.uk

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