Whether given by live guides, broadcast, or prerecorded on tape, the first museum tours were linear: ----------
From starting point A to end point N, the exhibits interpreted on the tour were strung along the tour's linear route like pearls of wisdom on a necklace: -o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-The value of the tour was measured in stops: oe.g. “The Louvre’s tour has over 1,500 stops!”
The messiness, but also the magic, happened in the spaces between the exhibit commentary or 'stops' on the tour: -
People got lost in the interstitial spaces, uncertain of where to find the next stop (o), or lost track of where they were in the audio tour tape: -o-o-o-?
Or they got bored, or distracted, or tired of following the herd, or simply decided to get off the tour before the last stop:-o-o-o~§
Fear and impatience with the messiness prevailed, however, and the digital generation of audio tour technology introduced 'random access' tours. Visitors could choose which exhibits they saw and hence which stops they listened to absolutely at random. But we also lost something by “thinking online inside the audio tour box” – such as it was then: we lost the space and time and means for connecting those dots, for sustaining a narrative over time, and for immersing people in the museum experience. o 0 o o o o o o oo o o
New screen-based devices, of course, offer the possibility to offer both soundtracks and soundbites or stops in a single interface. Here is one of my favorites, and it also offers links out to relevant third party content and experiences.
At the end of 2010, I had the good fortune to come across a mobile project that I think exemplies this ideal, and also offers some important approaches as well as tools that can help museums radicalize their mobile practice. Scapes is an interactive art installation by Halsey Burgund at the deCordova Sculpture Park in Boston…
What fascinates me about Scapes is how it takes these very traditional museum mobile content modalities – the stop and the soundtrack – and transforms them, radically.
Interestingly, the audio tour, the most common mobile product in museums, turns this model on its head – if I can be permitted a certain license with the model!
This is the model and spirit behind our proposed vision for the Smithsonian’s mobile strategy: to use mobile platforms and experiences to recruit the world to help us in our mission. By collaborating with the people we serve, mobile initiatives will put the Smithsonian not just in people’s pockets and on their mobile devices; we will put the Smithsonian, its work, future and brand in their hands.
To date we have launched more than 20 mobile apps and websites, and more than that number again of podcasts and other downloadable audio, video and text content that people are using every day on their mobile devices.Today I want to focus on three in particular: Smithsonian Mobile, Stories from Main Street, and Access American Stories.
Lifetime downloads: 16,593, over 9,000 with the newest versionHighest rank: #24 in the Education categoryAverage review=3 starsCountries: 87.2% United States; 6.0% Canada; 3.2% Brazil; 1% Mexico; .8% South Africa; .4% Qatar
228 available for playback through the app Tennessee and West Virginia have been our most active states where the exhibition is on tour. We had a single contributor talking about the town where she grew up in upstate New York over ten entries!
Soft launched with opening of the exhibition last week. None of these apps has had a dedicated marketing budget, but are actively trying to organize events to solicit contributions to AAS.
Wikipedia’s contributors author on average 247 articles apiece…
To tell how something or someone is doing, you have to have some standard or benchmark to compare against. Quality is, as Chris Anderson said, largely in the eye of the beholder and relative to its contemporary context. But against what scale do you measure “recruiting the world?”There’s one benchmark we can use to set the bar – Wikipedia.
Amy Sample Ward usefully identifies two different kinds of engagement of mass audiences:“Crowdsourcing invites diversity by encouraging anyone with an idea or interest to participateCrowdsourcing levels the playing field so it isn’t just your “favorites” or those you already know that get to play”http://amysampleward.org/2011/05/18/crowdsourcing-vs-community-sourcing-whats-the-difference-and-the-opportunity/
In the Wikipedia example, the base of the engagement pyramid is very broad, 400m visitors per month, compared to the 85,000 people contributing articles nearer the top of the pyramid.
In community sourcing, we are not aiming at such a huge and faceless mass. We know these people, so working with them produces different strategies, calls to action and outcomes.As an example, last year a team of ichthyologists sponsored by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History performed the first survey of the fish diversity in the Cuyuni River of Guyana. Upon their return, they needed to identify the more than 5,000 specimens they had collected in less than a week’s time in order to obtain an export permit. Faced with insufficient time and inadequate library resources to tackle the problem on their own, they instead posted a catalog of specimen images to Facebook and turned to their network of colleagues for help.In less than 24 hours, this approach identified approximately 90 percent of the posted specimens to at least the level of genus, revealed the presence of at least two likely undescribed species, indicated two new records for Guyana and generated several loan requests. The majority of people commenting held a Ph.D. in ichthyology or a related field, and hailed from a great diversity of countries including the United States, Canada, France, Switzerland, Colombia, Peru, Venezuela, Guyana and Brazil.
Here the community base can be much narrower and still achieve the project’s desired results. The community has special skills and interests as well as a very well-developed network, so a smaller number of individuals in the eco-system get the job done.
So clearlynot all crowdsourcing or community sourcing projects are created equal. They will not all have the same ratios of participants at the different levels in the engagement pyramid. But I’m starting to track this data for the Smithsonian’s mobile projects so we can measure and report our success in “recruiting the world.”The Smithsonian Mobile app, launched in August 2011, is a modest project by comparison…
Here’s another mobile crowdsourcing project: Stories from Main Street. I was corresponding with David Anderson, a crowdsourcing expert from Berkley, about these metrics and how to read them. He had an interesting comment:“…downloading Stories from Main Street (I'm guessing) impliesan interest in supplying a story,whereas downloading the Smithsonian Mobile App (I'm guessing)doesn't imply an interest in contributing comments.So of the two, it's possible that 288/16000 is worse(i.e. reflects a worse user interface or wording) than 70/35000.”
From Headphones to Microphones: Thinking Differently with Mobile (and measuring mobile success) Innovations in E-Learning Symposium 7 June 2012 Nancy Proctor, Smithsonian Institution email@example.com @nancyproctor@NancyProctor, firstname.lastname@example.org 1 7 June 2012 1
Mobile Transformation 1. Stops become soundtracks 2. Soundtracks become a-linear 3. Your body becomes the interface 4. The mobile tour experience is social 5. The conversation is asynchronous http://wiki.museummobile.info/archives/16082@NancyProctor, email@example.com 13 7 June 2012
Elsewhere I have argued: Mobile IS social media http://mobileappsformuseums.wordpress.com/@NancyProctor, firstname.lastname@example.org 14 7 June 2012 14
Understanding the mobile and social behaviors of your audience is the first step in building a mobile strategy or product.@NancyProctor, email@example.com 15 7 June 2012
What are your audience’s mobile habits? Increasing mobile sophistication Mobile Technographics • Use mobile Internet weekly • Visit social networks weekly • Consume news and information SuperConnecteds • Stream music or video 20% • Purchase music tracks • Purchase mobile content Entertainers 9% • Send or receive email • Use maps or navigation Connectors • Use mobile Internet less than 15% weekly • Use no data service except: ─SMS, MMS, or IM Communicators ─Email less than monthly 21% • Only use voice Talkers 34% • Do not own a mobile phone Inactives 11% @NancyProctor, firstname.lastname@example.org 16 7 June 2012
The Engagement Pyramid http://www.flickr.com/photos/cambodia4kidsorg/4294119350/@NancyProctor, email@example.com 17 7 June 2012
Mobile Habits Talking Texting Email Gaming Weather Maps Search Social Media Music News Entertainment & Dining Video@NancyProctor, firstname.lastname@example.org 18 Mobile Tours 7 June 2012
Thinking outside the audio tour box From headphones to microphones “From interpretation to conversation. From we do the talking to we ArtAnderson, IMA,June 2010Steward, and Converse”, – Max The “Gather, help you do the talking.” Newspaper, 8 – Chris Anderson, Wired, Smithsonian 2.0 Conference, 24 Jan 2009 http://smithsonian20.si.edu/schedule_webcast2.html@NancyProctor, email@example.com 19 7 June 2012
SI Mobile’s Vision Recruit the world to increase and diffuse knowledge by using mobile platforms to enlist collaborators globally in undertaking the real and important work of the Institution. Put the Smithsonian not just in the people’s pockets, but in their hands.@NancyProctor, firstname.lastname@example.org 20 7 June 2012
20+ SI Mobile Projects to Date@NancyProctor, email@example.com http://si.edu/mobile 21 7 June 2012
Smithsonian Mobile 22@NancyProctor, firstname.lastname@example.org 22 7 June 2012
Mobile Social Media as ArtHalsey Burgund’s ScapesdeCordova Sculpture Park & MuseumLincoln, MA – until Nov 14 http://wiki.museummobile.info/archives/16082@NancyProctor, email@example.com 23 7 June 2012
Stories from Main Street http://storiesfrommainstreet.org/@NancyProctor, firstname.lastname@example.org 24 7 June 2012
Access American Stories@NancyProctor, email@example.com 26 7 June 2012
“Recruiting the World” So how’s that going for you?@NancyProctor, firstname.lastname@example.org 27 7 June 2012
Wikipedia …400 million visitors monthly as of March 2011. There areThat means the average contributor works on ~247more than more than 85,000 active contributors working on articles?! 21,000,000 articles in more than 280 languages. @NancyProctor, email@example.com 28 7 June 2012
Wikipedia’s World 1,487 85,000 400 million per month http://www.flickr.com/photos/cambodia4kidsorg/4294119350/@NancyProctor, firstname.lastname@example.org 29 7 June 2012
http://amysampleward.org/2011/05/18/crowdsourcing-vs-community-sourcing-whats-the- difference-and-the-opportunity/@NancyProctor, email@example.com 30 7 June 2012
Crowdsourcing@NancyProctor, firstname.lastname@example.org 31 7 June 2012
Stories from Main Street .01 288 16,000 http://www.flickr.com/photos/cambodia4kidsorg/4294119350/@NancyProctor, email@example.com 35 7 June 2012
Product, or Process? The process of crowdsourcing projects fulfills the mission of digital collections better than the resulting searches [with metadata enhanced by crowdsourcing]. – Trevor Owens http://www.trevorowens.org/2012/03/crowdsourcing- cultural-heritage-the-objectives-are-upside-down/@NancyProctor, firstname.lastname@example.org 36 7 June 2012 36
Mobile is not just social media@NancyProctor, email@example.com 37 7 June 2012
The Engagement Eco-system http://www.flickr.com/photos/cambodia4kidsorg/4294119350/@NancyProctor, firstname.lastname@example.org 38 7 June 2012
Mobile is a Distributed Network@NancyProctor, email@example.com 39 Edward Hoover, 2010,June 2012 Flickr. 7 from
The Museum is Mobile@NancyProctor, firstname.lastname@example.org 40 Edward Hoover, 2010,June 2012 Flickr. 7 from
More about Mobile• http://si.edu/mobile• http://smithsonian- webstrategy.wikispaces.com/Mobile• http://wiki.museummobile.info/• http://tatehandheldconference.pbworks.com#mtogo#SImobile• @NancyProctor, email@example.com@NancyProctor, firstname.lastname@example.org 41 7 June 2012