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MW2010: N. Proctor, The Museum Is Mobile: Cross-platform content design for audiences

A presentation from Museums and the Web 2010.

Acknowledging that the only constant in technology is change, this paper proposes ways of ‘thinking outside the audio tour box’ in developing mobile interpretation programs in museums: instead of making mobile interpretation a question of which device, platform, or app the museum should invest in, it puts the focus on cross-platform content and experience design.Putting audiences at the center of museums’ mobile content and experience designs make it possible to engage them through the media consumption practices and platforms that they already use outside of the museum.

Based on research conducted at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Indianapolis Museum of Art, and with the principals of SmartHistory.org, this paper offers a ‘question-based’ methodology for developing an interpretive strategy that starts with mapping visitors’ queries in the galleries. From this conceptual map we can derive a matrix of platforms, media, and narrative voices that work cross-platform. The traditional audio tour, with its analog ‘linear’ content and random access ‘stops’, offers important paradigms for ‘mobile 2.0’ content design: on the one hand, conceptual overviews and immersive ‘soundtracks’ provide a ‘score’ for the museum experience, and on the other hand, ‘soundbites’ in a range of media (audio, multimedia, or text) can be searched, saved, shared and favorited in multiple contexts. From social media, we can also learn how to integrate links, apps and user-generated content into the mobile mix. Finally, the paper considers how content style impacts shelf-life. What is the enduring legacy of creating ‘quick & dirty’ interpretive ‘snacks’ versus investing in more nutritional fare? How can museums best allocate their mobile content budgets in this light?

Session: Mobiles: A Panel [mobile]

see http://www.archimuse.com/mw2010/abstracts/prg_335002342.html

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MW2010: N. Proctor, The Museum Is Mobile: Cross-platform content design for audiences

  1. 1. The Museum is Mobile Cross-platform content design for audiences on the go Museums & the Web 2010 17 April 2010 Nancy Proctor proctorn@si.edu
  2. 2. The Museum is Mobile Social Media Designing mobile content & experiences beyond the ‘tour’ and the ‘stop’
  3. 4. In the Museum as Distributed Network…
  4. 5. … at least half of the Museum’s platforms are already mobile.
  5. 6. So if we want to meet our audiences where they are <ul><li>And take them some place new… </li></ul>
  6. 7. Mobile is a great vehicle http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ILQrUrEWe8
  7. 8. But if we want to avoid this guy… We need to think outside the audio tour box
  8. 9. Thinking outside the audiotour box means…
  9. 10. Thinking beyond the research <ul><li>2009 </li></ul><ul><li>CHNM survey on Museums and Mobile Adoption </li></ul><ul><li>Learning Times International Survey on handheld use in museums. </li></ul><ul><li>2008 </li></ul><ul><li>Whitney Museum of American Art: Audio Guide Technologies Survey Final Report </li></ul><ul><li>2007 </li></ul><ul><li>Matthew Barney: Multiplatform interpretation at SFMOMA </li></ul><ul><li>La Placa Cohen Culture Track 2007 (with Antenna Audio) </li></ul>
  10. 11. Fraunhofer Institute, Kunstmuseum Bonn: ‘Beat Zoderer’ exhibition (Listen project) 2003 Fraunhofer Institute, Kunstmuseum Bonn: ‘Beat Zoderer’ exhibition (Listen project) 2003 Thinking beyond the technology
  11. 12. Question mapping in the gallery: Thinking beyond what we want to tell them <ul><li>Semi-structured interviews </li></ul><ul><li>FAQs and comments cards </li></ul><ul><li>Questions posed to staff… </li></ul>
  12. 13. Thinking beyond the ‘stop’ <ul><li>+ - + - + - + - + Soundtracks </li></ul><ul><li>o o o o Soundbites </li></ul><ul><li>x x x x Interactives </li></ul><ul><li>| | | Links </li></ul><ul><li>^ ^ ^ Feedback </li></ul><ul><li>§ § § Social media </li></ul>Narrowcast/ Offline or Networked Networked only
  13. 14. Thinking cross-platform & about pre-, during & post-visit Audio player Multimedia player Personal media player Cellphone Smart Mobile Browser phones Mobile App Short Soundbite X X X X X X Long Soundtrack x x X (x) X X Interactive X X X Links X X X Feedback X X X Social media X X
  14. 15. Thinking outside the Acropolis The Reynold’s Center, home of the Smithsonian American Art Museum & National Portrait Gallery
  15. 16. Thinking about the Agora Kogod Courtyard of the Smithsonian American Art Museum; quotation by Steven Zucker, 2008
  16. 17. <ul><li>Make the Museum relevant to our lives; </li></ul><ul><li>Inspire us to connect, learn & experience; </li></ul><ul><li>Help us see, read & think critically; </li></ul><ul><li>Engage us in conversations with experts and ‘citizens’. </li></ul>And mobile experiences that: Raphael, The School of Athens , 1509-11, Vatican Museums
  17. 18. Photo by Mike Lee, 2007; from the American Art Museum’s Flickr Group And reach audiences beyond the museum’s walls…
  18. 19. Thinking outside the audiotour box Means going from headphones to microphones
  19. 20. From “We do the talking” to “We help our audiences do the talking.” http://smithsonian20.si.edu/schedule_webcast2.html
  20. 21. From “We do the talking” to “We help our audiences do the talking.”
  21. 22. Museums are very good at niches <ul><li>Niche collections </li></ul><ul><li>Niche expertise </li></ul><ul><li>Niche content </li></ul>Can we be good at long tail markets too? “ It's possible to be niche and popular at the same time. – Natasha Waterson Royal Observatory
  22. 23. Thinking beyond the blockbuster Edward Hoover , 2010, from Flickr.
  23. 24. Mobile is personal and social
  24. 25. The Un-tour <ul><li>What would a mobile experience look like </li></ul><ul><li>That plays to museums’ natural strengths </li></ul><ul><li>That is not built for the mass market </li></ul><ul><li>That does not aim to be a blockbuster </li></ul><ul><li>That connects small communities of passion </li></ul><ul><li>That is not a tour? </li></ul>That is mobile social media?
  25. 27. Gardening Change Model* Build a platform & cultivate Web 2.0 as a way of thinking about work * Via Josh Greenberg, NYPL & Mike Edson @mpedson Every user is a hero In their own epic journey http://tinyurl.com/y4g5c27
  26. 28. <ul><li>Faster than traditional committee-driven process (Time is the enemy) </li></ul><ul><li>Increase size of brain trust (Joy’s Law) </li></ul><ul><li>Improve the odds for change </li></ul><ul><li>Improve odds for execution (public promises not easily forgotten) </li></ul><ul><li>Outside champions more likely to support “commons” goals than status-quo insiders </li></ul><ul><li>Walking the Talk vis-à-vis crowdsourcing and innovation model </li></ul><ul><li>“ You get what you practice” </li></ul>The advantages of public, transparent, and fast Very important slide!
  27. 29. So I tried that… <ul><li>Data capture & feedback on where visitors go, what they see, and what questions they ask </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Analytics & metrics </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Search & interactive maps (don’t forget the services!) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>‘ Create (comment), share, connect’ functionality </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Contributors decide with whom they share their contribution </li></ul></ul>And here’s what I got:
  28. 30. <ul><li>Museum helps communities of interest form around objects/exhibits; facilitates the conversation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Supports the community/conversation with comments, answers, or new content ‘just in time’ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Don’t be stingy” – or cheap! Quality content is worth the investment (in time & expertise as well as money) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Strategies and events to help connect individuals: SlowArt; Nina Simon’s work; Brooklyn Museum… </li></ul></ul>Sketch of an Un-Tour
  29. 31. <ul><li>A personal adventure, surprise & serendipity: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Taking the museum into the world with LBS </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>AR </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>‘ Easter Eggs’ </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Meeting people </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>e.g. connecting web & on-site visitors </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Games and other rewarding things to do </li></ul></ul>Sketch of an Un-Tour
  30. 32. <ul><li>Connecting the dots </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Every platform is a community </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Using established social media platforms </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Deciding where a museum-specific version (like ArtBabble) adds value </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Building a ‘distributed network’, not just a multi-platform museum </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Avoiding ‘one-offs’ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Iterative development </li></ul></ul>Sketch of an Un-Tour
  31. 33. <ul><ul><li>Tate’s Miroslaw Balka: How it is </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>American Museum of Natural History’s Dinosaurs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Scopitone, CultureClic </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Musetrek </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>SM in Toura, Autour (Tristan), Nousguide </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>SCVNGR </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Foursquare, Gowalla </li></ul></ul>Some models to look at
  32. 34. Let the artists be our guides Oxygenate! 2006-7 Joanna Rajkowska Words Drawn in Water, 2005 Janet Cardiff Follow Through , 2005 Jennifer Crowe & Scott Paterson Euphorium 2002-3 Antenna Theater

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  • franklinheijnen

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    Dec. 3, 2010
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    Mar. 24, 2013
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    Jul. 13, 2013

A presentation from Museums and the Web 2010. Acknowledging that the only constant in technology is change, this paper proposes ways of ‘thinking outside the audio tour box’ in developing mobile interpretation programs in museums: instead of making mobile interpretation a question of which device, platform, or app the museum should invest in, it puts the focus on cross-platform content and experience design.Putting audiences at the center of museums’ mobile content and experience designs make it possible to engage them through the media consumption practices and platforms that they already use outside of the museum. Based on research conducted at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Indianapolis Museum of Art, and with the principals of SmartHistory.org, this paper offers a ‘question-based’ methodology for developing an interpretive strategy that starts with mapping visitors’ queries in the galleries. From this conceptual map we can derive a matrix of platforms, media, and narrative voices that work cross-platform. The traditional audio tour, with its analog ‘linear’ content and random access ‘stops’, offers important paradigms for ‘mobile 2.0’ content design: on the one hand, conceptual overviews and immersive ‘soundtracks’ provide a ‘score’ for the museum experience, and on the other hand, ‘soundbites’ in a range of media (audio, multimedia, or text) can be searched, saved, shared and favorited in multiple contexts. From social media, we can also learn how to integrate links, apps and user-generated content into the mobile mix. Finally, the paper considers how content style impacts shelf-life. What is the enduring legacy of creating ‘quick & dirty’ interpretive ‘snacks’ versus investing in more nutritional fare? How can museums best allocate their mobile content budgets in this light? Session: Mobiles: A Panel [mobile] see http://www.archimuse.com/mw2010/abstracts/prg_335002342.html

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