Mobile Social Media


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Presentation to the CURSO DE VERANO
Bilbao Arte eta Kultura UPV/EHU: museos, redes sociales y tecnología 2.0 (museums, social networks and 2.0 technology)
6-7 July 2010 at the invitation of the University of the Basque Country.

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  • How many people have taken an audio or multimedia tour? Did they enjoy their experience?
  • But in fact, I think of the Smithsonian like this: a multinodal and multimodal network - a distributed network, in fact. My aim is to build content, experiences, and services that reach visitors wherever and whenever they happen to be on this network.
  • Some are now predicting that mobile devices will be our primary means of accessing the Internet by 2020. If that sounds like a dotcom boom kind of prediction, that’s probably a fair way to characterize the hype. In comparison to fixed web’s development history, mobile is somewhere between 1995 and 1998: a wild, wild west boom town where fortunes are going to be made and lost probably even faster than in the 20 th century. But don’t get me wrong: I’m a believer!
  • Yet all too often, visitors complain that audio tours give them this sort of experience: Although this video shows an example of one of the earliest tour technologies from the 1960s, excavated by Loic Tallon, the perception of audio tours is that they are not terribly different today in terms of inspiring a herd mentality among users, producing crowding around exhibits and a sort of dumbed-down, one-size-fits-all experience. All the issues that have plagued audio tours throughout their history are visible here: The linearity of the tour lead to a herd-mentality among visitors and crowding around exhibits In addition the challenges of: Hygiene: led to one of the earliest audio tour technology debates: headphones vs wands? Distribution issues always a challenge, but complexity also driven by technology choices, including the headphones or wand choice Very homogenous audience
  • Another way to represent this is as a multi-tiered architecture with up to three kinds of content: 1. -+-+-+-+-+ The Soundtrack 2. o o o o o The Soundbites 3. / | / | / Links
  • In the museum as agora, our audiences access our content through a wide range of platforms beyond the museum’s walls and website
  • Like museums, mobile lends itself both to the extreme personalization of niche activities, and to connecting disparate, passionate subject specialists and longtail markets. There is a powerful network effect of connecting lots and lots of people who are passionate about the same niches. So I have been asking myself of late: can mobile help museums conceive of new business models, products and practices that play to museums’ strengths in the longtail and niche markets, rather than perpetuate often futile attempts to compete in mass markets?
  • As Chris Anderson noted in his talk at SI 2.0, it is our hobbies – often niche activities and content - that inspires the most passion in individuals. And the niche is the space that museums know best. They’re staffed to a large extent by people who have been lucky enough to turn their passions into professions: specialists who understand subjects in the greatest depth and finest nuances, working with rare content and collections. And yet for over 50 years, the blockbuster has been the engine that drives the mobile interpretation industry. I want to ask if there are business models – and interpretive solutions – that play to our natural strengths with niche content and niche audiences?
  • Mobile is an ideal vehicle for niche content, experiences & audiences because both personal – intimate, even - and social. The highly personal nature of the mobile experience also makes mobile a great vehicle for the kind of niche content and experiences that museums excel at. + How many people do you let whisper in your ear? Or put content onto your personal, mobile device that is always with you, and usually carried very close to your body? Although it’s arguably the social applications that make mobile products revolutionary, it may just be the intimate, personal nature of the mobile experience that ‘makes them stick(y)’! ;-)
  • And if you think SI Guide was the only time the Institution aimed for the moon in its mobile program and fell a bit short, think again: Extra points to anyone who remembers this, or can guess what year it is from: iGo on the Apple Newton from 1994 It even had a feedback function! A product clearly ahead of its time.
  • So where do we start? Well, fortunately, my creative and innovative colleagues have already started building the Mobile Smithsonion. In fact, they started some time ago. Does anyone recognize this? SIGuide: the Institution’s first multimedia tour in 2005, and a great learning moment, teaching us not only hard lessons like: run before you can walk when dealing with new technology; Make sure your deals are win-win if you want your vendor to stay in business and therefore be able to support your product in the long term… But most importantly, SI Guide continues to be a lesson in how to take risks and learn from our mis-steps along the way – above all we should be encouraging intelligent risk taking in our mobile program for that is the only way we can take up the leadership position that so many, like Bruce Wyman, expect of us and which I agree is the responsibility of large public institutions like ours.
  • Other lessons learned: just a sampling: Podcasts, some of our earliest mobile publications, seem to be popular: at least with us How are our audiences using them?
  • Cellphones are also popular with museums, but probably better for interactive services than traditional audio tour experiences But new ‘all you can eat’ models help!
  • And there’s plenty more that has been going on in mobile at Smithsonian since (going to fly through these slides…)
  • Mobile web is standard By 2013/2020 most of our web visitors will be from mobile devices
  • Learning about mobile websites for delivering video now at CH; this was the first multimedia tour on the iPod platform, great sampling of a wide range of content
  • Pick your target audience and evaluate their experience
  • Learning how to create an exhibition guide that works both for on-site and remote audiences
  • And many more learning opportunities in the pipeline
  • So this is a thumbnail sketch of what I think SI Mobile might look like: not just one big umbrella app, but a set of tools and resources…
  • Mobile Social Media

    1. 1. Mobile Social Media Cross-platform mobile content design beyond the ‘stop’ and the ‘tour’ Universidad del País Vasco 7 July 2010 Nancy Proctor [email_address] Smithsonian Institution The Smithsonian Institution as a Distributed Network or
    2. 2. What are our audiences looking for? What do they need?
    3. 3. The Smithsonian Institution More than 30 million visitors in 2009 & 180 million ‘virtual’ visitors
    4. 4. A Network for the Increase & Diffusion of Knowledge <ul><li>19 Museums </li></ul><ul><li>156 Affiliate museums </li></ul><ul><li>9 Research centers </li></ul><ul><li>More than 136 million objects, artworks and specimens </li></ul>
    5. 5. In the Museum as Distributed Network…
    6. 6. … at least half of the Museum’s platforms are already mobile.
    7. 7. So if we want to meet our audiences where they are <ul><li>And take them some place new… </li></ul>
    8. 8. Mobile is a great vehicle
    9. 9. Falling on deaf ears?
    10. 11. Fraunhofer Institute, Kunstmuseum Bonn: ‘Beat Zoderer’ exhibition (Listen project) 2003 Fraunhofer Institute, Kunstmuseum Bonn: ‘Beat Zoderer’ exhibition (Listen project) 2003 It’s not about the technology
    11. 12. Thinking outside the audio tour box Thinking about content and experience design
    12. 13. Thinking outside the audiotour box Means going from headphones to microphones
    13. 14. Think 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>
    14. 15. Think beyond the pilot
    15. 16. Question mapping in the gallery: Think 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>
    16. 17. Think 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
    17. 18. Think 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
    18. 19. Think outside the Acropolis The Reynold’s Center, home of the Smithsonian American Art Museum & National Portrait Gallery
    19. 20. Think about the Agora Kogod Courtyard of the Smithsonian American Art Museum; quotation by Steven Zucker, 2008
    20. 21. Photo by Mike Lee, 2007; from the American Art Museum’s Flickr Group And reach audiences beyond the museum’s walls
    21. 22. Think beyond the Multi-platform Museum Edward Hoover , 2010, from Flickr.
    22. 23. From “We do the talking” to “We help our audiences do the talking.”
    23. 24. Think beyond the blockbuster Thinking about the long tail…
    24. 25. 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
    25. 26. Mobile is personal and social
    26. 27. 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?
    27. 28. 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
    28. 29. <ul><li>… Capture data & 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>1. Listen to your audiences
    29. 30. <ul><li>… Help audiences connect: with content, collections, each other </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Support 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>Develop strategies and events to help connect individuals: SlowArt; Nina Simon’s work; Brooklyn Museum… </li></ul></ul>2. Help communities of interest form around content & experiences
    30. 31. <ul><li>… Take the museum into the world </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>LBS </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>AR </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>‘ Easter Eggs’ </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>… Connect people, places & content </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>e.g. connecting web & on-site visitors </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>… Give audiences meaningful things to do </li></ul>3. Create adventure, surprise & serendipity
    31. 32. <ul><ul><li>Build a ‘distributed network’, not just a multi-platform museum </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Every platform is a community </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use both generic & museum-focused social media platforms </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Avoid ‘orphans’ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Iterate </li></ul></ul>4. Connect the dots
    32. 33. <ul><ul><li>Tate’s Miroslaw Balka: How it is & Tate Trumps </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>American Museum of Natural History’s Dinosaurs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Museum of London’s Street Museum </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
    33. 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
    34. 35. Smithsonian Mobile & more <ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>#SIMobile </li></ul><ul><li>#SI20 </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>#mtogo </li></ul>
    35. 36. Robin White Owen
    36. 37. James Bradburne
    37. 38. Deborah Howes
    38. 39. Bruce Wyman
    39. 40. iGo: 1994
    40. 41. SI Guide: 2005
    41. 42. Podcasts
    42. 43. Cellphone tours
    43. 44.
    44. 45.
    45. 46. (mobile)
    46. 47. Design USA at Cooper-Hewitt “ Don’t even think about not using it because then you won’t truly see the show.” Roberta Smith, NY Times , 14 January 2010
    47. 48. MEanderthal
    48. 49. Yves Klein at the Hirshhorn
    49. 50. mLearning Workshops
    50. 52. Cooper-Hewitt Triennial Mobile Exhibition Website
    51. 53. In the Pipeline <ul><li>Extensive research into Mall visitor audiences </li></ul><ul><li>Mall visitors’ app </li></ul><ul><li>NMAI exhibition tour app </li></ul><ul><li>Zoo app </li></ul><ul><li>Mobile giving </li></ul><ul><li>NMNH Leaf-identifier app </li></ul><ul><li>NMAH cross-platform game </li></ul><ul><li>Mobile cross-collections search </li></ul><ul><li>Experiments in Augmented Reality </li></ul>
    52. 54. Where are we going? <ul><li>Best practice documentation </li></ul><ul><li>Infrastructure : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>ubiquitous </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>secure hosting </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>platforms for mobile content management & publishing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>analytics to support </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>opensource applications </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Standards </li></ul><ul><li>A Smithsonian Mobile Architecture and framework </li></ul><ul><li>A Mobile Toolkit </li></ul>
    53. 55. Some of the tools… <ul><ul><li>Smithsonian Commons Mobile </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Collections search </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Image delivery </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Events calendars </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Maps and wayfinding </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ About…” content and functionality </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Visitor feedback capture </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Social media functions/communities of interest </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mobile metrics and campaign functions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mobile advertising and promotions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Location-based functions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Augmented reality </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>?? What would you add? </li></ul></ul>
    54. 56. Smithsonian Mobile & more <ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>#SIMobile </li></ul><ul><li>#SI20 </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>#mtogo </li></ul>