Museums Mobilizing: On #MW2012 and Other Mobile Discussions
It could be(/is probably to do with) the fact that I follow news about mobile tech and social media in museums more than I do, well, anything else pertaining to my career.* But these last few days, I have seen an overwhelming amount of discussions and events related to the topic. I find it really exciting to follow. A few examples below..
1) The Museums Association’s May issue is going to be all about how museums, galleries, and heritage organisations are using mobile technology. They are currently calling for case studies. Check it out! I should really become a member so that I have access to the May edition.
2) Someone posted a link to this MuseumID discussion by leading museum professionals on the benefits and challenges of using social media. Read it here. Kathy Jaller of the Contemporary Jewish Museum says it best:
Such an open field is rare in a Museum context, as is the level of direct interaction with one’s audience. This technology, far from making things cold and automated, humanizes institutions that might otherwise seem impenetrable, and facilitates conversation that is available to the public and to the institution, as opposed to being contained within tour groups, classrooms, or visitors on date night.
3) And of course, the Museums and the Web conference is in San Diego this week. My Twitter feed has been inundated with lines quoted from presenters and even descriptions of the outfit that Nancy Proctor was wearing for the opening plenary! It’s like the Oscars! I wish there was some sort of live stream available online for those of us mobile museum geeks that are interested in what is being discussed. Wouldn’t that be appropriate, given the nature of the conference? Regardless, I have gleaned a few words of wisdom from the #MW2012 discussion.
The first is to focus less on the content, and more on the ways to interact with the content. This is slightly adapted from what I remember reading about it being best to focus on the content before getting into specifics on what kind of technology to use. This way the experience (what we’re trying to enhance through mobile technology) is the #1 priority during development, rather than the gadget functions available. In other words, the technology can be extremely simple as long as the desired a-ha moment is achieved from that interaction.
Overall, the #MW2012 tweets are just making me want more. Especially since they get to eat fish tacos under palm trees. Most tweets are 140 characters of pure tease, such as:
I want to be impressed by the Walker website behind-the-scenes too!
But really, there have been some great attempts to share the experience online, such as Lucy Redoglia’s Storify compilation of the conference’s highlights: http://storify.com/MetEveryday/museums-and-the-web-2012-highlights
And the slides from the “Creating Your Own Social Media Strategy” workshop (what a gem of a workshop, btw) have been shared by presenters JiaJia Fei (Guggenheim Museum), Lindsay Martin (Lord Cultural Resources), and Jeff Taylor (LaPlaca Cohen). Check that out here: http://www.slideshare.net/jfei/creating-your-social-media-strategy-a-workshop
So there’s some fun reading for your afternoon. TGIF13 yall.
*And by career, I mean career aspirations. I’m still living in the Netherlands where there is no money (and therefore mega competition) for jobs in the cultural sector. Added to that, they speak Dutch here [fun fact!] AND great English, so my chances of employment are nil. SO I’m moving home to Canada and looking for work there. If you know of any opportunities, please let me know!