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In Case You Missed It…Museums and the Web 2015 Top 5 Take-Aways

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1) Beacons, Beacons, Beacons everywhere: How accurate is accurate enough?
We really liked this presentation, “Wherefore Art Thou ?” for a review of the basics: what works and what doesn’t work, how different kinds of beacons perform, and recommendations for an optimal experience… One of our favorite tidbits of wisdom came from Matthew Tarr, Senior Interactive Designer at American Museum of Natural History. He pointed out that one of the problems with a location awareness-based visit is you sometimes miss out on the serendipitous.
(Here’s the Met’s study on beacons , btw.)
And then there was some talk of Facial Recognition: Questions arise about how to use the info you gather (would be a great panel for MCN 2015!)? and… When is it useful and when is it just plain creepy?

beacon_image.jpg

2) This image comes from the aforementioned presentation on beacons - Arthur C. Clarke may be right, but technology is nothing without content, yet another recurring theme throughout the conference. Naturally we believe technology can improve the user experience; the magic comes from making the platform nearly invisible so visitors can focus on the storytelling and experience a work of art, a place, an object with no barriers.

3) Storytelling approaches: From crowdsourcing content to targeting content to specific visitors or visitor profiles. And then there’s creating alternative narratives—giving visitors more choice over the stories they get to hear. They may have the same starting point (and sometimes the same ending) but the tour can branch off depending on choices made throughout their tour. Questions remain about the effect on the visitor – enhanced engagement or narrative confusion?

4) The Pen at the Cooper Hewitt, an interactive pen that allows you to collect object information with a simple tap on any label. Part of its beauty is how simple and intuitive it is, with a single goal: to help people remember their visit. If The Pen could talk, it might quote a favorite tv show (remember those?) character, Charles Emerson Winchester III (that’s from a show called “M*A*SH which we won’t bother to explain as that’s what google is for…), “I do one thing at a time, I do it very well, and then I move on.”
Seb Chan and Aaron Cope’s session was standing-room only.

5) Data. Collecting it. Analyzing it. Using it to predict (or affect) behavior. Even the City of Chicago’s doing it.

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