Posted: September 25th, 2012 | Author: Jasper Visser | Filed under: Thoughts about museums | Tags: curiosity, extinct, future, Interaction, presentation, science, science museums | 1 Comment »
Photo by Morning Calm News on Flickr.
As a young boy my parents gave me the wonderful book The Way Things Work by David Macaulay. It’s the mammoth book that explains, well, the way loads of everyday and not so everyday things work. I owned a nice collection of similarly themed books, but I guess this was my favourite (although the cover design of Gödel, Escher, Bach had an enormous appeal to me as well).
Most of the machinery explained by Macaulay was far from common in an 80s household to an eight year old. Pulleys, wedges, switchboards, corkscrews. Also, mammoths were not a common sight in our streets. Neither were dinosaurs, one of my other passions. And nobody in my street had ever been an astronaut.
In a nice blogpost on the Smithsonian blog the question is asked if science museums will disappear now that science is either invisible or impossibly far away. The Higgs boson and Nasa’s Curiosity are given as examples of things science museums, apparently, cannot give their audience access to. I say that science museums will never ever disappear. Not in a million years, unless we have one of these extinction level events Hollywood keeps warning us about. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: September 8th, 2011 | Author: Jasper Visser | Filed under: People, Thoughts about museums | Tags: community, Interaction, participation, questions, simple, thoughts, wine | 4 Comments »
Photo by Wendell (lurking) on Flickr.
This week I did a wine tasting with a Dutch wine critic. That was fun. Of course we talked about the difference between supermarket wines, new-world wines, old-world wines etc. Regardless of tasting over seven thousand wines per year and obviously having a very refined taste in wine, our host applauded the simple unpretentious wines most people drink. He mentioned how his very first wine came from a carton. It’s simple and cheap wine that might be the first step of a life-altering journey through the wonderful world of wines.
(He also repeatedly mentioned that a lack of knowledge about wine is completely unrelated to a good taste for wine. Even beginners easily distinguish the good from the bad when testing blind. I think the same applies to (all) arts and culture.)
For an expert it’s tempting to ask challenging questions, “What is your favourite Monet painting?” or “Which historical figure do you think is represented on this vase?” Challenging questions might provide new insights (to the expert). The answers to simple questions rarely surprise. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: July 19th, 2011 | Author: Jasper Visser | Filed under: Expositions, Inspiration | Tags: art, audience, crowdsourcing, design, engagement, Interaction, participation, public | 2 Comments »
Photo by Amy Halverson on Flickr.
TED Global was way more than stunning talks. In fact, maybe the best thing was the unique blend of inspirational people I met. One of them, artist Candy Chang, makes public installations I’m sure many of you will appreciate.
Her business card says Candy likes to make cities more comfortable for people. Many of her projects close the gap between the public and the often almost intangible stuff that surrounds them. Her work connects people and asks for their contribution.
Candy’s a TED Senior Fellow which means there’s hundreds of thousands of people out there who think she rocks. And one: me. Here’re just three of her projects:
What to do with abandoned buildings? There’re hundreds of them in every city (especially once you start looking for them). For one specific building, the Polaris Building in Fairbanks, people were asked just that question. Plus, they were asked to tell their stories about the building. There’s also a website attached that asks for contributions in a refreshingly simple way. The number of contributions is overwhelming and I’m sure this will influence the future of the building.
Photo by Candy Chang. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: April 6th, 2011 | Author: Jasper Visser | Filed under: Technology | Tags: crowdsourcing, Interaction, network, photos, semantic web, social media | No Comments »
Last week, our friends of press agency ANP launched their renewed online photo archive. That’s cool 1) because about a 100,000 professional photos are now available under a CC license and 2) the new website is part of the INNL network.
A bit more about 2. ANP has had its historical archive of press photos online for quite some time. Unfortunately, as often with photos, its descriptions and metadata are limited. We worked together with ANP on our successful crowdsourced project Nieuwe Groeten Uit… and decided to take this one step further in the new ANP historical archive.
The INNL network connects historical collections and communities. Many of the connected websites encourage visitors to add stories and to add images to these stories. However, scanning, uploading, or arranging the rights often are too much of a barrier to adding images. The ANP archive has photos about virtually every possible topic of the Dutch history that people can tell personal stories about, which makes them very useful for people to add images to their stories.
The INNL network could do with the ANP photos, and ANP could do with context the INNL network provides, so we decided to connect them. Now, when somebody writes a story or comments, adds an article or describes an event somewhere in the INNL network, and adds an image from the ANP archive (using the redesigned wizards for adding images), this become information about the photo for ANP. Thus, by using the photos, people are describing the photos. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: December 3rd, 2010 | Author: Jasper Visser | Filed under: People | Tags: attention, communication, do's and, Interaction, new media, participation, strategy, timing | 4 Comments »
Photo by Diana Hammond.
With the rise of new media a paradigm shift has occurred in the time when people “consume” museums. In the old days people would pick a specific moment to visit a museum. Maybe dress up a bit, make it a day out. On an average they would pick two, maybe three moments a year to spend time with museums. Nowadays, using Twitter and Facebook, we try to make people interact with museums twenty-four seven. They don’t even have to be dressed to “visit” a museum.
By doing so, we’ve entered into the battle for attention of our consumers. And it’s a crowded battlefield.
Timing is essential when it comes to getting an optimal response to your cries for attention. As a museum that is closed on Sundays will miss out on a lot of visitors, a tweet send when all followers are asleep or busy is lost forever. So, when are people most likely to consume a museum’s new media activities?
Read the rest of this entry »