Musematic
A full-day workshop on email archiving for art museums

Posted by on Wednesday January 8 2014

As many of you know, I have been very concerned about the lack of email archiving in museums. I chaired a session a few years ago at MCN and found that I am not alone in my concern. Since then, things have not improved. In fact, one might say they have worsened as the volume of email continues to increase, as does its use for types of museum correspondence that are crucial for us to preserve.

The problem, simply stated, is that lack of robust archiving and retrieval for email correspondence in today’s art museums may limit the primary source materials available to future generations of students, scholars, and the public. This is an issue for directors, curators, educators, researchers, archivists, collection managers, and technology staff. While there are commercial products for email archiving, they are built to serve corporate data-retention policies, not future research and scholarship. Focused on maintaining emails for five, seven, or ten years, these products rarely are expected to retain emails indefinitely. They may have inherent limitations for our community due to their different intended contexts of use.

It is time for us to focus on this problem as a community: time that we look at what is being done to archive email in corporate settings, universities, and state and federal governments, and time we do something about a problem that has been developing in our museum community for more than 20 years.

So, I have asked Susan Chun ( http://mwconf.com/susan-chun ) and Dale Kronkright ( http://mwconf.com/GOKConservator ) to chair and organize a Museums and the Web full-day Deep Dive into this issue. We will explore previous and ongoing work in the GLAM community , examining the problem from both technology infrastructure and procedure and policy angles. We will review commercial and open source technology solutions. We will gather commercial vendors and see how their solutions match our needs. We will hear about the work being done in other spaces such as government and education. We will publish the results, and form a working group to move this issue forward, supported by the proceedings of this workshop.

I have posted an overview of the issues, as well as a link to the registration page, here ( http://mwconf.com/1ee4qIF ) . (note that this event is part of Museums and the Web 2014, but it is a separate registration; participants need not attend the whole MW 2014 conference).

Deep-Dive registration includes coffee breaks, lunch, and a special reception. You can register here ( http://mw2014.museumsandtheweb.com/registration/ ) .

We are now developing the detailed agenda and background reading list. I would love to hear your suggestions and comments to ensure we don’t miss anything important. We are also looking for participants for lightning talks on desired use cases or horror stories or top wishes for functionalities related to email archiving. To further the discussion we have created a Google Group ( http://mwconf.com/19k0Rhz ) for email archiving in museums.

Please forward this announcement to prospective attendees and post to lists as appropriate.

Looking forward to seeing you at this MW Deep Dive on April 1st, 2014.

Rich

Co-Chair
Museums and the Web

Submit your proposals for the AAM Annual Conference! Teachers wanted!

Posted by on Saturday August 17 2013

Hi everyone:

Session proposals for the American Association of Museums’ Annual Conference in Seattle (May 18-21, 2014) are due August 26th. Get them in now!

Every year, the Media & Technology Professional Network looks for people to teach detailed, often hands-on workshops called Tech Tutorials. These beginner and intermediate workshops are designed to be accessible and intimate, a place where attendees can ask specific questions and get some hands on experience. We’re submitting proposed Tech Tutorials for the following topics and we’re looking for teachers for all of them. If you’re coming to AAM in Seattle (May 18-21, 2014), please consider becoming a mentor! Drop me, Susan, or Alex a line if you’re interested in teaching or facilitating (not all of the session descriptions are developed yet, which is why the list looks the way it does. The presenter[s] will have the opportunity to help craft the description):

1. Tech Tutorial: Getting Started with Social Media – Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, and Google+ (Beginning level)
Have you never used Twitter? Not sure what a hashtag is? Not know how to ‘Like’ or ‘+1” something? Never even heard of Tumbr? Then this tutorial is for you. Learn how these social media platforms work, why they exist, and how museums are using them. Y ou’ll come away with information to help you decide if using these platforms makes sense for your institution. The tutorial is limited to 20 people so participants can ask questions, and share their stories.  This is a beginner-level tutorial, designed for those with little to no social media experience.

2. Tech Tutorial: Deepening Engagement with Social Media (Advanced level)
Gain insight on how to build upon your existing social media presence. This tutorial will explore tactics for developing a comprehensive social media strategy that works in concert with your institution’s overall communications and engagement strategies. We’ll cover advanced features of various social media platforms, such as Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr; discuss which platforms work best for different types of projects; and explore ways to create connections to your blog. The tutorial is limited to 20 people so participants can ask questions, and share their stories.  This is an advanced-level tutorial. Participants should be familiar with managing and using social media platforms.

3. Tech Tutorial: Principles of Effective Video (Beginner level)
Understand the basic steps in creating video, including audio, cameras, and editing systems. You’ll come away with a list of the equipment you’ll need, and tips about basic approaches to creating successful video. This is a beginner-level tutorial, designed for those with little to no video production experience.

4. Tech Tutorial: Video Crit Room (Advanced)
Bring your video projects to this tutorial and get constructive feedback from your peers. This is an advanced-level tutorial, designed for those who understand the basics of video production.

5. Tech Tutorial: Podcasting – Is anyone still listening? (Beginner-Intermediate)
Podcasting may seem very 2005, but many museums and non-profits are producing successful podcast series. Audio production is less expensive and can require much fewer resources than video production. Learn the basics of podcasting, find out who is using podcasts in the field, and understand out if podcasting may be the right approach for your museum.

6. Tech Tutorial: Does my museum need a blog? (Beginner)
We’ll show you how to get started. Understand how to plan for and implement a blog using WordPress. Employ advanced techniques to build your blog into a valuable, sustainable communication tool to engage your online audience.

7. Tech Tutorial: Google Analytics (Beginner)
8. Tech Tutorial: User Testing on a Shoestring (Beginner)
9. Tech Tutorial: Digital Copyright and Privacy (Beginner)
10. Strategy: What’s the best tool for my message? Digital strategy for projects (Advanced)
11. Tech Tutorial: Basics of Mobile Websites (Advanced)
12. Strategy: Drupal or WordPress? Content Management Systems (Advanced)
13. Tech Tutorial: Organize and Manage Your Digital Assets (Beginner) – I (Perian) have volunteered to talk on this one. I’d like someone familiar with managing video and audio to co-present.

I know a lot of technologists don’t take the time to go to AAM, as it’s for a more general audience, and it’s a frequent complaint that we don’t get much out of AAM. But the registrars, curators, directors, and education staff really need people like us to help them make sense of their technology projects. It’s up to us to help bring the rest of the field forward, to ensure that we’re able to deploy technology projects effectively, and get support from other non-techy staff. Please consider lending your voice and expertise and come to AAM.

Thanks everyone,

Perian Sully
Program Chair, Media & Technology Professional Network

Susan Edwards & Alex Lawson
Tech Tutorial Co-Chairs, Media & Technology Professional Network

P.S. On another note, I’m noticing a lot of session proposals on the AAM website are missing their presenter bios in the proposal. That information is important for us on the National Program Committee to know about the diversity and qualifications of the presenters. When submitting your proposal, please make that information available to us. It makes it more likely your proposal will be approved. Thanks!

Filed under: Announcements
Flickr and Reflections on a Redesign

Posted by on Wednesday May 22 2013

San Diego Air and Space Museum Archives on Flickr

Yahoo rolled out a radical new design for Flickr this week, gave all of its users 1TB of free storage, rewrote the terms of its account agreements, and launched a new, overhauled Android app. However, like almost every redesign of a popular product, there are howls of outrage about the changes. In this case, Yahoo failed to take into account Flickr’s rabid photographer community and made its redesign out of the blue, leaving long-time users feeling rebuffed (again) by Yahoo. Vocal griping about a redesign is common, but the response to the change has been at least 99% negative.* This week, Gizmodo ran a great article about Yahoo and Flickr’s troubled relationship in “Flashback: How Yahoo Killed Flickr and Lost the Internet.”

All Yahoo cared about was the database its users had built and tagged. It didn’t care about the community that had created it or (more importantly) continuing to grow that community by introducing new features.

I was and am excited by the changes. After all, Flickr has been greatly-neglected by Yahoo since its acquisition in 2005 and this sudden infusion of cash – including hiring a number of new people – can only mean that Yahoo’s CEO Marissa Mayer meant it when she said that they were “going to make Flickr awesome again.”

Since so many museums use Flickr for collections access, I’m really interested in this process and what it means for us. But the rollout of the new design also serves as a cautionary tale about community adoption of a property and what happens when the titular owner decides to make changes.

Impressions:

  • New, modern design. Personally, I find the new design both beautiful and modern. It puts the photographs front and center of the user’s experience. Some of the criticism has been how this particular style is very similar to how Google +, Facebook, and Pinterest have recently redesigned their sites. It’s clear that this is the design du jour for social sites, and Yahoo wants Flickr to compete in the social networking world.

The comments are harder to find (you have to scroll down more) and the site is a bit slow and buggy right now, but that will be resolved. The maps seem to have disappeared, which is rather unfortunate. (*edited to add – the maps are still there, but they’re not obvious and you now need to make EXIF data public in order to make them visible) And many people who have slower internet connections will find that have a continuously-scrolling selection of images will cause bandwidth problems.

Flickr/Yahoo are listening to their users, though, at least somewhat. Yesterday, the background was black, a major complaint of many users. Today, they’ve switched it to white.

  • Accounts. Every Flickr user gets 1Tb of storage, for free. In exchange, though, Yahoo is going to display ads throughout the site. Previously, as a Pro user, it’s $25 per month for unlimited uploads and access to stats. For $50 per month, you can choose to be a paid subscriber and have ads removed and access to the Flickr stats. But if you’re a recurring Pro account holder, there’s this:

With these changes comes the news that we will no longer be offering Pro accounts on Flickr. All those with one-time Pro will retain their benefits until their subscription expires. Recurring Pro members currently have the opportunity to continue renewing their subscriptions. Until we communicate otherwise, your subscription will continue at the price you started with (and not higher).

I have a recurring pro account, and have for 8 years, so I’m grandfathered in. But if I didn’t have a recurring account, I wouldn’t bother to renew. Frankly, that’s what’s Adblock’s for.

But there’s been some speculation that Yahoo is intentionally trying to get rid of paid accounts. I think this is an apt observation. Certainly they are at the lower price point, but legions of users at a $25/year rate means fewer customers for ad-purchasers to market towards. I could take that to mean that my time on the site is worth about $50/year to a large tech company.

  • Rollout. Here’s where Yahoo and Flickr really screwed up. Yahoo has had an abysmal track record with communities and social media. They’ve consistently shown over the years that they simply don’t understand how communities work. Flickr, along with Delicious (which suffered an abysmal fate at the hands of Yahoo before being sold off in 2010), has an extremely vibrant and vocal fan base, and, I would argue, one that very much adopted Flickr as their own during the period of Yahoo’s neglect.

Since the rollout was so very sudden, there was a collective sense of whiplash by the community, who had no idea this was coming. There were no public beta tests or comment periods. There are also no options to stick with the original layout or modify the new one. Sure, spending a lot of time getting public feedback can be expensive and can threaten to derail a project. But, in this case, I think Yahoo absolutely should have engaged more with its users. Sudden change is hard, and it’s harder still on a group of devoted acolytes. Change absolutely needed to happen, but would it have been the kiss of death to draw it out for another 6-9 months?

My hunch is that Yahoo is going to eventually tightly integrate Flickr with Tumblr, using the casual social usage of Tumblr to support growth in Flickr. Yahoo has said that it’s going to leave Tumblr alone and let it do its thing, but I think some crossover may be inevitable. Yahoo wants a community of people who take snapshots and make memes and share with their friends. They want an Instagram. Flickr users are professional and amateur photographers, less-interested in sharing their everyday lives than in sharing their art. Wedding Flickr and Tumblr makes a great deal of sense, but the features that are important to the existing Flickr community were on the chopping block. This does a major disservice to the loyal fans who’ve supported Flickr in its 12-year history.

Right now, I’m just biding my time and watching to see what happens. I just hope that Flickr doesn’t dramatically change its API. Generally, I remain hopeful (although I’d very much like the Maps to come back, please), and that the Flickr community will simply evolve to incorporate more casual visitors. I anticipate that for as many people as leave Flickr now, if there is indeed a partnership between Flickr and Tumblr, those Tumblr users will more than make up the lack and give us cultural Flickr users a larger online audience.

*as of this writing, the replies to the rollout announcement have reached over 18,000 comments, and, after scrolling through the comments, I estimate that maybe only about 200 of them are positive. Most of the replies are single posts from users as well, and not just a small group of vocal opponents.

UPDATE: It looks like Stats is being phased out, though it will continue to be available for existing Pro users.

Here’s a link to a liveblog from the press event announcing the Flickr changes. there’s been much complaining about Mayer’s assertion that “there are no professional photographers”

Filed under: Random Musings
Jim Blackaby Memorial Scholarship at MCN 2012

Posted by on Friday August 17 2012

A wonderful friend and colleague. Gone but not forgotten.


It’s application time for scholarships to MCN 2012 in Seattle.

Check out the new Jim Blackaby Memorial Scholarship which includes conference registration, hotel, and stipend and, for those of you who don’t know, the scholarship is named for a pioneer in the museum technology field who left us way too young.

Miss you still Jim.

Here’s the link to more information.
http://www.mcn.edu/mcn-2012-scholarship-program

Filed under: Random Musings
The Paper Walls of Archive, Library, and Museum Data

Posted by on Thursday August 9 2012

I’m currently attending the Society of American Archivists annual meeting, here in sunny San Diego. It’s my first SAA meeting, and I feel like I could be at Museums and the Web or the Museum Computer Network conferences. Just take a look at some of the sessions:

Choose Your Own Arrangement: Using Large-scale Digitization Efforts to Process Image and Audiovisual Collections

Commemorating the Civil War: Transforming the Historical Record Through Digitization

To the Community and Beyond: Engaging Users to Interact with Participatory Archives

Crowdsourcing Our Collections: Three Case Studies of User Participation in Metadata Creation and Enhancement

Linking Data Across Libraries, Archives, and Museums (disclaimer: this is my own session)

80,000 Volunteers Can’t Be Wrong: The Case for Greater Collaboration with Wikipedia

Solving Our Problem with Authority and Sharing: Current Developments and Prospects

etc.

Really, this isn’t surprising. Once you get past processing and into raw data, the challenges and opportunities are almost the same. Makes me wonder if I’ve been doing an archivist’s job all along. And it enforces my perception that the walls separating the disciplines are becoming thinner and thinner.

 

Filed under: Conferences andRandom Musings
The emerging Semantic Web

Posted by on Sunday July 22 2012

Could the Semantic Web have useful meaning? A couple of years ago I had already pushed it into the same drawer that held my SGML org charts. Then I encountered Microformats and Linked Open Data. Slowly, it occurred to me that while the extensive universe of the Semantic Web as originally envisioned might not be particularly useful, the practice of embedding more and more semantic information into our web pages makes an awful lot of sense.

The problem that the “Semantic Web” attempts to solve is that of context. Putting information on the web is important, but each web page exists in isolation. There is nothing beyond proximity to help put pages in context: a page on the Jewish Women’s Archive website in our section, “Encyclopedia” is probably a biography, or an article about a general Jewish women’s subject. If the article is on our “My Bat Mitzvah Story” website, then it is probably addressed to tweens, girls between 11 and 13. None of this is necessarily apparent to web spiders, or, for that matter, to casual visitors to our site.

So, the Jewish Women’s Archive has embarked on a new project to add extensive metadata, and to standardize metadata, in its various exhibits, biographies, and features. The core of the Semantic Web relies on “metadata;” the background information about the biographies and accompanying media on our site. “Metadata” is the term used to describe the criticial information about who created the article or media, what rights we have to use the item, when it was last updated, with whom we can share it, who owns the item, what the article covers or how it is categorized, how it fits in with other articles, etc.

Search engines such as Google and Bing frequently deliver people to our pages about Lillian Wald or Bobbie Rosenfeld or Gertrude Elion. We are prime resources for those subjects and the search engines know it. But you have to know to ask. If you are researching public health, or sports, or scientists, there is no easy way for a search engine to make a connection between the women I just mentioned and those subjects, except to the degree that those terms appear somewhere in the web pages, and to the extent that someone searching for information uses exactly those terms.

The Semantic Web addresses “context” by providing behind-the-scenes mark-up to note “relationship” information in a form that search engines like Google and Bing are increasingly paying attention to. We can record information such as “Gertrude Elion was a scientist” and “Gertrude Elion won the Nobel Prize” in ways that the search engines and other Semantic Web tools (when they appear) will be able to understand and combine with other semantic information around the web in order to answer search queries more subtly and more completely.

Think of how much this changes the way that people can understand the world. Instead of directing a query about sports, for instance, to whoever has the most widely-read page on sports in general, Google can now answer a question about “women in sports” to include the Jewish Women’s Archive pages on Bobbie Rosenfeld and other women. “Jewish Olympians” likewise returns information beginning with Rosenfeld, Lillian Copeland, Charlotte Epstein, on up to more recent Olympians such as Dara Torres.

In essense, the Semantic Web means that we don’t have to wait for someone to use the information we provide to write women into history; once that information is properly coded and on the web, and as browsers and search engines take better advantage of this technology, we are writing women directly into search results.

The Semantic Web, as originally described, is complex and cumbersome. It would take such significant resources to encode that small organizations such as jwa.org might be left out simply because we lack the programming and archival resources. We’re not along. For everyone, big and small, in an age when archives are looking to “lighten up” some traditional proceses, the idea of moving backwards to record more information in more detail flies in the face of reality.

This has incredible implications, not just for the Jewish Women’s Archive, but for all cultural heritage organizations on the web. The Semantic Web as made real with lightweight means such as LOD and Microforms means that an inclusive, broad knowledge of who we are may finally be at hand.

Cross-posted with the Jewish Women’s Archive

Filed under: Advocacy andMetaverse
Has Social Media Changed What You Do?

Posted by on Friday May 25 2012

A friend of mine posted this on his Facebook wall and thought it was a great question. So tossing it out to you:

It’s obvious that Facebook has changed how we communicate. (We use status updates and blurbs and other people’s voices a lot more now, and it’s faster), but has it changed, in any fundamental way, WHAT we do?

And if so, how?

So what do you guys think?

Filed under: Random Musings
Jump In! Horizon Report> Museum Edition

Posted by on Thursday May 3 2012

Thought I’d jump back in here folks because I’ve just returned from a wonderful, engaging, enlightening, and highly entertaining AAM 2012. As always the MUSE Awards, ably kicked off by that man-about-town Jack Ludden, was a highlight. You can find all the MUSE Award winners here.

But the real reason I thought I’d post today is I had several opportunities to listen to comments and constructive criticisms of the 20122 Horizon Report>Museum Edition. And it occurred to me that some of you out there might have some comments too, or a project that you want to share, or you might be interested in participating as part of this year’s advisory board.

Here at NMC/MIDEA We welcome your input and here are a couple of ways you can connect with us:

Two ways to Tag Resources hzk11
http://delicious.com/tag/hzk11
http://horizon.wiki.nmc.org/Tagging

Or you can nominate yourself for the 2012 Advisory Board

There’s also a MIDEA facebook page–friends us and share comments–or leave us a comment using twitter #NMChz #MIDEA

Oh…and one last item. A shout out to Nik Honeysett’s recent post “How To Pitch Technology To Your Board” using Present Me, his current favorite presentation technology.

10 Failed Museum Technologies, Part I

Posted by on Sunday April 15 2012

Museums and the Web 2012 finished up yesterday, with a closing plenary called Epic fail – a forum on failure and ‘failing forwards’ with Seb Chan, Jane Finnis and Bruce Wyman. For two hours, we heard about 5 failed technology projects, discussing what didn’t work and why, and any positive outcomes. Maybe that’s why I woke up this morning thinking about the Bump app for iPhone.

So here’s my top 10 list of failed technology initiatives. I’m not going to discuss specific failed projects, but those technologies we, as a community, thought were worth pursuing and, for some reason or another, just didn’t end up becoming an integral part of our musetech landscape. I also want to stress that this list in no way is intended to dismiss the very real value of these technologies, or diminish the efforts of those who saw that value and tried to get programs off the ground. And sometimes, it takes a while for technology to come around again. 10-15 years ago, ebooks were the laughingstock of the failed technology Top Ten lists. But who’s laughing now??

#10 – Bump for iPhone

Bump for iphone

Phone sex?

Bump is an an iPhone app that was supposed to streamline the way we shared information ourselves, like swapping electronic business cards. Two iPhone users (Android wasn’t really around at the time) with the app installed could gently “bump” their phones and the app would input your Bump partner’s information into your contact list. Bump had a lot of hype, and every lucky bastard with an iPhone was trying to Bump their phone with everyone else. There would be meetups and professional gatherings at museum openings, with rampant Bumping. But Bump at the time turned out to be premature technology – it rarely worked, and not everyone had an iPhone. And if you were at an event and someone was impatiently waiting to Bump you, the wifi or 3G connection would invariably fail. Moral – implementing technology while someone is waiting is embarrassing.

#9 – foursquare

Huh? Why is foursquare on this list? It has like 10 20 million users! And 3 million people around the world use their service per day! In 2010, it experienced growth of 3400%! In the past 5 months, it grew by 5 million users. CRAY-ZEE. And location-based interactions and check-ins aren’t going away anytime soon. So… why is it on the list?

Museums followed the hype crest for a while, then made the mistake of assuming that the public would do our work for us. In 2010 and 2011, there was a brief flurry of chatter and excitement about our new Foursquare marketing efforts, with prizes and benefits for check-ins at our events and exhibitions. So… why’d we stop doing that? Seriously – when was the last time you saw a museum website with a foursquare badge, or marketing materials with foursquare promotions? Moral – removing technology from the rotation too early is like wearing zeitgeist blinders.

#8 – Prezi

I’ll admit it right off the top: I hate Prezi. Done well, it’s a beautiful alternative to the expected, stale, familiar PowerPoint. It enjoyed a two-year period in 2010-2011 where museum professionals were Prezi-fying their conference presentations. Then it stopped. Why?

First of all, there’s a learning curve to Prezi. Unlike the linear PowerPoint, it takes time to learn how to use effectively, and a good Prezi will also have some thought about the design in advance. And how many presenters start working on their presentations a month in advance? I think I see about five hands in the back of the room…

Second, well, the above is considered a good example of a well-produced Prezi. Here’s an example of a bad Prezi:

Moral: don’t make your audience seasick

#7 – Laserdiscs

Way back in the 1970s, Laserdiscs were considered to be the NEW new media. They were about the size of a medium pizza (12″, thin crust, hold the cheese), and were considered to be a superior medium for art media and sound. They were also believed to be “archival” – unlike magnetic tape media, Laserdiscs were optical, like DVDs and BluRay disks today, and therefore considered to be less-vulnerable to the elements. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the case, and, like compact disks, suffered from bit rot. Their size also meant there was more surface area to get damaged. And you could only fit 30 minutes of material on early Laserdiscs, so the user would have to eject it from the player and flip it over to view or interact with more content. Think of it like a cross between an LP and a CD.

Bit Rot: The Phantom Menace

Unlike magnetic mediums, Laserdiscs enjoyed the advantage of being interactive, which made it an attractive option for early gallery interactives. Due to their perceived durability, they were also used to share collection catalogs with other organizations, and as backup storage for media art and collection databases. Laserdiscs never really gained traction in the United States, though, and other playback and storage formats quickly overtook it as the media of choice. Moral: size matters.

#6 – RFID tracking, CueCat, and QR codes

RFID tags, barcode readers (such as CueCat), and QR codes are examples of attempts to bridge visitors of physical exhibits to expanded information in our websites or databases. The philosophy’s a good one: there’s too much information to put on a wall label, so let’s direct the visitor to a virtual resource where they can followup and learn more. Or, let’s use the physical-virtual bridge as a way to continue our impact after the visitor has left the museum.

RFID tags suffered from negative media hype and public perception. In the case of The Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose, visitors would be handed an RFID-embedded strip that they would wave over an exhibit and they could be emailed with more information, or results and scores from gallery games. Unfortunately, RFID tags also suffered from some recent media scares that they enabled spying and identity theft. RFID = creepy.

RFID tags as adopted by the Tech Museum

and who wants to wear an awkward paper tag anyway?

CueCat was the early 2000s version of QR codes. Visitors could use the cute little barcode reader to scan a code next to an artifact, then when they plugged it into their computer, it would bring up the urls it had read from the barcodes. It was, however, bulky to carry around, and many museums simply didn’t have the time, funding, or infrastructure to develop content that would sufficiently entice visitors to use it.

Cue Cat in the Computer History Museum

It’s really too early to predict its demise, but QR codes may follow the same path. Content needs to be there before adopting the technology, or incorporated as the project is being developed. For some organizations, they’ve already got some fantastic content on their websites, optimized for mobile devices, that works well for QR code use in galleries (and they have solid wifi and a tech-savvy visitor base). Just as crucially, QR codes suffer frommarketing abuse and dubious uses of QR codes that leads to the public believing that the codes are stupid.

Moral: Sean Cummings -

People will not adopt a technical solution that serves to replace a manual task, if that solution is less efficient than the manual task it replaces.

Stay tuned for Part II, in which I take a look at websites, VR, and learning communities, amongst others…

Filed under: Random Musings
Don’t Sleep: Tablet Ownership Nearly Doubles

Posted by on Tuesday January 24 2012

Pew Research Center posted yesterday that ownership of tablets and e-reader’s among adults went from 18% to 29% over the holiday period. As museum and technology nerds we’ve all been waiting for the coming wave of these personal devices. Is your institution ready for this boom? I know mine isn’t! I don’t even have a tablet yet, but that’s because I spend all my money on fresh sneakers.

It’s too bad the findings aren’t able to break this down into the devices people have. Fortunately, it does shed light on the people most using them: ages 30 to 49, college educated, and makes more than $75,000 a year. How does that compare to the visitors and program participants at your museum?

Pew Research Center: “Tablet and E-book reader Ownership Nearly Double Over the Holiday Gift-Giving Period”

Filed under: Random Musings