What ?! You were to the Tate’s conference last Friday?! Me too!
What a shame we didn’t recognize each other!
I was writing articles for my blog (www.buzzeum.com) in direct from the conference in fact, so I was always with my computer typing.
Hope we can meet one day.
Nice post Nik. We did an NSF funded study of handhelds in science centers about 5 years ago, and another one for visually impaired users, also NSF funded. The research showed that there was considerably more content taken up and retained when adults used the handhelds but not kids. So we put em out, charged for them. not one was used. So we gave em away, maybe a total of 10 a week out of 5K visitors/week. Eventually they died a quiet death. Wayne LaBar at Liberty has another NSF grant to study visitor-supplied systems, cell phones, and I’m not sure how that is going.
I truly think that our audiences are not looking for these kinds of tours. It is a push kind of offering, rather than a pull from the audience. When you have that kind of dynamic, you have to *create* the demand, and we don’t have anything like the resources to do that.
I also think your point about learning from each other is well taken, there is too much “not invented here” resistance which really does not benefit our audiences.
Your comment about audience is very well put! It seems that when technology (with all its choices) comes into the picture, we can lose our common sense and end up making things much more complicated than need be.