Museums2Go – It’s not about the technology.

“The real voyage of discovery consist not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes” – Marcel Proust, as quoted in the preface to Identity and the Museum Visitor Experience by John Falk.

Ok yes, this blog starts with the technology but very cognizant that technology’s but a tool for other things. I’ve started the Museums2Go blog because I’m interested in the ways in which museums and other cultural institutions are leveraging mobile technologies to engage their communities. My perspective is that of an enthusiastic user of the mobile technologies being rolled out by cultural institutions.  I love the passion with which many art & culture lovers are embracing mobile technologies because this is but an early indication of a pent up demand.  How many times have you read of an art exhibit or cultural event and wished you could attend? Or have attended and hungered for more but no additional resources were available? The response to the internet from cultural institutions in some cases addressed elements of this desire and hunger but mostly in a static way. Web 2.0 and beyond reflects the consumerization of technology thankfully. This is when things really get fun!

Museums2Go will feature reviews of the iPhone and iPad apps being released by museums and other cultural institutions.  There are a number of very good sites helping us all sort through the hundreds of thousands of apps that make our smart phones sing but I’m personally having trouble sorting through which cultural apps are worth downloading even if they are free.  So here I’m going to blog about my experiences with the various apps.  And are they worth downloading only if you are planning a trip to that particular cultural institution?  What if you’re a frequent visitor? If so, how do they enhance your experience? What if you’re not going to be able to visit the institution during a special exhibit, how does an institution’s app for the exhibit address you? I don’t expect to be able to answer these questions satisfactorily with each app but I do harbor hopes that by reviewing each cultural app with these and other questions in mind that this blog will in some small way contribute to raising the bar on the experience of all who  are interested in the nexus of culture and mobility.  Ultimately it’s about everything but the technology.  Having said that though this blog’s going to focus on how successful, or not, iPhone and iPad apps are at getting users beyond the technology.

I’m starting this blog from the perspective of the iPhone and iPad because of my experience as a former Apple Education Executive who worked with colleges and universities on their mobile strategies.  However, let me just state that I’m platform agnostic and as such I’m open to reviewing apps on other mobile devices once I figure out how to do so without increasing a necessary low overhead.

All art is a dialogue.  A living conversation.  Museums2Go aspires to contribute to this conversation by blogging about the nexus of culture and mobility.

Thank you for joining me and I welcome all feedback on ways in which Museums2Go can better contribute to the conversation.