using common platforms to engage visitors

We are currently testing a few simple platforms in work to determine how we can use digital media to enhance exhibits or to create open access. In galleries we are using QR code to connect visitors to you-tube video or sound files which underscore objects on exhibit. We’ve put up about15 links. The thinking behind this is to use programs that visitors are already using. We think they would be more confident with this. So far there are two drawbacks. 1) You-Tube takes stuff down for copyright reasons. We used a film of Anton Karas playing the third Man theme to help visitors understand a guitar zither.

Apparently that is verboten. 2) The heavy masonry construction of our 1903 old courthouse museum building is hard on signal. Hot spots are hard to predict.

A current idea we have is to create a Facebook page for each exhibit where we want visitors to socially interact on the topic. Two we are looking at is a c1940 office vignette and a set of kitchen exhibits.


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About gregkoos

I've worked with the McLean County Museum of History since 1977 - so I tend to take the long view on museum work. My skill set on digital stuff is so-so - what drives me is to figure out the many ways these platforms can be adapted for historical interpretation.

5 thoughts on “using common platforms to engage visitors

  1. Hi Aaron,
    There is a major battle going on between folks who share broad variety of materials on the web and folks who think they should be able to assess a tariff on what they think is unfair use of their intellectual property. Claimants will file complaints to You-Tube and You-Tube will take material down. This can get outrageous. Recently a corporate personage claimed copyright on old United States Department of Agriculture film that was being shared and it was taken down. The website BoingBoing has been covering this issue – from the view point of maintaining an open internet and not letting corporate personages tie up open access. You can follow their coverage on this topic here.

  2. I’m curious what percentage of visitors know what to do with the QR code. In several exhibits here at Brown, I’ve been surprised by how few students — a sophisticated bunch, when it comes to smart phones — would follow QR codes.

  3. Hi Steve,
    We don’t know. The links go directly to other sites. What we have is anecdotal information. Such exhibit interactives may be best used in socialy based scavenger hunt type of activities.

    We have an outdoor one which it would be possible to collect hits and page views – if the Weebly platform allows this. We are adding a half-time person, who is being tasked to work on these kinds of museum interpretations. We will know more as we get better at doing it.

  4. Pingback: Reflections on Building the Digital Blue Ridge Parkway | Visualizing the Past

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