The ARLIS/ANZ ACT chapter recently enjoyed a recap of the Museums and the Web conference (held in Baltimore in April), presented by the National Portrait Gallery’s Online Manager, Gill Raymond on 9 July.
An overarching theme was the measurement of online success for museums and galleries, and making sense of the large volumes of data collected. The resourcing disparity between small and large institutions (digital teams with 64 people versus 1 person) informed the ability to experiment and fail-forward, or a more risk-averse approach. This also impacted institutional views on digital projects and presence as ongoing investments. Museums were also assessing the value of maintaining a presence on particular platforms – such as Brooklyn Museum’s transition from Flickr to Wikimedia Commons.
Presentations featured new wearable technology such as Fujitsu’s prototype tactile response tablet, which conveys texture and has potential for vision-impaired people in a museum setting. The Smithsonian discussed David Datuna’s Portrait of America which comes alive when viewers wear Google Glass, revealing videos and images – but also takes photos of the viewers themselves.
The Cleveland Museum of Art promoted the innovative Gallery One and their ArtLens app, which lets visitors discover additional information about works in the collection.
Dallas Museum of Art transformed their membership program into the free DMA Friends, which rewards interaction with points, badges and VIP experiences. This has a much greater ROI and level of engagement than the previously costed program, and the data helps the museum understand their audience. This transition to a free program was featured in the Museopunks’ economics of free podcast.
A social media flashmob, “Digital invasions” hosted a training session and was then unleashed flashmobs across galleries and museums to boost visibility and engage online audiences. The week of digital cultural revolution shared connections and insights from Germany, America, Italy, Sarajevo and Sydney.
Presentation abstracts are listed on the website.
The next conference is Museums and the Web Asia (October in Daejeon and Seoul).
The next ARLIS/ANZ ACT chapter event is a Braidwood Gallery Crawl on Saturday 26 July. For more information, please contact Events Officer Sonja at ill [at] nga [dot] gov [dot] au