This is the last of a series of posts looking at how cultural institutions are using apps and other mobile web technologies to engage their audiences. The previous post took an in-depth look at apps. Here, I’ll be looking at some other mobile web technologies.
19 October, 2012
Let’s consider what organisations can achieve if they decide ‘not to app’. Bearing in mind the prediction that by 2013, most of us will be browsing the web on a mobile device – there has never been a better time to think about adapting online presence for mobile. There are many things that cultural institutions can do in this area. Here are just a few:
This is part of a series of posts looking at how cultural institutions are using apps and other mobile web technologies to engage their audiences. In a previous post, I sketched out the broader challenges and opportunities of the ‘mobile revolution’. Here, I’ll be looking specifically at apps.
13 October, 2012
Choosing to create an app must – in the end – be informed by the available budget. At the time of writing, based on personal experience and conversations with software developers and museum practitioners and taking internal staff costs into consideration, apps can cost anything from around £8,000 to £40,000. For smaller cultural institutions, this may appear prohibitive. But by their very nature, apps cut across the traditional functions of curatorial-interpretation on the one hand and marketing-outreach on the other; so they might draw on funding from across those departments. Institutions might consider whether an app could achieve the same amount of publicity as a city poster campaign, bring in a larger audience than a re-design of the website, or be used to deliver the handheld interpretation at a temporary exhibition.
But what can apps actually do? In broad terms, based on the nature of their content, apps can be divided into three categories:
In the run up to the WOMEX Conference, this is the introduction to a series of posts taking a detailed look at how museums and other cultural institutions are using apps and other mobile web technologies.
8 October, 2012
The posts are adapted from a chapter I wrote for the 2011 book Interactive Galleries: digital technology, handheld interpretation and online experiences. As a producer, presenter and consumer of a range of mobile media, I was asked to evaluate apps versus other kinds of mobile web technologies as tools for reaching new audiences. In the course of research, talking to colleagues from a range of organisations and backgrounds, I become convinced that museums and cultural institutions are actually at the forefront of innovative, rich, mobile digital content, putting them ahead of other, perhaps more likely, industries, such as the broadcast media or publishing.
Nightjar’s latest commission is a series of radio ‘essays’ for BBC Radio 3 on the Cairo Genizah – a document ‘dump’ from the synagogue in Old Cairo.
29 April, 2012
Reflecting 800 years of community life, the documents contain everything from prayers to children’s exercise books and business letters to the complaints of disgruntled wives. Held at the University Library, Cambridge since the 19th century, it is thought to be one of the most significant bodies of Medieval texts being researched today.
Nightjar’s documentary series for BBC Radio 2 has been reviewed in the Independent.
8 February, 2012
Radio critic Chris Maume said:
“if you’ve never heard Indian brass music, you really should, with its machine-gun drums and crazy, skittering rhythms. I guarantee you will not be able to keep still.”
Best-known for playing baddie Lucius Malfoy in the Harry Potter films, actor Jason Isaacs recently recorded at Nightjar Studio.
26 April, 2010
Born and raised in Liverpool, Jason was recording an audio guide to Liverpool Town Hall. The guide is an Imagineear Production and is available on site.
Production on Nightjar’s new series for BBC Radio 2 has kicked off with a visit to India.
30 November, 2010
The odyssey began in Delhi, where we tagged along to a high society wedding with British ensemble Bollywood Brass Band. Highlights included a visit to Jaipur Kawa Brass Band – a stone’s throw from the Amer Fort – and the City Palace in Udaipur, where we heard a bagpipe band with a twist and discovered a dynasty of royal trumpet players.
App producer Miranda Hinkley gives us a preview in Museum ID Magazine:
30 August, 2010
To enter the V&A’s Quilts: 1700-2010 is to step into a private, inner world created by hundreds of hands. In places this world is centuries old, in others contemporary, but it’s always haunting, complex and quirkily beautiful. My challenge as producer of the exhibition guide was to do it justice on a mobile, digital platform; Apple’s iPod touch.
In November 2012, the V&A opened the doors to its new Furniture Gallery, presenting the Museum’s outstanding collection of British and international furniture from the 15th century to the present day.
Nightjar was asked produce a series of audio tracks for use inside the gallery and on the V&A website. Interviewing fourteen furniture makers, conservators and curators, we explored questions of form, function, construction technique and decoration in the creation of furniture over six hundred years.
Click here to hear architect David Adjaye on Frank Lloyd Wright, or here for Lawrence Llewelyn Bowen on George Brookshaw.