Media & Technology on the Go

“The last thing one discovers in composing a work is what to put first.”

Posted on | January 19, 2009 | No Comments

Just a modest beginning today for MuseumMobile, so I offer greater words of wisdom than my own: these from Blaise Pascal’s Pensées (p. 323).

He is also at the origin of another aphorism I often invoke:
“I have only made this letter rather long because I have not had time to make it shorter.” Lettres
, 16, Dec.14,1656.

Despite my fondness for this quotation, I am looking forward to having the superiority of simplicity (or KISS principle), implied here, challenged in an upcoming paper from Koven Smith. In response to Tate Modern’s Handheld Conference (Sept 4-5, 2008), Koven will be sharing his provocative insights into the future of multimedia interpretation during the Handheld Workshop at Museums & the Web, April 15-18, 2009 in Indianapolis. After years of trimming away the automatic triggering, the instant messaging and other bells & whistles to make new mobile technologies fit within the old audio tour mold, maybe we’re about to find that our handheld projects don’t even come close to being ambitious enough?

In celebration, then, and anticipation of ambitious new beginnings, I’ll lift the veil on plans for

If I can settle on an audio signature (or none), the first podcasts for the online course on Mobile Interpretation will come out in the next day or so. I’ve been interviewing interesting and expert museum professionals on how they develop content and use technology for audiences on the move. The last time I edited was using Super8 film and Scotch tape, so getting up to speed on digital technology has been a challenge! But it’s fun to get back to my filmmaking roots with zippy new tools, and learn some of the skills my old colleagues in the audio tour business use to such great effect. I won’t pretend to that level yet, but am inspired by the brilliant and entertaining conversations that I’ll soon be able to share with you!

In the meanwhile, feel free to shoot me questions, demos, suggestions and comments on all things mobile for the cultural world. Anything that looks useful to a broad audience I’ll post on the Handheld Wiki as part of the resources and best practices in mobile interpretation being collected there. Feel free to join the community there, or lodge your contributions on if they are more specifically directed at me.



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