Sunday, October 31, 2010

So many questions...

All of the readings today seemed to be all about asking questions whether it is the visitor asking, or the museum staff doing the asking. I thought the points brought up by both authors were valid as well. I really liked Nina Simon's ideas about the personal questions. A lot of times in museums people think of their personal lives because they will see objects that remind them of parts of their lives. They may see an antique table that looks just like one their grandmother had while they were growing up. Or they may see an outfit belonging to a celebrity and can recall seeing that person wear that specific outfit. So it makes sense as to why people answer the personal questions easier and more drawn out then some other questions that may not pertain to them. It also helps that society has become very self-centered so they are going to be more interested to answer questions about themselves. But I suppose it also helps that answering questions about yourself may not require as much thinking as say a question about any ideas for an exhibit or one that requires a good bit of thinking. They may not want to take the time to stop to think about those questions. So a lot of factors really play into why visitors are more willing to answer questions that are more personal to them. I also liked Falk's questions for "Re-envisioning the museum visitor experience." I think they are valid questions and would really help museums evaluate their typical visitors as well as figure out what will make their museum even better for their visitors. Both authors this week raised some good points about questions in the museum both from the visitor aspect as well as from the museums perspective.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Project Update

Ive been trying to spend some time nailing down some more details on my project. It has honestly been on the back burner at the moment while I'm trying to get other things caught up. After next week though I plan on focusing on it a great deal. I think I have the basic order of the exhibit figured out and the way I hope to have it flow. Other than that the details are still a little sketchy.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Project Update

I was just going through some of my responses to my survey. I've gotten a few so far not as many as I had hoped to have but there are still a couple days left. I am pleased by most of the responses, shocked that all of them been right so far and the great interest there seems to be in an exhibit such as this. Its a good confidence booster! Makes me really look forward to the final product.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Visitor Experiences

         Both of the readings really got me thinking today. I really like Nina Simon's chapter on Social Objects. I think Social Objects really help to make the exhibit as well as the visitors experience. These are the objects that really make people think and the objects that will make visitors remember their trip to the museum. If the object sparks discussion among visitors then part of our work as museum professionals has been accomplished. We got the audience involved. Not all objects will be social objects but at least one good social object in an exhibit will make the whole thing just that much better.
         I also enjoyed Falk's piece about museum memories. As I was reading it I couldn't help but to think back to some of my own memories of visiting museums. I remember being in Washington D.C. in 4th grade and visiting all of the Smithsonian museums and I also remember going to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for the first time when I was around 8 years old. The trip to the Rock Hall was especially memorable for me because this is when I really got into Rock music which I love now. My aunt from Arizona was in visiting which was the reason we went to the museum and she forced me to listen to AC/DC "Highway to Hell" and ever since then I have loved Rock Music. Some of my more recent museum visits are more clear to me but I do remember a great deal of museum visits from when I was younger even if it is something as silly as remembering going to Burton Village and being amazed simply because since my last name is Burton to me it meant the village was of course named after my family! There is just something about museums that people just love and there is always that one thing that makes you remember the visit, whether its a social object that really made you think or got you into conversation with a fellow visitor or if it is something as simple or childlike as the fact that the village has the same name as your family name.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Project Update

Well unfortunately I have been fairly busy and haven't gotten much time to work on my project a whole lot. I have been thinking about it though. Ive been trying to focus on the participatory aspect at the moment because I want to be sure to think into it as much as possible.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Recommendation Engines

         While doing the reading in Nina Simon's book today I really started thinking. Now I cant say I completely understand the point of this chapter because while she has some good ideas, they cant really be used a whole lot in museums. The Recommendation engines seem like they would be a fabulous idea if the funding were available and they were relevant in all museums. These different recommendation engines are great when it comes to other forms of entertainment such as movies, books, or music, but when it comes to museums it becomes a little more difficult. Larger museums are able to do this a little easier because they have multiple galleries and exhibits. So it is much easier for them to tell visitors something like well if you like this object check out this other one that's in this gallery and so on. The art museums she discusses at one point is a larger museum and has the ability to direct the visitor to more impressionist painters or to whatever type of art they like. But when it comes to smaller museums they may only have one exhibit along with the permanent collection so it isn't as easy for them to direct their visitors to other objects that they don't have. The examples she gave were good examples but again not terribly relevant to museums and their visitors. I felt like she was trying to make a point and give ideas about these recommendation engines but she could have done a better job with it. It seemed like she was giving examples that work for other aspects of entertainment but then would throw in a museum as a side not so it could pass in her book. I think the recommendation engines would be good in museums but coming up with one that would actually work is the difficult part. I think if she would have given more examples or ideas, the chapter would have been a little more effective and helpful.