Cool Old People

This came up in one of our breakout sessions today and I just can't seem to get it out of my head. Turns out, teenagers want to talk to cool old people, and they don't currently have very good access to them. I think this really sums up one of the core things that the Smithsonian has to offer the world. We have a lot of cool old stuff, everyone knows that, but what they might not realize is that we have a LOT of cool old people. The experience of speaking with someone who has a passion for what they do and a lot of information to share, is a wonderful one. We need to figure out how we can translate this into an experience that anyone in the world can have. Tied to this is an idea that came up at the Plenary, which is that we need to digitize our people. Get them on the network and get them talking (and listening) to everyone else. Oh, and somehow give everyone in the world the chance to hold a meteorite, because apparently that experience blew folks away (how many do we have?)!

4 thoughts on “Cool Old People

  1. @D Hasch: This is a start. However, just a few comments.
    1) No descriptions. What is it that I am looking at?
    2) Low resolution. With average computers coming with 20″ and larger screens, a 4XX x 2XX image is not allowing visitors to “explore” your collection.
    What would be really neat is to have an interactive application that shows where each piece of the collection falls along a timeline. One of the big issues in communicating these amazing samples to the public is placing them in some relevant position to the viewer.
    Of course, it all comes down to time and money. But, the sense I got from my colleagues at the event, is that we are willing to help find solutions on how to do this.
    – Chris Melissinos

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