1. Turn the Museum inside-out
- reveal the inner workings of the museum
show the creative process and solicit feedback — it's not a case of relying on crowdsourcing and pandering to the lowest common denominator, but it's part of making the museum accessible and relevant to a much broader audience.
2. Use social media to connect with people
- remember that new technologies and social media in general are about people, not the actual technology
- reinforce making the museum accessible
- it's a two-way conversation
- the museum needs to go to where the conversation is taking place, not wait for the conversation to come to it
- create conversations, don't just slap up content
3. Separate content from distribution
- museums are fundamentally about sharing stories and ideas, creating content
- don't create content solely for an intended distribution, create an ongoing resource & library of information
- content should be a constant steady drumbeat of low-level effort as opposed to infrequent monolithic efforts
- all of this lets you take advantage of new tech & opportunities as they arise rather than having to ramp up.
- when you make content not specific, it lets useful repurposing happen and you can enter into the long tail of content pretty quickly over time
4. Embrace multiple voices
- the museum should offer different voices of the institution in different contexts and settings
- the 'authoritive' voice of the museum isn't compromised in any way. People are judging you based on what you say not nearly so much how you say it.
- the museum potentially becomes more transparent, especially as the multiple voices talk more often about more things.
- it's important to add signal vs noise, but trust staff to deliver
5. Use the museum as a stage for engagement
- create frameworks that let people engage and create beyond whatever the museum may imagine (Simcity was incredibly successful in this way)
- you can't be sure when the tipping point of engagement will happen for someone — it's different for everyone, but you need to be ready to capitalize on it
- technology in galleries should be part of the firmament of the experience, not an extra, standalone kiosky thing, but simplify those as much as possible.
- alternative interfaces.
6. Present the Smithsonian as a whole, customize extensively
- The museums should be more interconnected — things / events / content at one venue should drive things / events / content at another
- Digital efforts are very loosely spread across all of the individual museums without learning from their partners nor pooling resources to be effective
- create a high level position that drives every museum out of their comfort zone and encourages new efforts
- treat as an internal foundation if need be, submitting ideas and granting
- drive towards individualized experiences based on user's path (figuratively) through all of the museum's assets
- remember visitors and build upon their previous experiences
7. Create a culture of experimentation, failure, and iteration
- museums spend far too long trying to make things perfect before they deploy.
- some experimentation is fine in public, but you absolutely have to be prepared to iterate
- build failure into any effort and how to learn effectively to deliver end-results
- distribute experimentation but do it so the partner museum can effectively learn or adapt to their own situation
- build a skunkworks that has wide authority to try new things and develop new technologies, always with a mind towards widespread adoption and possible revenue streams
- Smithsonian 2.0 should be a byproduct of aiming for Smithsonian 3.0: aim farther
8. Allow content to emerge quickly and from all levels
- allow visitors voices to be part of the experience
9. Embrace open source, create a 'museum API'
- lead and contribute to open-source projects rather than narrowly defined proprietary solutions
- for any system, expose the data and content
- this doesn't need to be just software / data but can also be behavior / people / content
- expose all of the content of the organization
- concentrate not just on the points of data themselves, but rather what exists between them
- when possible, use existing technologies rather than rolling your own (youtube for video content)
- work closely with the startup / vc community and as a source of ideas
10. Creative Commons Licensing
- use it for everything, change the museum world