Technology in Museums

Part
01
of two
Part
01

Thought Leaders/Influencers in the Museum Technology Space

The list containing 18 thought leaders/influencers in the museum technology field is complete. I’ve listed the names, as well as LinkedIn profile URLs and the originating sources of each person’s expertise in the attached spreadsheet.

METHODOLOGY

After a thorough review of available information, there were no pre-compiled lists of thought leaders or influencers who existed in the museum technology space. Initially, I focused on finding writers and journalists in the space but found inconsistencies with published articles; some were behind paywalls while others were published by staff writers or appeared with no byline. After no success with that route, I then focused on finding those prominent museum staffers that have engaged the media. Because many of these thought leaders also have “day jobs,” I’ve only included on this list, those that have somehow put themselves “out there” in terms of media coverage—whether that is through providing interviews, giving TED talks on the subject, or appearing in conference promotions. The resulting compilation was a list of 18 potential thought leaders/influencers in the museum technology arena.

FINDINGS

In order to answer the part of the request focused on which leaders had the greatest audience, I focused on the LinkedIn pages of each source (especially since this is a career-centric sort of group). Please note that some privacy settings prevented the display of exact numbers of LinkedIn followers. Also, if a leader’s profile or company wasn’t on LinkedIn, I’ve provided Facebook information in its stead. Below are each of their names. Complete details, including their LinkedIn page and referencing document, are available in the attached spreadsheet. Of the thought leaders presented, Jane Alexander has the highest published number of LinkedIn followers (3,746).

1. Jane Alexander
2. Caroline Bauman
3. Nathan Adkisson
4. Micah Walter
5. Catherine Devine
6. Chad Weinard
7. RAYCASTER (Ziv Schneider and Shirin Anlen)
8. Sara Snyder
19. Micheal Edson
10. Leslie Wolke
11. Paul Hoppe
12. Nik Honeysett
13. Vivian Trakinski
14. Luxloop (Mandy Mandelstein and Ivaylo Getov)
15. Bika Rebek
16. Jason Eppink
17. Alfredo Salazar-Caro
18. Rapport Studios (Armando Somoza and Chentis Pettigrew)

HELPFUL INFORMATION

---> The Museum Association has a Technology and Digital section that features a variety of related features and reports. Many additional thought leaders and influencers may be within their directories and trade journals; however, those features are behind membership-related paywalls.

---> The Knight Foundation recently granted $1.87 million to 12 museums looking to “enhance tech-related initiatives ranging from chatbots to virtual reality apps.”[13] Each museum likely will have information to share as their projects roll out.
---> The New Media Consortium (NMC) and the Balboa Park Online Collaborative joined forces to coauthor the 2016 NMC Horizon Report on museums. Museum technology is a big topic within the report. The NMC published a Wiki list of their expert panel. The list contains 48 names of people who worked on the report and their organizational affiliations. This might, too, be a good list for the podcast guest possibilities.

CONCLUSION

Full details on each of the above-listed thought leaders/influencers are available in the attached spreadsheet.
Part
02
of two
Part
02

Museum Technology - Communication Avenues

Most of the conversations among influencers in the museum technology space take place online through social media, primarily on Twitter. Most of the influencers identified in the request for "Thought Leaders/Influencers in the Museum Technology Space" have an active Twitter account and/or a personal website that helps to reveal what they are most interested in talking about. Some have gravitated to specific sites or accounts more than others.

Overall, the most common topics that all these influencers are interested in talking about are issues related to user experiences in museums or with cultural content in general. Some focus on digital content, while others are interested in building immersive virtual reality experiences as part of exhibits. They each have their specialty, but they're primarily interested in using technology to help people better understand art, history or cultural topics.

For each influencer, I included only the accounts and sites where they are most frequently active, and those on which they have been active recently. For instance, every influencer on this list has a LinkedIn account, but I only included their LinkedIn page if they are currently active and posting frequent updates on their LinkedIn account. I took the same approach with their Twitter accounts, Facebook pages, etc.

Please see below for a listing of each influencer taken from the related request "Thought Leaders/Influencers in the Museum Technology Space" with links to the sites and accounts most relevant to each influencer.

1. Jane Alexander

Interests: Technology implementation and digital interactive experiences for museum visitors.
Online Spaces: Jane is relatively active on LinkedIn, sharing the work of her museum, the Cleveland Museum of Art. She has 22 presentations posted to SlideShare and posted more than 4,000 times on Twitter, primarily about user-centered experiences in museums.

2. Caroline Baumann

Online Spaces: Caroline shares articles about her museum, Cooper Hewitt a couple times a month on LinkedIn. She is very active on Twitter and Instagram, posting several times per week to promote the museum, share personal travels, and highlight innovative design related to clothing, appliances, architecture, etc. The Cooper Hewitt YouTube page also frequently features Caroline in its videos.

3. Nathan Adkisson

Online Spaces: Aside from his personal website, Nathan is primarily active on Twitter where he has 1,118 followers and 2,633 tweets. However, he hasn't been very active since last May 2017.

4. Micah Walter

Online Spaces: Micah is very active on Twitter (10.8K tweets, 1,455 followers) and, until a couple months ago, on LinkedIn. His posts are primarily focused on highlighting his digital work (and sketches) as well as travels in real time. Given his work in digital, he also has a solid presence on GitHub and on Medium, where he has 615 followers.

5. Catherine Devine

Interests: Digital transformation and new technology
Online Spaces: Catherine is most active on Twitter, with 2,161 tweets and 1,144 followers. She tweets several times per week about personal thoughts and tech topics.

6. Chad Weinard

Interests: The crossroads between digital tech and the humanities
Online Spaces: Chad is primarily active on Twitter, with 5,867 tweets and 2,388 followers. He posts several times per week about his professional work and interesting ideas about tech and humanity. He also maintains fairly frequent posts on Instagram.

7. RAYCASTER (Ziv Schneider and Shirin Anlen)

Interests: Immersive technologies and virtual reality
Online Space: There is not a lot of social media or active online conversation from RAYCASTER or Ziv and Shirin. This profile of Ziv is the best resource I could find highlighting her interests in creating nonfiction narratives through immersive and virtual reality projects and technologies.

8. Sara Snyder

Interests: Emerging media and virtual reality
Online Space: This interview with Sara highlights her work leading emerging media projects for the Smithsonian American Art Museum, primarily a recent immersive VR experience they built. Her team's YouTube page for the museum also features Sara from time to time.

9. Michael Edson

Interests: Digital transformation in the cultural sector
Online Spaces: Michael is very active on Twitter (12.6K tweets, 8,081 followers) He tweets several times per week about a wide range of topics, much of it political or social issues. He has many slides on SlideShare (55 presentations and 692 followers) and is featured in quite a few videos on YouTube talking about museums and digital technology.

10. Leslie Wolke

Online Spaces: Leslie's primary online presence is through her personal website linked above and her company website.

11. Paul Hoppe

Interests: Visual experience design and direction
Online Spaces: Paul highlights his work on his personal website and he is quite active on Vimeo with 84 videos posted and 88 followers. He has a Pro status on the site.

12. Nik Honeysett

Interests: Digital humanities
Online Spaces: Nik doesn't have a very robust presence online or in social media. The best resource is a couple of posts he has in the Journal of Digital Humanities.

13. Vivian Trakinski

Interests: Data visualizations and digital technology
Online Space: Vivian does not have a very strong online or social media presence. The best online resource is this article from The Verge about new technologies in museums that quotes Vivian and talks about her work.

14. Luxloop (Mandy Mandelstein and Ivaylo Getov)

Interests: Experience design and production.
Online Space: Luxloop doesn't have much of an online presence except for its main website.
15. Bika Rebek
Interests: Architecture and physical space
Online Space: Bika has a personal website that highlights her work as an "architect aiming to make museum experiences more accessible to a variety of disadvantaged groups."

16. Jason Eppink

Interests: Video games, interactive art, and online communities.
Online Spaces: Jason has a personal website where he showcases how he is "a dude who is just trying to make things a little better." His Twitter account is private but appears to be active.

17. Alfredo Salazar-Caro

Interests: Virtual reality and digital illustrations
Online Space: Alfredo is active on Instagram with 741 posts and 2,113 followers. Many posts seem to be computer illustrations. His Facebook account is also frequently updated.

18. Rapport Studios (Armando Somoza and Chentis Pettigrew)

Interests: Technology, art and design
Online Spaces: Rapport Studios describes itself on its main website as "a creative agency that harnesses the transformative power of technology, and art to design user-centered, interactive learning experiences." It also updates its Facebook page pretty frequently.

Summary

The influencers identified in the previous request have been analyzed for their online presence. It was found that most of these influencers prefer Twitter over other forms of online communication tools/platforms. Aside from Twitter, they also use Facebook, Instagram, websites, etc. The topics that they are mostly interested in relate to user experience when it comes to technology in museums.
Sources
Sources

From Part 02