Sunday, September 20, 2009

Social media strategies for museums

San Diego hosted this two-day conference, sponsored by the Balboa Park Online Collaborative and funded by the Benbough Foundation. This was an amazing opportunity to hear some cutting-edge experts on museums and social media, and organizer Rich Cherry did a fantastic job bringing them all together.

Speakers included Peter Samis, Associate Curator of Interpretation for SFMOMA, open content expert Susan Chun (founder of Steve, the museum social tagging project), Shelley Bernstein, Chief of Technology for Brooklyn Museum, and Seb Chan, Head of Digital, Social & Emerging Technologies, Powerhouse Museum in Sydney. For a wonderful analysis of Seb's content, read Susan Spero's blog post here.

I had the chance to interview some of the speakers during the day, and ask them a few questions for people who weren't able to attend. First, how do you go about creating a social media strategy for a museum?

I was especially interested in how they've gone about creating the cultural shift necessary for integrating social media (including open content) into their institutional cultures.

One issue that comes up a lot is who gets to speak for the institution? Who becomes the voice? How do you define it? And, how do you integrate this entirely new set of tasks into people's already-busy work loads?

Last, I asked them to comment on the benefits of using social media.

Thanks to Peter, Susan, and Seb for their time, and the San Diego Hall of Champions for hosting.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Sunday's Signpost

This parking garage at Northwestern Hospital in Chicago used famous recording artists to ID each floor, so there was not only a visual but an auditory cue on each floor. Plus I loved the "take your ticket with you" icon.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Customer service podcast with Dr. Joseph Michelli

I've just posted my 41-minute interview with best-selling author Dr. Joseph Michelli. He covers customer service at Pike Place Fish Market, Starbucks, and Ritz-Carlton Hotels. (You'll also find it on iTunes. Subscribe to get updates automatically.)

You'll hear his take on creating hope and purpose with your employees, why failing to properly orient new employees is "immoral"(!) and how to share your vision with employees. He also covers some specifics about training tools used successfully, like Starbucks' Green Apron book, and the Ritz-Carlton daily lineup.

I thoroughly enjoyed talking with him and think you'll find he offers truly practical advice. His latest book is The New Gold Standard: 5 Leadership Principles for Creating a Legendary Customer Experience at Ritz-Carlton Hotels. Enjoy!

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Interpretive signage for fire landscape garden

This client spotlight is on Quail Botanical Gardens, who opened their Landscape for Fire Safety Garden on Thursday, September 3 with the support of the Encinitas Fire Department. We got to see an amazing demonstration of a fire water drop by fire-fighting helicopter (video below).

I've been involved with Quail since Experienceology began in 2004, doing a series of interpretive garden signs with my talented colleague, Tanya Bredehoft of Artefact Design. For this garden she created a little logo and unique color palette, and a series of illustrations depicting fire-wise gardening.

For this phase of the project, the Garden was putting in a scale model of a home and landscaping around it. So we took a photo of the home (from the same perspective as the sign would be viewed) and she created an illustration from the photo. This allowed me to greatly reduce the text (two pages originally!) into one clean graphic that gave the key points of landscape design, while referring people to the fire department's new website for a deeper level of information.

We were pleased to be part of such an important project, which we hope will impact the local community in a positive way the next time we have a wildfire here.