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Happy New Year

Happy New Year everyone!

My New Year’s Resolution is to finish reading all those books on free-choice learning by Falk et al. I purchased in 2011.

That’s all. Happy New Year again!

The First Post

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Today, I make my debut onto the blog scene. “New Media and the Museum Experience” is about improving the visitor experience on and off site at places where people encounter information. A museum in the sense that I mean could be the traditional perception – an art gallery, history museum, or science center – but also includes places like zoos and aquariums. “New Media” refers to new ways to interface with the public that chooses to visit and participate in the exchange of information at the museum. New media could mean social media – online social conversation and content – and could mean new ways to make an exhibit or informative sign. I am also interested in the role that social media plays in engaging thought, participation and excitement for and about these institutions.

I am an interpreter. Doesn’t mean I speak many languages, but in the same sense I relay information in a way for others to understand. If you’ve every taken a guided tour or hike or watched a living history demonstration, for example, your guide or the impersonator were interpreters.  Interpreters take what’s in front of you and make it relevant and understandable, whether it’s an animal, an art piece or historical events. I have operated as a science and nature interpreter, delivering programs for the general public in state parks and natural areas, state historic areas and a captive animal facility.

The intersection of these ideas is where you find me. As an interpreter, I’m always looking for ways to understand and engage my audience when they’re visiting the site and once they leave. The fields of media and marketing are blossoming with the invention and proliferation of social media; at the same time, new ideas on interpretation, interpretive planning and design, and emphasis on visitor experience at museums are transforming the physical look of these institutions and the way we transmit information. That’s where you can find this blog – what’s happening in new media, interpretation and how they can work together to get the message out there, whatever the museum’s message may be.

I welcome your discussion and feedback!