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What is Interact?

The IMA blog staff is filled with all types. Some of them know their blog topics weeks ahead of time. Some work at a steady pace and figure out an idea a couple of days in advance. Some (me) usually wait until the last minute. I realized this yesterday and turned to Twitter and Facebook for inspiration. Some suggestions were inappropriate for an IMA post, some were funny, some were thoughtful, and I had a lot of people suggest blogging about IMA’s Deaccessioned artwork page.  Yes it’s cool….it’s transparent….it’s many things….but I had absolutely nothing to do with it.  If you do want more info, bug Charlie or IMA’s registration department- bravo to everyone involved in that project.

Thinking about that page led me to think more broadly about IMA’s main website.  Inside the museum, the IMA site is a major topic of conversation amongst the web team.  We’re in the planning stages for a web redesign of imamuseum.org.  This will include a better calendar system, better integration of digital content, a new collection page and lots more bells and whistles I can’t mention right now.  This process has really made me consider one word and one section: Interact.

IMA's Interact Section

IMA's Interact Section

What is Interact?  It’s togetherness, it’s action, it’s a mutual or reciprocal action, it’s technology.  Is it?

For the past 18 months, we have placed much of our new media content in a section called Interact.  You can access it directly from the home page and find yourself immediately faced with options like ArtBabble, Facebook, Tagging, iTunes U, Blog and Dashboard.  It’s one stop shopping for those of you interested in technology at the IMA.  But I’m not convinced that Interact is the correct word for this section, or even the right approach to offering this content. Here’s a quick scan of approaches other museums have applied:

Similar to IMA but putting the active in interactive, MoMA’s new site features Multimedia (check it out below.) The cool Walker Art Center has it’s own channel.  And the ever impressive Mattress Factory Art, playfully offers Friendship Version 2.0.

MoMA Multimedia

MoMA Multimedia

Front and center. Brooklyn Museum is simply, brooklynmuseum.org (you have at least 10 links on the home page devoted to technology and new/social media projects) and community-based interaction is weaved throughout the site (are you really surprised?):

Brooklyn Museum

Brooklyn Museum

Layered within the site, The Tate Modern, has its Tate Player, TateShots and The Great Tate Mod Blog (below).  The Getty Museum has a video gallery, is getting Twitter right and does lots of other tech related projects. There’s no specific section like MoMA and others, is not fully integrated like Brooklyn, but offers superb content.

The Great Tate Mod Blog

The Great Tate Mod Blog

Interact: So what to call it and where to place it?  It’s a challenge we face in the coming months to bring you a new site that is interactive, engaging, educational and focused on art.  We can create a dedicated section for technology.  We  can integrate it in all areas of the new site.  Or we can place it in various sections of the site based on a navigation structure.

We’ll be looking at lots of sites online – like the one’s mentioned above, but I would LOVE to hear your input.  What approach do you think is best? What would you do?

Filed under: New Media

6 Responses to “What is Interact?”

  • avatar
    Anonymous Says:

    I have been thinking a lot lately about why we value the opinion of the unwashed masses. Why do we want them to interact?

  • avatar
    Kate Says:

    I’m actually fond of the word ‘interact’ because I think people know what to expect when they see it on the web.

    I think it’s relevant for the IMA because the interaction comes from the ability to leave comments and initiate discussions on videos, Flickr photos, blog posts (duh), etc.

  • avatar
    Kate Says:

    from Wikipedia… “Interactivity and new media:
    Interactivity has become a key term for number of new media use options evolving from the rapid dissemination of Internet access point, the digitalization of the media, and media convergence. In 1984, Rice defined the new media as communication technologies that enable or facilitate user-to-user interactivity and interactivity between user and information. [21] Such as Internet replaces the “one-to-many” model of traditional mass communication with the possibility of a “many-to-many” web of communication.”

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