Visual Literacy and Importance of Imagery in Interpretation (Graphics/ Data/ Blog)

Early man likely shared stories orally. These stories would eventually become text. But, images probably came before written text. While the exact purpose of these visuals remains unclear, certainly one can assume that the original audience was able to garner meaning from looking at the images.

This is not surprising if you think of life. From the moment most people open their ideas to the moment they start a dream, our brains are inundated with visual imagery. As babies, we can read images long before text.  Everyone, on some level, has an incipient level of visual literacy, or the ability to connect images to socially-coded meaning.

The caveman in us was very adept at understanding visual stimulate—their lives depended on it. In fact, our brains are faster at making sense of visual stimuli. We can make sense of visual information in an estimated 1/10 a second.  Another study indicates that we can make sense of visuals 60,000 times faster than making sense of a text.

What changes have occurred in the last decade, or so?

The success of visual content is predicted on this natural predisposition. Our society went from a fairly slow rate of visual production until the invention of the printing press, at which time we could speed things up considerably. The explosion of affordable, mass-produced imagery must have been astonishing. Cameras, television, and the internet saw concomitant jumps in the number of images produced and shared. But, the last few years have seen an unprecedented increase. While an estimated 3.8 trillion photos were taken in all of from 1939 until mid-2011, 1 trillion photos were taken in 2015 alone.

There are a number of drivers of this growth. Data is cheaper. Smartphones and tablets have a very high diffusion in society. Visuals are ever cheaper to print, like in print on demand book.

And, the appetite seems to be growing. Video, for example, is expanding (though its success is arguable). From the content producer end, video makes sense. Forrester Research suggests that one minute of video is worth 1.8 million words. Most social media apps see a major uptick in engagement when images are attached. Images drive nearly 60% of all digital impressions.

Why use visuals? Why think harder about visual interpretation?

Basically, we do better at visual interpretation, because this is something our visitors value. Period. But, if you want to drill down, visuals are good at:

  • Showing context of objects
  • Showing interrelationship between subsidiary parts
  • Giving authenticity to ideas
  • Showing relative scale of items
  • Explicating complex systems
  • Showing step by step information
  • Drawing attention

What needs to change in museums?

First, we need to understand that increasing visuals in our interpretation is in no way devaluing our collections. We can maintain the authenticity of the originals, and the joy of looking at the real dinosaur bone, say, while still increasing the rigor and quality of visual interpretation.

In just the last couple years, social media has indicated the importance of visuals to drive growth, like the expanding market of Instagram or the dominance of FacebookGoogle is setting some real money into visual search. Already 1.2 Billion images are uploaded to Google Photo every day.  Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) are low-text immersive technologies predicated on images. The future uses of AR and VR remain enticing. All in all, advances of technology support image-first  or highly image-based content.

The continued growth in image-based technology is driven by people’s consumption. While the general populace consumes more image-delivered content, our curators, and other staff, i.e. those who determine the tone of communication, are trained largely using text and testing their knowledge with text. Therefore, we naturally use text to describe images, but we aren’t predisposed to use visuals to define images/ visual collections. We are also likely much higher consumers of text than the average visitor.

Additionally, our visual communication is often disconnected to that which our visitors consume other places.  Our visitors have very sophisticated visual literacy. They decode visual in marketing, often visuals that stand alone or have little subsidiary text.  They see 5,000 branded images every day. They get 11 million bits of information every second.

In other words, our visitors are basically immersed in visual decode constantly. Even with these visually-literate consumers, we use visuals sparingly as a field, or rather, we use text as the primary. Some fields are better at using visuals, like science and natural history museums. This might be in part due to their training, where the illustration is a long-standing element of learning and teaching.

I remember when I was working on the content for Gallery One, my most striking lesson was the way that imagery was the best way to show context. Images are how we see context in our own life, so of course they are the most nature way to show context from history lives.  I could talk about fibula until I was blue in the face or I could just show you this image:

Overall, we still remain text first. And, this is a major problem.  We need to make sure to think of visuals and text as an interpretation package. Our visitors are using visual and text together to make sense of our collections; our interpretation doesn’t alway help support this. Therefore, we need to be strategic in the ways that we use this.  We need to make sure to think of visuals and text together, without either being subsidiary to the other.

Remember, in the world outside museums, images are definitely on equal footing with images, if not central in most of the content that our visitors consume. Sharing content that resonates with the norms of society is ultimately the way for museums to remain relevant.

 

I placed the visual summary here. Reflect on your experience accessing this information visually as compared to the textual approach above:

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This is the fourth in a series of posts about considering Interpretation and Content to Meet Today’s Visitor’s Needs.

Previous Posts:

Are Museums Writing for Today’s Audience? Looking at the Changes in Literacy & Knowledge-Creation in Society

Labels in the world of Information Overload

Interpretation, Content, and the Use of Text in Museums

 

Are Museums Writing for Today’s Audience? Looking at the Changes in Literacy & Knowledge-Creation in Society

Evolution of Knowledge Acquisition

When our visitors walk into their museums, they will have already consumed a great deal of information and fast at a rate of, on average, 23 words per second.  Over the course of a day, people read an average 105,000 words.  They walk into your museum, only to use text to find the bathroom, learn about your collection, and find their way to the exit.  But, are museums textual practices keeping up with the literacy changes of our visitors?

Quick History of Knowledge Acquisition

  • Move from oral to print increases sphere of influence
  • Mass production is partnered with mass consumption of text
  • Technology exponentially increases not only production of but also access to text

When it comes to social change, there are usually two camps: it was better before and it is now wondrous. In terms of knowledge sharing, you might think that we are living in the moment before the mass extinction of books, just waiting for one more meteor from the tech sphere. You might instead think that we are finally in the great democratic (small d) age of knowledge. Either way, it might be useful to step down the historical path of literacy and knowledge sharing.

Knowledge in the early days was transmitted orally. Writing systems were implemented,  effectively separating the words from the speaker/ writing and thereby making ideas highly mobile. Early writing survives on pots and tablets.  And, while mobile, these writing documents were handmade and heavy. Pity the horse asked to transport a set of texts over a hill.

Scrolls helped with the weight of things. Even the most ornery, old mule could take one scroll to the next city-state. But, the codex, or spined-book, changed things. These stackable communication tools could be filled with dissertations and novelizations.  Books were then further improved in as mass media tools with the onset of printing.

Printing changed knowledge forever. Ideas whizzed out of machines in broadsheets, newspapers, pamphlets, posters, and books. Knowledge was now mass media, multi-format, and myriad. Finally, technology took up the charge from printing. Early website information was present in certain situations, like from desktop computers in homes, (remember that iconic buzz of the landline connection?) Smartphones, like the iPhone launched in 2007, meant that knowledge was in your pocket or hand all the time. The smartphone allowed you to get blogs, tweets, feeds, and all the other Web 2.0 tools continuously and continually.

Web 2.0 & Social Media: Faster, Shorter, and MORE

  • User-generated/ change in authority structure
  • High-volume text consumption
  • Writing and reading styles have changed

Web 2.0 with its social media tools made knowledge-work a global activity, hobby, or obsession, depending on where you stand. Everyone is writing all the time. This user-generated content has changed the power structures of knowledge. Users (i.e. readers) are making text to disseminate their ideas. Authority became dispersed being partially displaced from institutions to individuals. This dissemination of authority can be seen as a flowering of democratic knowledge-work or, alternately, an erosion of quality in knowledge-work. While this debate is beyond the topic at hand, those acquiring knowledge are basically reading on the front-line of this authority debate. Readers confront this question with every text that they read. For every like or retweet, they are endorsing the authority of the writer.

And, they are making these assessments in record time. Knowledge is being made faster than ever. An average 1.2 million words are added to Twitter every minute. This is 18 Billion words every day. Almost four TRILLION words every month. And, that is on a single platform. Add all the text your mom is writing about you on Facebook, the captions on Instagram, the food blogs, the comments on those food blogs about the problems with the recipes, the comments on FB posts… You get the point. You live the point. Text inundates readers daily. Rather than being overwhelmed, many are willingly accessing and responding to this text. People are reading more, even as they are reading fewer books. Longform literary texts, with 1000 pages to get to the denouement, has a smaller audience, but short bites are on the rise. In other words, rather than being on the decline, literacy is shifting.

Social media and Web 2.0 texts have changed readers. They expect short and sweet. That said, the long text doesn’t immediately turn them off. They are skimmers. You don’t think so? With the changes in readers, texts and writing are changing.  Look at this text. Its constructed for the skimmers amongst us. There are bold headings, like road signs, for the speeding readers. For the super-fast reader, there will be some quick bullets at the end.  So, why am I putting in all this text, then? b/c you are all looking for something different. In order word, long-form texts are being created to support the diversity of audiences and their differential interests. (Also, age-old norms are changing. Abbreviations are being the norm.)

Transformations in Knowledge-seeking

  • Knowledge seeking is easier than ever
  • Knowledge resources are wide, deep, diverse, broad, and ever-present
  • Knowledge seeking is often broad rather than deep

Along with literacy shifts, Web 2.0 tools have transformed knowledge-seeking. When was the last time you flipped through an encyclopedia to figure out the name for that line that separates two dates in a range? (En-dash, by the way). Now, as a museum/ knowledge worker, you are probably more predisposed to use physical/ analog texts to find answers, but even knowledge-workers Google things. This shift is important in the museum setting. Your viewers know how to look up textual facts. They can find out where Rembrandt was from if they care. They know how to figure out the definition of tempera, and where to watch a video of egg tempera being made. Facts are available to everyone. And, while you might see yourself as the purveyor of the real, verifiable facts, your visitors are also very good at finding answers (and they might have a different idea about what a verifiable fact is).  Your visitors, if motivated, can find any fact they need, but this increased ability to fact-find is not necessarily matched with a concomitant growth in critical reasoning.

The flip-side of this phenomena is that for every museum collection there is a web niche. So, there are knowledge-makers online creating the counterpart to everything. You have a collection of decorative objects, including Wedgewood salt shakers. Look up salt and pepper shakers. You will see an amazing world of savory dec arts. You are a natural history museum with skulls and bugs. Well, I assure you that you have scores of Instagram accounts that would pair nicely with your collection. In other words, you aren’t the only one out there. This phenomenon can be taken in two ways by museums, as an erosion of uniqueness or alternately, and more positively, as an expansion of their community.

What are the implications for Museums?

  • The short version: People are reading more, finding facts all the time, and being inundated with text. Museums need to understand these changes to make better text.

As a society, we are not the readers we were in 2007. This is not a value judgment. This is not about caring less about collection objects. This is about idea dissemination. People are getting info in a different way.

Before you attempt to bemoan the diminished state of knowledge today. Every generation has had some type of knowledge acquisition transition. And, those who are living through these changes are often completely unaware when cognition slowly changes accordingly.

You really only notice the giant jumps, like going back to a long-ago time period. Even the most scholarly of us might find listening to an oration of the Mahabharata for 12 hours or so a little overwhelming. You are not inherently dumber or smarter than the original audience that could sit through that Indian tale of duty. We are trained by society to acquire information. Information that is transmitted in the social vernacular will be more easily acquired. Said differently, people learn as society has trained them to; teach differently or they might not learn.

 

How do we give museum visitors what they want and need in terms of text? 

Begin by ensuring that the text is suitable for the delivery method. Social media often is entertaining, short, and timely whereas labels are site-specific, informative, and evergreen.

With our visitors becoming savvy information consumers, we need to spend more time and research money on evolving the all our textual information so that our knowledge-ecosystem works for our visitors. We need to be strategic about ideas and knowledge-dissemination. We need to work holistically on the text as a form of access and inclusion. It is imperative, as a field, that we spend time researching labels and think about innovating at that most basic element of our knowledge-ecosystem. If we don’t, our visitors, best case, will just Google it, or worse, stop coming.

#MobileVideo Call To Arms

#mobilevideo

I can’t begin to tell you how many times I have wasted 15 seconds.  For that matter, I think my teenage years were a study in wasting time.   Think of all the time you might waste in your day?  I bet you could find a few minutes that could be put to use to make a video.

The rewards will be great.  Making social media videos helps me refine my ideas and find new ones. I am able to take a risk on something that is very low stakes. I am able to find petty fame.  I get feedback from people who are interesting (and then loads of spam.)  Basically, there are a lot of returns for very little time.

There is also no wrong way to do it.  You might start my mimicking videos that you have seen. (But, be kind and credit your source.) You might start and make the video you have never seen.  Eventually, you might settle on your voice.  In the last few months, I have been focused on stop-motion craft.  It has become my voice.  I don’t know if that will stay that way.  There are a lot of new ideas sort of percolating in my head.

What is nice also, is that it lets you think physically.  You don’t need to storyboard or script.  You can just directly build your story in your app.

Certainly there are practical ways to think about social media (and below you will see many posts about it.)  But, in a big picture way, think of social media video as your chance to create as you wish.

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#mobilevideo 2015 overview

My vines can be found here.

I have written a series of short posts about Vine.  Enjoy:
Vine Video for Museums: Post 1
How can Museum Educators use Vine?
The Right Audience for Vine
Fostering Participation in Vines
Vine to Share the Museum Experience
Narrative in Vine
Looking at Art through Vine
Vine on Your Own
Vine Interface—An Orientation
Vine Basics
Vine and Audio
Stop Motion Tips

I produced these posts as notes in preparation for co-writing this paper for Museums and the Web 2014, with Alli Burness, @Alli_Burnie; Patty Edmonson, @Retrograde_D; and Chad Weinard, @caw_

Our presentation Vine feed is here. 

Our workshop in April, 2014 sparked some good conversation, see the Storify.

Many of our participants made some wonderful Vines, check these out.

 

 

 

#MobileVideo

#mobilevideo infographic

Social media video can be a powerful way to engage people. The statistics are staggering. This is one of those things that everybody is doing–and you should too.

It is direct and easily accessible.  A huge percentage of the globe can access these videos from anywhere.  (It might be helpful to remember that there are more cell phones that people on earth.)  Anyone can do it, and some of us can do it well.  This inherently democratic media can be useful to museums in many ways.

First and foremost, museum people get a chance to capture what they see in real-time to share with their audience.  Get a behind the scenes look at your aquarium’s fish doing the cancan? A picture is certainly not going to work.  (And, that is a video that could go viral fast.)

Second, when museum’s post videos, they are speaking to their audience in a language that their audience already speaks. 1.5 billion videos loop daily.  People are making these videos themselves and consuming them.  There is a powerful message when institutions agree to participate with their visitors where they are.

That said, institutions should be careful to make videos that seem authentic and appropriate.  An exhibition about the civil war might not be the venue for humor. While an exhibition in a children’s space about bodily function might result in videos that are fun for the whole family.

How do you get started? Now social media, including Instagram and Vine, have made it a lot easier.  You can import videos from your camera reel.  If you are really into it, you can make them in GoPro, follow a series of work arounds, and then import them.

I can’t say that I go through all that.  I usually shoot using Vine, and then save it to my camera reel by unclicking post to Vine, and then edit in VideoShop.  Then I reload my videos to Vine.  Vine and Instagram findability are fueled by #hashtags. So, go a little nuts with that.  It will help you be found.

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My vines can be found here.

I have written a series of short posts about Vine.  Enjoy:
Vine Video for Museums: Post 1
How can Museum Educators use Vine?
The Right Audience for Vine
Fostering Participation in Vines
Vine to Share the Museum Experience
Narrative in Vine
Looking at Art through Vine
Vine on Your Own
Vine Interface—An Orientation
Vine Basics
Vine and Audio
Stop Motion Tips

I produced these posts as notes in preparation for co-writing this paper for Museums and the Web 2014, with Alli Burness, @Alli_Burnie; Patty Edmonson, @Retrograde_D; and Chad Weinard, @caw_

Our presentation Vine feed is here. 

Our workshop in April, 2014 sparked some good conversation, see the Storify.

Many of our participants made some wonderful Vines, check these out.

Social Media Tips for Interns

photo

We were talking in the office about interns and social media.  Here are some of the thoughts I brought to that conversation.  Social media can be a powerful tool for connecting, potentially scaffolding for future job acquisition and fulfillment.  It can also be a means for future challenges with job acquisition.  So, a little guidance from mentors might be helpful.

Given how few jobs are available in the field, with the competition as it is, and the fact that most managers are tech savvy enough to give a little Google search of applicants a try, it would be bad management not to mentor your students.  You should offer mentorship for students in the best ways to comport themselves in the virtual environment.  If you don’t, it’s a little like knowing teens are having sex but not telling them how to put on a condom.

As managers, it is useful to start this conversation in a positive proactive way.  Share what has worked for you.  For me:

  • As a museum professional, I love the chance that social media gives to interact with the global environment.  I like when people tweet me back.  I love when institutions communicate back.  I love a repin.  I love a comment/ like on an Instagram account.  And, well, don’t let me start about Vine. I would encourage interns to be interactive, and tweet people back.  Favorite items that you have read/ seen.
  • Being in social media is a way to indicate to the museum world that you are an active participant.
  • Twitter is a real-time conversation.  So, you do need to tend it.  Check in periodically.  This makes the tool feel immediate.
  • Hash tags are a great way to connect to surprising people.  For Vine, I find that my hashtags bring me to surprising people.
  • In Twitter, include questions, when you have them.  People will answer them.  It is a tool to do real work, and people can help point you to new research.
  • I use Twitter and Pinterest as ways to track ideas that I want to keep track of.  (though hashtags help in both tools.)

 

As a manager, tell people when you might have screwed up.  And, share challenges that might come up.

  • There are real challenges about having a “work” account.  You will need to decide how much personal info is appropriate.  And, different social media services can brook different amount of personal sharing.  On Pinterest, you can have work and personal boards.  Your work colleagues can choose not to participate in your obsessions with Japanese furnishings; crafty banners; or juice cleanses. (I only have two of those by the way.) But, on Twitter, you might choose to have separate accounts for really personal stuff, or do that on Facebook.
  • Some museums are really serious about confidentiality.  Often all meetings notes, checklists, packing crates, etc. are confidential.  Photography rules are often very strict in galleries.  You need to conform to that.
  • Pictures are often the thing that can get you in trouble.  You might be shooting a selfie, thinking about your image instead of the background.  But, in the background, you might have a work that has yet to be released to the public.  So, if in doubt, ask.
  • Finally, remember social media is at its essence social.  It is a two way street.  When you say something, people can hear it.  This is not unlike being in a museum and saying something personal in the galleries.  The public can hear you.

 

Your social media presence should be an extension of yourself and the personal brand that you hope to project.  If you are a little irreverent, you account can show that.  If you are very studious, that too is fine.  If you are like many of us, and you are both studious and irreverent, well, then we should connect.

 

Vine Interface–An Orientation

Vine offers a clean interface, but that might mean you need a little extra orientation to get started.

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My vines can be found here.

I have written a series of short posts about Vine. Enjoy:
Vine Video for Museums: Post 1
How can Museum Educators use Vine?
The Right Audience for Vine
Fostering Participation in Vines
Vine to Share the Museum Experience
Narrative in Vine
Looking at Art through Vine
Vine on Your Own
Vine Interface—An Orientation
Vine Basics
Vine and Audio
Stop Motion Tips

I produced these posts as notes in preparation for co-writing this paper for Museums and the Web 2014, with Alli Burness, @Alli_Burnie; Patty Edmonson, @Retrograde_D; and Chad Weinard, @caw_

Our presentation Vine feed is here.

Our workshop in April, 2014 sparked some good conversation, see the Storify.

Many of our participants made some wonderful Vines, check these out.

Stop Motion Tips

I love anthropomorphizing things. Dancing bananas, singing teapots, talking shoes… So, this lifelong love is my excuse for loving the stop motion culture of Vines. I love the idea of potatoes up and becoming stamps without any human intervention. Or the fact that magic helped you make a silkscreen with drawing fluid.

Stop motion needs most of the frame to remain constant while aspects of the frame change incrementally. The illusion is better when many small increments of change are done in many shots. But, this requires patience and time. I can’t say I have either, but I have still been able to get some satisfying stop motion videos.

Here are a few tips to help you get started with stop motion:

You need something that keeps your phone still and in the same place. A tripod is best, but you can improvise, say with a book and tape.

Lighting can be a tell. Because stop motion takes a lot longer than 6 seconds, you might find yourself shooting frames over the span of hours. With strong light, say from a window, changes in the light will indicate long elapses of time. Artificial light remains constant, and creates a more seamless effect.

Framing devices help you with stop motion. If you are doing a craft video, a cutting board can serve not only as a constant and a framing device for the craft supplies above it.

Ghost, ghost, ghost. Patty E. has some good videos showing the ghost function. Essentially, it shows a faint image of the previous frame to serve as a guide for your current frame. Without it, you are creating stop motion blind to the previous frame.

Save time for your final shot. You are often so excited that you got everything in, and you tap just once for that final shot. But, in reality for a satisfying video, you really need to give that final shot at least double the time of any of your earlier increments. This of it as your final scene rather than just a shot. Let your viewers see your satisfaction rather than your exhaustion.

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My vines can be found here.

I have written a series of short posts about Vine. Enjoy:
Vine Video for Museums: Post 1
How can Museum Educators use Vine?
The Right Audience for Vine
Fostering Participation in Vines
Vine to Share the Museum Experience
Narrative in Vine
Looking at Art through Vine
Vine on Your Own
Vine Interface—An Orientation
Vine Basics
Vine and Audio
Stop Motion Tips

I produced these posts as notes in preparation for co-writing this paper for Museums and the Web 2014, with Alli Burness, @Alli_Burnie; Patty Edmonson, @Retrograde_D; and Chad Weinard, @caw_

Our presentation Vine feed is here.

Our workshop in April, 2014 sparked some good conversation, see the Storify.

Many of our participants made some wonderful Vines, check these out.

Vine and Audio

In my mind, Vine is primarily visual. But, how can text, audio, and sound be included?

Sound and Audio:
You might be like me, and just accept ambient audio. In some instances, there is nothing you can do. Often, talking just becomes noise, particularly in stop motion compromised of many shots.

Sound, such as waves on the beach, can add ambiance to your video. If you want to embrace sound, consider using longer frames.

But, if you want to add sound to a narrative, touch the screen before the sound starts and wait until after the sound ends to let go. This might seem obvious, but I find myself always having to do this consciously.

If you aren’t the audio provider, make sure to provide your talent clear expectations and cues. And, accept that you might need to make many videos that you will throw away.

Text:
Text is challenging. People read at different speeds. Often 6 seconds is shorter than the time it takes to make sense of text. I haven’t found a good way to include huge volumes of text. One short word can be easy to start or end a frame. Even then, it is often useful to pair this with audio.

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My vines can be found here.

I have written a series of short posts about Vine. Enjoy:
Vine Video for Museums: Post 1
How can Museum Educators use Vine?
The Right Audience for Vine
Fostering Participation in Vines
Vine to Share the Museum Experience
Narrative in Vine
Looking at Art through Vine
Vine on Your Own
Vine Interface—An Orientation
Vine Basics
Vine and Audio
Stop Motion Tips

I produced these posts as notes in preparation for co-writing this paper for Museums and the Web 2014, with Alli Burness, @Alli_Burnie; Patty Edmonson, @Retrograde_D; and Chad Weinard, @caw_

Our presentation Vine feed is here.

Our workshop in April, 2014 sparked some good conversation, see the Storify.

Many of our participants made some wonderful Vines, check these out.

How can Museum Educators use Vine?

Interpretation is about sharing but also listening. Museum interpreters are information chefs. They take raw content, say scholarship, and then make something palatable out of it. After serving their delicacies, they listen for the feedback of the consumers. Using this feedback, they might refine their recipes. Social media allows visitors to make the interpretation about museum collections into a potluck.

Vine is a particularly useful tool to do this. First, Vine is a consumer product. Anyone with a smart phone can use it, and many of your visitors will have it on their devices. This makes it incredibly useful as a tool to use with visitors. Visitors and museum professionals have equal access to this tool. It can be a point of commonality.
Often museum educators seek to impart some information to a constituency. Content that might seem daunting, like making art with young children, can be shown in a non-threatening, playful manner. Process videos that are dead dreary in the length of YouTube are distilled into the essential steps. While you could certainly use a myriad of tools to describe the iconography of painting for AP art history students, in 6 seconds you can point out all the key points. Vine offers informality, speed of production, and ease of consumption. You are transmitting the content in a form that your end-user already consumers.

Vine is also very easy to use with visitors. Many of the Vines out there are not very good. The bar for content production is low, making the chances of doing better than average high. This is adds the accessibility of the media. Even young children can touch the screen. The investment in each video is low, so discarding videos doesn’t feel too painful. (Additionally, Vine has a useful editing feature that allows you to discard sections.) With children, Vine is an easy way to teach kids simple narrative. You can help them learn to pace and transition. This takes a little bit of workshopping, but once done, your youngest visitors have a tool to share their ideas alongside adults.

That said, many people with Vine on their devices are content consumers, not producers. You will need to help most visitors make Vines.

How can staff help visitors produce content?
1. Create prompts to jumpstart users creativity—like make a Vine of your favorite color
2. Set up Vine experiences. Have props ready to foster playfulness. Include backdrops and other materials that make this feel like a set.
3. During these experiences, or even at events, set up times to show visitors how to use Vine on their devices. This is something that interns can be quite good at doing.
4. Or, have your interns or staff make the vines, so that visitors can focus on their creative expression.

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My vines can be found here.

I have written a series of short posts about Vine. Enjoy:
Vine Video for Museums: Post 1
How can Museum Educators use Vine?
The Right Audience for Vine
Fostering Participation in Vines
Vine to Share the Museum Experience
Narrative in Vine
Looking at Art through Vine
Vine on Your Own
Vine Interface—An Orientation
Vine Basics
Vine and Audio
Stop Motion Tips

I produced these posts as notes in preparation for co-writing this paper for Museums and the Web 2014, with Alli Burness, @Alli_Burnie; Patty Edmonson, @Retrograde_D; and Chad Weinard, @caw_

Our presentation Vine feed is here.

Our workshop in April, 2014 sparked some good conversation, see the Storify.

Many of our participants made some wonderful Vines, check these out.

Fostering Participation in Vines

Vine, being used through the phone, is a non-threatening way to create videos of visitors and participants.  Most people are used to being in cell phone photographs, so it doesn’t bring out the nerves that a traditional camera might.  But, even with that familiarity, including others still takes a little work.

First, talk through the video with your participants.  Visitors might be comfortable with the tool, but not necessarily with you.  So, begin by sharing about why you are making this video, and a little bit about the Vine app.

Imagine that you want to create a video biography of someone.  Ask them the questions.  Find out the answers.  Then, prototype the video.  Create one with them.  It inevitably will be cut off by the 6 sec format.  Then show your video to your participant.  Explain how you can counteract this—say suggest that they don’t speak in full sentences.

Take cues from traditional filmmaking—or rather use cues.  Tell people how you will cue them.  Be as transparent about how you are creating this video, and then do exactly what you say you will do.  So, for the biography example, you might say, alright, “So I am going to ask you those questions again, but this time, please don’t use full sentence.  I will say one-two-three and then start.”

Use the text field when posting to add content about your video.  Write what the project is and the questions you asked.  Tag the video if you want people to find it.

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My vines can be found here.

I have written a series of short posts about Vine. Enjoy:
Vine Video for Museums: Post 1
How can Museum Educators use Vine?
The Right Audience for Vine
Fostering Participation in Vines
Vine to Share the Museum Experience
Narrative in Vine
Looking at Art through Vine
Vine on Your Own
Vine Interface—An Orientation
Vine Basics
Vine and Audio
Stop Motion Tips

I produced these posts as notes in preparation for co-writing this paper for Museums and the Web 2014, with Alli Burness, @Alli_Burnie; Patty Edmonson, @Retrograde_D; and Chad Weinard, @caw_

Our presentation Vine feed is here.

Our workshop in April, 2014 sparked some good conversation, see the Storify.

Many of our participants made some wonderful Vines, check these out.