Site seeing in Washington, DC usually includes one of the 16 Smithsonian museums. A favorite of mine is The American Art Museum, so I was pleased to learn about its group blog, Eye Level. It should make some of its exhibits even more interesting and accessible.
But what about podcasts? The Smithsonian has an army of web sites, (more than 100), but I can find only two Smithsonian-branded podcasts focusing on science and Asian art, respectively. This is more than a request for "technology for technology's sake" (otherwise I would be asking about vidcasting).
Podcasting: Sound Advice for Museums
Just look at the math. In 2004, the Smithsonian saw 1.8 million visitors pass through its many doors. Online it saw 18.5 million unique web visitors—more than 10 times the traffic. Yes, it’s easier to surf the Smithsonian than visit in person. But I’ll argue that it would be easier to visit if you had an easier way to navigate the 16 museums and hundreds of exhibits offered. From travel tips to exhibit overviews and interviews, podcasts will greatly enhance any museum experience.
From museums to theme parks, Disney is podcasting. It’s launching a weekly podcast to commemorate their 50th anniversary. Some of the same benefits apply and Disney provides a great example for museums to follow. More museum podcasts might even serve as examples of non-profits moving through the last 25 percent? Thus far we have primarily seen agencies engaged in the conversation. More on this topic later.
Online Field Trip
Stop by the National Museum of American History for an interesting, visual review of advertising history. Even a tchotchke from the tech industry made it into the museum. I found this now awkward Time magazine cover story at the National Portrait Gallery. Bill Gates has come a very long way from the floppy disk to sharing the cover with Bono (and his wife).