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iPhone apps: great tools for arts organisations

The Brooklyn Museum have launched an iPhone app – Brooklyn Museum Mobile Collection – through which users can view art content. The app is free, and available to download via the iTunes store. There are many things I love about this development: the art on my phone being the most important. But I’m impressed that the Brooklyn Museum’s online users have so usefully engaged with it, tested it (to breaking point many a time), and constructively fed back via the blog. Already using their social networks for audience development/engagement, fundraising, and marketing, using them as a feedback loop (especially the socially networked museum members 1stfans) is a brainwave. Teachers, geeks, art buffs, curators all give their feedback, giving the BM team and iPhone app developers brilliant 360-degree feedback.

Like most of Brooklyn Museum’s digital developments (their MySpace profile WAY BACK, the MySpace members’ curated exhibitions, the iTunesU, the Twittering) that I’ve been using as best practice examples for nearly four years now, I think the iPhone app is a superbly forward thinking move. Giving away a free app paves the way for the paid app, which should create the funding model for giving away the content. This is the way in which content on the cloud seems to be going: give the content away for free, provide access to it via free channels BUT ALSO encourage people to pay for a bit of software (the paid-for app) that enhances their experience. Please have a good scout round the whole of their webpresence and see what they’re up to. Amazing engagement with all sorts of audiences, basically!

Another iPhone app has also been adopted for brilliant use by arts organisations over the past few weeks. @Documentally/Christian Payne – AmbITion roadshow workshop leader and Our Man Inside has been showing off Audioboo since the beginning of the tour. Audioboo is a brilIiantly easy way to podcast messages and sounds that you record via your iPhone. I nearly had a little cry when the AmbITion Twitter stream (@getambition) received a Tweet from a SE Roadshow attendee @scotscowgirl aka Monica Ferguson Chief Exec of The Stables the live music venue in Milton Keynes. She captured Rod Argent of The Zombies talking about how using YouTube has transformed his particiaption with his audiences, built his fan base and changed his mind about issues around digital rights and protection. Listen here!
@MarcusRomer of Pilot Theatre released a boo via Twitter that gives people a great promotional opportunity @shift_happens at the end of June: listen here.

Audioboo is a really easy to use simple tool that is easy to connect to Facebook and Twitter, giving your podcasts and messages even greater reach. And meaning that you don’t need a big fancy microphone to capture them. A nice little iPhone will do 🙂