News Summary 09.2014

Every month, AMTLab publishes a collection of recent news in the field of arts management and technology. After a summer hiatus, we’re back with a selection of articles showcasing some of the trends and highlights of September 2014. We’ve paid special attention to the heated discussion around net neutrality, how museums have integrated technology into their exhibits, and effective use of social media.

Net Neutrality

The Federal Communications Commission is considering whether Internet providers should be allowed to cut deals with online services like Netflix, Amazon or Youtube to prioritize their content on web traffic. A ruling in favor of Internet Service Providers would jeopardize the principle of net neutrality – a vision of the internet where all data is treated the same. The FCC has already received more than 3.7 million comments from concerned citizens. With the potential for such wide-reaching impacts, the arts world has made its voice heard.

US groups urge fast broadband for all as online plans threaten access to art  (The Art Newspaper)

The non-profit lobbying organization Americans for the Arts has joined a number of other US cultural organizations, urging the FCC to protect the democratic nature of the internet and preserve net neutrality.

“This is something that everyone should be concerned about,” says Kate McClanahan, Americans for the Arts’ director of federal affairs, “because it creates a stifling force on sharing new ideas and new, innovative platforms.”

(Protesters call for equal access at a “net neutrality” rally in Washington, DC. Photo: STEPHEN MELKISETHIAN)

(Protesters call for equal access at a “net neutrality” rally in Washington, DC. Photo: STEPHEN MELKISETHIAN)

How Net Neutrality Works  (The New York Times)

If you haven’t been following the discussion around net neutrality, or feel like you don’t understand the issues at hand, take a look at this short video. By comparing data transmission on the Internet with package delivery, this cartoon explains net neutrality in a vivid and simple way.

(Video by Natalia V. Osipova and Carrie Halperin)

(Video by Natalia V. Osipova and Carrie Halperin)


New York City’s World-Famous Metropolitan Museum of Art Has A Snazzy New App (Business Insider)

With the release of their new app early in September, The Met, has gone mobile. While the app’s functionality is straightforward - providing highlights of the collection and listings of the day’s event and guided tours – its slick presentation has already garnered praise. The app “is just the first in a series of apps currently in development.” With The Met’s history of social media success, we look forward to seeing what’s next.

(Screenshot of the app)

(Screenshot of the app)

Digital Media

The Brave New Digital World  (The Wall Street Journal) 

Apps aren’t the only way for museums over the world to take great advantage of the internet. In this brave new digital world, museums are using the web to showcase their masterpieces, attract global visitors, get rid of bulky tape recorders for their audio tours, and spark their audience’s creativity. This article shows how museums are making the best of the infinite opportunities of the internet, with exciting projects ranging from digitization of Chagall’s masterpiece in minute detail to using online voting to guide museum curation.

How the Guggenheim Museum’s CIO Is Trying to Use Beacons  (The Wall Street Journal) 

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York is embracing new beacon and tracking technology to transform how visitors interact with its exhibits. However, there are still some concerns. How can they disguise the beacons to avoid disrupting Frank Lloyd Wright’s iconic design? How can the Guggenheim push information to visitor’s devices without irritating them?



Designing A Better Charity Donation Form  (Fast Company)

When web designer Brad Frost was trying to make a donation online, he found out that many charity sites were poorly designed. Such aesthetic issues have real consequences in terms of lost donations. Reaching out to the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank, Frost redesigned the site and made it much easier to convert goodwill into money. Frost’s new design hasn’t launched yet, but curious readers may want to follow, and learn from, his ongoing process.

(Photo: Flickr user Alan Light)

(Photo: Flickr user Alan Light)