The 3 P’s of Mobile Audio That You Should Be Thinking About

If you represent a museum, gallery, or cultural/heritage site, then it’s likely you’re often thinking about how to better engage your visitors, improve their experience, and attract more of them.  But are you thinking about how mobile audio could help?  Here are three things (the 3 P’s) about mobile audio that you may not be thinking about, but should be:


1) It’s personal!
 Can you think of anything that people keep with them more than their smartphone? And, that they use as often? Or rely on as much for so many things that are so important to them? Probably not. For a lot of people anyway. In its relatively short existence, the smartphone has quickly become the one indispensable thing that people use alongside anything and everything else that matters in their lives. In other words, it’s VERY personal. And this is a HUGE opportunity for you. When people visit your museum, gallery or cultural/heritage site, chances are, that at some point, they are going to want to use their smartphone to enhance their experience, and share it with others. It’s just natural. So, let them, and give them more reasons to do so. By providing your visitors with mobile audio tours that are available to them on their own smartphones, you get to share your stories with them, the way you want them to be told, time and time again, so that your visitors can connect more deeply, more emotionally, and more meaningfully with your organization, your object collections, your points of interest and your mission. When your visitors can use the device that is the most personal to them, as a means for experiencing the stories that are the most personal to your organization, the connections that will result can only be more personal too. And with those kinds of connections, I don’t think it’s a stretch to imagine your visitors having a more enjoyable experience, telling others about it and coming back for more.


2) It’s parallel!
 Have you ever walked into an exhibition and seen an expansive array of items on display that you wanted to learn more about, but then quickly grew tired of it all because you spent more time reading labels than actually engaging with what’s on display? With mobile audio, your visitors can actually engage with what you have on display, rather than spending all their time reading about it. Audio is unique, unlike text, video and photos, in that you can experience it in parallel with whatever else you are experiencing. With mobile audio, your visitor is free to roam, while at the same time listening to all the interesting stories and information about your exhibits, without being tethered to a particular location where your labels are mounted. And, have you thought about your visitors whose first language may not be the one you’re using? So there again, with mobile audio, you have an opportunity to create parallel layers of audio in as many languages as there are languages spoken by your visitors. No wall space limits to worry about, nor huge printed multilingual labels or stacks of brochures offered in multiple languages. Instead, with the parallel nature of mobile audio, you can liberate your visitors to explore your exhibits more broadly and intimately, while engaging them in whichever language is most comfortable for them.


3) It’s prompt!
 Remember the guided tour you paid for, when all you really wanted to do was break free and look at whatever you wanted in whatever order you felt like? You probably ended up sticking with the guided tour though, because you paid for it, and because you didn’t want to miss that one great story that’d make all the waiting around worthwhile. With mobile audio, your visitors promptly get the stories they want, when they want them, simply by tapping the screen of their smartphone. No more waiting for the group, a slow or overly verbose tour guide – and not even for your doors to open. With mobile audio, regardless of the availability of your docents and tour guides, or the business hours of your organization, you can provide your visitors with an opportunity to listen to the tours they want, in any order they choose, as many times as they want, no matter where they are in the world – promptly, on demand, on their own smartphone.

One last thing, in addition to the 3 P’s above, that I want to remind you of, is that in today’s increasingly digital world, people are actually seeking out and placing a higher value on that which is authentic. So if you’re able to create mobile audio where the person speaking is the actual person who IS the expert, or IS the source, or IS the creator, no matter how well-spoken they may or may not be, their words, unscripted, in their own voice, with their unique manner of speaking, will carry significant weight with your visitors and is yet one more important benefit you’ll have when leveraging mobile audio.

Hopefully these insights have given you reasons to think about mobile audio a bit more, and a bit differently now. With this greater context, your organization can plan accordingly, put resources into place and actions into motion that will help you leverage mobile audio in ways that will more than meet your organizational goals and your visitors expectations. If we can be helpful to you in this regard at CultureSpots, it would be our pleasure, so don’t hesitate to reach out anytime.

Please share this with your colleagues, and be to sure talk it over with them. For more ideas like this one, consider signing up for email updates on our website (https://www.culturespots.com) or blog (http://blog.CultureSpots.com). If you sign up for our email newsletter before the October 1, 2014 launch of CultureSpots, you’ll receive a 20% discount when you register your organization for a Premium Plan subscription.

Thank you, be well, and enjoy!

Cliff Stevens
Founder, President/CEO of CultureSpots

Here’s What’s Been Going On at CultureSpots

Some Recent Scoop, and a Look Ahead

Since I last wrote with the announcement of our rebuilding, rebranding and relaunching as CultureSpots, things have surely not been dull. Here are a few things you might like to know:

New Responsive Mobile Web Platform:

Development of our brand-new responsive mobile Web platform at CultureSpots.com is right on schedule! It is so very gratifying to see how easy our new tech will be making it for museums, galleries and cultural/heritage sites to create and manage their own mobile audio tours that anyone will be able to access no matter what kind of device they’re using. There is still much more to do, but I remain very confident about meeting our October 1st launch date.

New Mobile Audio Recording Apps:

Progress is also moving right along with our brand new, cross-platform audio recording and editing apps that will work on any iOS/Android smartphone. I’m so excited about how much quicker, cheaper and easier these apps will make it for everyone to create quality audio content using their own smartphone. These too are on track to be ready and available for free download from the Apple App Store and Google Play Store when we launch October 1st.

Accessibility:

On a more enlightened note, I recently attended a number of events about Accessibility, including those put on by Art-ReachPhilly Accessibility Forum, and GenPhilly, in addition to having a personal Touch Tour at the Penn Museum, and holding our own Accessibility roundtable discussion at Drexel University. In so doing, I’ve become much more familiar with the issues involved and the many resources available for making CultureSpots more accessible to the blind and visually impaired. Equally importantly, I’ve been plugged in with a number of fantastically talented and passionate people who want to make art and culture much more accessible and are already helping us make Accessibility a priority at CultureSpots.

So this is just a quickie update after a bit of a lull to get you caught up on a few basic things. Going forward, my goal is to keep you more informed with an update at least once every few weeks, as well as much more regular and meaningful activity on Facebook and Twitter. I’m also looking forward to sharing new how-to and best-practices videos with you on YouTube!

Lastly, please don’t forget to share this update with your friends, family and colleagues who work at your favorite museums, galleries and cultural/heritage sites, and recommend that they visit our website or blog to sign up for email updates . If they do, they’ll be eligible for free ‘early access’ to CultureSpots when we launch, as well as a 20% discount off their first year’s CultureSpots subscription should their organization register for an account.

Thanks for being with us! I looking forward to sharing more progress with you soon 🙂

Cliff Stevens @ CultureSpots
President/CEO

Lokadot Pivoting to CultureSpots

Lokadot is Rebuilding, Rebranding and Relaunching as CultureSpots

In Collaboration with Forge Software and Drexel University

We’re thrilled to announce that after a lengthy Lokadot pilot program in partnership with some of Philadelphia’s most iconic arts and cultural institutions, Lokadot is rebuilding, rebranding and will soon be relaunching as CultureSpots (www.CultureSpots.com).

Why?  To put it simply, we’ve grown more focused, and found a better way to meet thereal needs of the marketplace.  During our pilot phase, we uncovered what problems really need to be solved, what constraints really need to be addressed, and what opportunities are really being overlooked and underserved.  And, maybe more importantly, we learned more about ourselves, what we’re good at, what we want to do, and the many things we were doing, or trying to do, that few really cared much about, or that we just weren’t doing well enough.

So, with our sights set on launching CultureSpots on October 1, 2014, we’re equally thrilled to announce that we’ll be working with Philly-founded Forge Software (www.ForgeCrafted.com) to build it.  There’s just no substitute for the value of being able to work locally, shoulder-to-shoulder when needed, with the team at Forge, nor denying their software and systems engineering expertise, design sensibilities, business acumen and genuine, all-in, can-do attitude.  Software development is already in progress, and we’re all so very stoked to be working together.

Additionally, the intensive collaboration we launched last year with Drexel University’s Professor Neville Vakharia, and his colleagues and students in the Westphal College’s Graduate Arts Administration program, continues to this day, and will into the foreseeable future.  Through their boundless hands-on contributions, judicious guidance, and community connectedness, we’ve finally been able to construct a solid, comprehensive business plan and a whole host of business development activities and initiatives that will help ensure our sustainable success.

It is with deep appreciation for the innumerable people who have had a hand in getting Lokadot this far, and with great anticipation for the many more who we’ll be working with as clients, and business partners in the future, that we forge this exciting path ahead with CultureSpots.

Thank you for your ongoing support.

Sincerely,

Cliff Stevens
Founder, President/CEO of Lokadot, LLC DBA CultureSpots

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CultureSpots’ Executive Summary:  With a decision to imminently retire our Lokadot app for iPhone, Lokadot, LLC will be evolving from a fledgling startup trying to prove and scale the brand identity and value proposition of it’s own proprietary native app, into a trusted partner for small to midsize museums, galleries and cultural/heritage sites with our mobile audio tour software-as-a-service called CultureSpots (www.culturespots.com) that is brandable, device-agnostic and available to visitors on their own smartphones using just a mobile Web browser.  We will be unparalleled in how easy and affordable CultureSpots makes it for our customers to provide their visitors with a high-quality mobile audio tour experience, much like they’ve come to expect only from the largest arts and cultural institutions having the most bountiful resources.  With our white-label software solution and professional mobile audio tour production services delivery approach, we’ll be removing some of the most significant bottlenecks that our prospective customers typically experience when researching, developing (or acquiring/implementing) and maintaining mobile audio tour solutions, as well as the significant resources that can go into continually producing and managing high quality audio tour content.  By focusing on small to midsize organizations (annual budget < $1 million), and addressing their challenging budgetary and staffing resource constraints as well as their relentlessly increasing visitor experience expectations, we’ll be very well positioned for uptake and sustainable growth in a large global marketplace where the vast majority of museums, galleries and cultural/heritage sites are small to midsize in nature, and that our entrenched competitors are mostly ignoring.