Researching podcasting in museums: Can new broadcasting models of publication make art more accessible?
thesisposted on 02.09.2008, 15:40 by Lena Maculan
During times of continuing growth of digital resources for teaching, learning and research, the key objective of this study is to evaluate the genuine suitability of online publishing tools – podcasting in particular – as a means to make art more accessible. The first part of the thesis addresses the nature of the changes which affect museums today: the rapid digitisation of culture, changes in the way artists produce, museums present and audiences consume art, and finally the challenges and opportunities which arise for museums within a Web 2.0 environment. The analysis of these key contexts in which museums operate today, will build the theoretical basis of the thesis. The second part of the thesis subjected the theories developed in the first part to empirical study. It is structured around three case studies (CS). CS1 investigates why museums have started to do podcasts. Data was generated through a series of interviews with museum professionals. CS 2 investigates user-behaviour. An online survey commissioned by the Ars Electronica Center and conducted by the author sits at the heart of this enquiry into user-behaviour. Using Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) as methodology, CS 3 investigates the possible impact upon the relationship between museums and audiences. The main outcomes of this thesis are: a typology of museum podcasts, an insight into user-behaviour and a methodology for assessing the impact of podcasting on the relationship between museums and their audiences. Taken together the data generated brings into focus the real opportunities of podcasting, as a suitable medium for making the museum experience more accessible, engaging and immediate.