Whistler Film Festival (WFF) Mobile Project Overview

The aim of the WFF Mobile project was to implement some of the tools created for the MobileVIFF project as quickly and cost effectively as possible in order to leverage and extend the initial investment for the benefit of an additional cultural partner. The WFF had made an initial inquiry into participating in Muse2 and it was determined that this would be a good way to get them involved.

Jason Mogus, part of the Muse team, had a mandate to extend the core Muse2 projects into a series of mini-projects to spread the benefits of the platform and technology that had been developed to a larger number of cultural groups. It was through this initiative that we were able to provide mobile film guide services to the WFF.

MUSE 3 - An Open Distributed Network Built on Multi-Sectoral Partnerships

To achieve its goals, MUSE 3 is building an "open distributed network" of resources consisting of multi-sectoral partnerships (academic, corporate, community, cultural, and new media) and leveraging a wide variety of domain experts. These partnerships will help in establishing future systems, tools and models that will enable Mobile Muse and communities to manage, grow and sustain their technology, content and community networks.

Mobile Muse, therefore, is now initiating and exploring partnership opportunities with organizations and individuals who are interested in and would like to contribute to the building of a scalable and sustainable network for community-generated media creation, management, and distribution. Ultimately, the success of MUSE 3 will be determined by the breadth and depth of knowledge shared and coordinated through such partnerships. If there is a specific area in which you'd like to partner with us, please let us know!

What's Next for Mobile Muse? MUSE 3!

As we come to the end of MUSE 2 and prepare to enter MUSE 3 (fingers crossed on funding :-), it's time to start discussing what's next! MUSE 3 is really a further expansion of all that has been developed and learned thus far. MUSE 3 is honing its vision and is creating a broader "open distributed network" focusing on four main themes:

  • Cultural Expression
  • Community Development
  • Economic Development
  • Sustainability

Several of these themes will be realized in what MUSE 3 is calling "community-generated media". Much like the term "user-generated content", community-generated media represents the creativity, vision and voice of the community. Beyond creating (or broadcasting) this media, MUSE 3 is especially interested in how this media can be driven, accessed, created, and most importantly, interacted with in mobile environments. However, MUSE 3 is not limiting itself simply to the third screen, i.e. mobile phones. MUSE 3 will be pushing screen boundaries on both ends – large and small! A big part of MUSE 3 is leveraging a network of large screens that will be installed for the 2010 Olympics – a distibution network comprised of "Live Sites". Live Sites are open event spaces, typically with large video displays, designed for broad public engagement.

Final thoughts on Cultural Engagement

Importantly, the deliverables were met. In terms of engaging arts organizations, the ones that were fully engaged and committed to the project did do very well.  However, clearly there needs to be more upfront planning and value proposition generated that the arts organizations can easily understand, grasp in their language and move forward with. 

In future, projects it would make more sense to concentrate on fewer larger projects than many smaller projects.  A budget of 5 to 10 thousand dollars would be more appropriate for any kind of future initiate. 

Working with MetroCode and PocketCINE was great as the principals in those organizations are smart, enthusiastic and committed to these projects. 

Business Model Musings for Cultural Engagement

The business model is dictated through an observation of what potentially might work, as this has not been validated in actual experience.  One of the concerns that many of the arts organizations had was that in a limited world of time and money, both the MetroCode and the PocketCINE did not stand out in terms of what would be "high value at low cost" to the participating arts organizations.  They perceived it as an initiative that would take time away from other resources and could potentially cost more than they had. 

One of our issues was that the budget that we had for each project was relatively modest, which should have allowed for several projects to occur, but in fact the concern from the organizations often was that the money was not enough.  

It is a truth that in many arts organizations trying to help a small project is a lot harder than doing a large project, just simply because the time and resources are almost the same for a small or large project in terms of the financial reporting that are required.  

However, that being said, the business model really needs to be based around a service that is easily accessible and as much self-service as possible.  I personally felt that a MetroCode model where somebody could upload and create their own MetroCodes using a simple web based interface, uploading their audio or video files in a fast and convenient way, could be an excellent model. 

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