Archive for March, 2005

Prediction: museums will be filled with transparent technology in the future…and not just technology for technology sake…but technology that makes the museum responsive to you.

Early example: Experience Music Project (EMP) in Seattle. Walk into a room at EMP, and your handheld computer senses where you are. Choose to listen to detailed information on the artist, music or genre…or just soak in the era by listening to the mp3 of your choice.

My favorite moments at EMP

  1. Wandering through the Jimi Hendrix display while listening to “Purple Haze”, “All Along the Watchtower” and “Fire”, I was transported to the 60’s. I never had the chance to hear Hendrix live…but for a moment…as I stood inches away from his guitar and his stage clothes with his music blasting in my ears…I was there.
  2. Roots and Branches sculpture of 500 guitars

    When I realized that the amazing “Roots & Branches” sculptureof over 500 musical instruments was actually playing live music robotically. The sculpture was art, music and math transformed into a jaw dropping collage of instruments and musical styles.

  3. Playing a little bass to “Louie Louie” in the Sound Lab….where instruments are programmed to help the novice (that’s me) or allow the experts to strut their stuff.
  4. EMP, you rock! You don’t just showcase your collection, you put the music in my hands and the spotlight on me. This is what I want all museums to be like…hands-on, interactive and personal.

So…when you think of museums, do you think:

  • stimulating
  • interactive
  • fun
  • cutting edge
  • romantic

No??? Then you are missing out on the new museum! Old fashioned museums remind me of static websites…one way, one-size fits all…while the new museum is a place to explore ideas, art and each other.

Where did I learn about this? At the Blanton Museum at the University of Texas at Austin. In the past 2 years I’ve gone from a person who valued museums to a person who LOVES museums. I went from laughing at most contemporary art, to realizing that art isn’t just about realistic representation. Art is about ideas!

All of a sudden the canvas in front of me became a game…what revolutionary ideas are waiting to be revealed in this work of art? What facets of myself will I discover if I pause to think and experience the colors and lines? What can I learn about you if we explore these ideas together?

So, have you discovered the new museum? Or do you think I’m insane?

Businesses are beginning to realize the value of a standards compliant browser. An article today in The Age gives exciting evidence that the usage of Firefox is almost at the “tipping point”. The point where IE must consider our beloved Fox a true competitor. I can feel the winds of change blowing stronger….Firefox Explorers

Accessibility University

Do I have an opportunity for you! A 2 day Accessibility Conference right here in Austin, Texas. Many national accessibility experts and authors will be there including Sharron Rush, Jim Thatcher, Jim Allen, Dr. John Slatin and more. Rumor is Derek Featherstone may be a guest instructor from Canada as well!

Here are the official details: Knowbility is pleased to announce the
2005 Accessibility University

WHAT: An intensive, two-day training conference to provide professional web masters all they need to know about how and why to create web sites that meet federal, state, and industry mandates for accessibility. Accessibility University will help you develop policy, meet standards, understand how to use testing tools and much much more. You will have the unequalled opportunity to meet accessibility experts and learn from them how to ensure that your online applications are accessible to everyone.

WHEN: May 13th and 14th, 2005

WHERE: St Edward’s University, Austin Texas

Knowbility’s Accessibility University is offered for the third year with courses that have won praise and national recognition for quality and usefulness. View fees and accommodations, course descriptions, and registration details on Knowbility‘s website.

For more information, contact Sherry Scott,

3925 W. Braker Lane
Austin, TX 78759
512 305-0310
Equal access to technology for people with disabilities

SXSW-Interactive is about thinking outside the box. My brain is exploding with new ideas and perspectives.

Before SXSW-I

  1. I thought I didn’t have time for blogs.
  2. I believed the philosophy of the web “empowering people with information and the ability to do things themselves” was my best angle for evangelizing web accessibility.
  3. I thought SXSW was about the panels.
  4. I saw Flash as the future engine for many interactive apps.

After SXSW-I

  1. I realize that blogs have the ability to allow us to get a glimpse into each others perspectives and help us think creatively and freely share and build on each others ideas. Today as I look at a non-blog web site…I think “broadcast”, one-way, and “one size fits all”. And if you know anything about me…I most definitely crave interactivity.
  2. I believe a critical angle to making the web more accessible is to think about it from a business model. What is the ROI for the client to have an accessible web site? Thanks to Andy Clarke for helping me see this reality. But don’t worry, I won’t ever stop evangelizing the philosophy.
  3. I know that SXSW is about the people. Go to the panels, go to the parties, introduce yourself to the person next to you. Seek out new people. Find out what treasures are overflowing in the brains all around you. Talk about your passions and then listen. I mean really LISTEN. Suspend judgement. Truly try on the perspective of the brilliant human being sitting next to you. Then let the magic potion of ideas, words and reality transform your thinking and open your eyes to new possibilities.
  4. Okay…so I was right about Flash.