What if a museum’s digital storytelling tool were modeled after something like Pinterest, blending internally produced content with links out to the web at large? And what if that tool, instead of being the product of a long-term, well-funded, museum-wide initiative, were built by just a few staff, in a short time, with a modest budget, using whatever tools we already have? What if the work done on a “quick and dirty” project like this could be leveraged toward future, and perhaps larger, initiatives aimed at braiding together multimedia, texts, social media, and related external resources? SFMOMA recently set out to explore these what-ifs with a prototypical publishing experiment called Story Board.
Story Board is a digital hub that blends SFMOMA-produced content with a constellation of outside links, and encourages intuitive browsing. It is the first major collaborative effort of SFMOMA’s newly formed Content Strategy and Digital Engagement division, which brings together Interpretive Media (formerly in Education), Community Engagement, Graphic Design, Web, and Publications. The project is intended to function as a platform for dialogue and the exchange of ideas by way of SFMOMA’s social media channels and blog. The digital hub is designed to be modular, flexible, and easy to update quickly as new stories are surfaced.
In this paper, we describe in depth the process of envisioning, creating and updating Story Board, from the content and production sides. We will also reflect on lessons learned from this experiment and how we have already applied them going forward.