A newsletter on audience research and development for cultural leaders. One reader calls it, "sometimes funny"

What if people don’t want to be “engaged” by your museum?

What if they’re only trying to make progress toward some particular purpose? If your museum can help them make some progress toward their goal, good. If not, they’ll just find an alternative.

People are solution agnostic.

Why, then, do museums focus so much on evaluating their solutions today (programs, exhibits, etc.) in terms of “engagement?”

Evaluation studies what is and what has been. Every satisfaction survey, every focus group whispers, “How can we hold on to what we have?”

But the old world is gone.

The future won’t wait for museums.

And neither will you.


That’s it. That’s pretty much everything I’ve been writing about in this newsletter over the past few years, summed up in 636 characters.

It took you three years and, what, 500 newsletters to come up with *that*?

Well, it’s not just that. That’s just the start of it — There’s more on the Museums As Progress website.

That website consists of *two pages*.

A skateboard is complete, even if it’s slower than a car. A cupcake is still sweet, even if it has fewer calories than a birthday cake. A bottle of vodka may mock a glass of—

And I can order a tuna melt on a croissant at Dunkin’ Donuts. Is it a complete meal? Sure. But I’m not buying it.

Touché.

And just like that, we have a new guest writer for the newsletter.


Anyway, I’ve spent the past couple of days pecking out those two web pages and wanted to share it with you all. I don’t care what my co-author says.

Later this week, my left hand is going to try to begin answering a series of persistent questions:

  • What is “problem space research”?
  • What do you mean by “progress”?
  • Why does the MAP community exist? Why should it exist?
  • Why do bad things happen to good people?

Maybe I’ll hold off on that last one — but we have something like an agenda.

As always, reply to this email to let me know your thoughts or leave a comment below.

Kyle

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