the Freer Sackler’s new cutting-edge bluetooth technology

From their press release:

Nath YogiThe digital marketing industry is growing rapidly and the Smithsonian’s Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery are taking advantage of its momentum. The museums are launching a marketing campaign using Bluetooth technology for the opening of “Garden and Cosmos: The Royal Paintings of Jodhpur,” Oct. 11 through Jan. 4, 2009, at the Sackler Gallery.

Already a phenomenon in Europe and Asia, and now launching in cities across the United States, this new medium of advertising prompts Bluetooth phone users to opt-in to receive a free downloadable message. Clear Channel Outdoor and Qwikker, the leading providers of location-based mobile content distribution infrastructure, are offering this mode of advertising. Bluetooth-enabled bus shelters, located in Washington, D.C.’s major pedestrian areas, will deploy a silent prompt to mobile users with Bluetooth within a 30-foot radius.

The galleries will be able to target new and younger audiences through this innovative medium of advertising. A message from the Smithsonian will appear on pedestrians’ mobile screens, and those who accept the message will receive a detail of the bus shelter advertisement and a message urging them to visit the featured exhibition, “Garden and Cosmos.” This advertisement magnifies the eyes of a Nath Yogi from the exhibition and gives users the opportunity to use the artwork as wallpaper for their mobile devices.

How cool is that?! Read the Associated Press story about it.

Secretary Clough’s first town hall meeting

Secretary Clough at the CastleOn July 22, to a standing-  
room only crowd of 
SI staff packed into
the Baird auditorium
at Natural History,
Secretary Clough held his   
first town hall meeting,
and outlined his immediate
priorities in short order. 
With only three weeks on
the job, Secretary Clough
had been busy visiting as many units and offices as possible, and repeatedly referred to the Smithsonian as a “potent resource for the nation.”  His repeated call for creativity, cross-disciplinary collaboration, and reaching as many people, globally, as possible through our work, were all encouraging signposts for the future.

Governance reform was at the top of the list of his priorities, and the implementation of new policy statements regarding ethics and governance at the Smithsonian is paramount.  Taking care of the Arts and Industries Building “sooner than later” was also raised as a priority, much to the staff’s relief.

The Smithsonian will also rewrite its strategic plan, targeted for completion in a year, which includes building a vibrant, inspiring vision for our future.  He stressed the need for a comprehensive, creative, inclusive process that will produce this strategic plan.  As always, we want to hear from Affiliates – what would you like to see from the Smithsonian going forward?  How could we serve you and your constituencies better?!