Category Archives: Tool Reviews


GroupMe is a mobile messaging app that was founded in 2010 and is owned by Microsoft. It’s an app that you can access through downloading the mobile app, or through the online site on your computer. The signing up process is fairly simple, in which you can create your own account for the free app, or you can connect through your Facebook or Twitter. You are also able to sync both your mobile and Facebook contacts with the app. It has similar qualities of other group messaging apps, such as Facebook Messenger  and Slack , in that with GroupMe you are able to share text, documents, videos, web pages, etc. One of the biggest advantages this app has over Facebook messenger, for instance, is that even if you are not connected to internet, you can still send and receive messages through SMS. You also have to consider that data messaging is much cheaper then text messaging, so you also save money on fees if you choose to go that route.

The app also allows you to build as big a group and as many groups as you wish, while being able to either address the whole group, message smaller groups, or direct message individuals. You can also make conference calls to an entire group through one group number, and so you don’t need to keep track of potentially dozens of numbers and other codes. The ability to make multiple groups also allows organizations to divide up departments into their own groups.

This has been proven to very popular at music festivals, such as Coachella, where Internet access can be relatively stagnant. So even if a venue has terrible wifi, both staff and guests can communicate efficiently. I have personal experience with GroupMe as part of my participation in George Mason University’s Indoor Drum line, where we would share edits to our sheet music by linking dropbox files. It was also good for scheduling and sharing times/dates with the ensemble. This can serve members of arts organizations very well when planning and organizing special events and fundraisers.

Image of GroupMe sign-up page
Jerry Paffendorf. “GroupMe” March 3, 2012. Flickr

Zec Zec Taiwan- 嘖嘖 台灣

Zec Zec Taiwan  is an online crowdfunding platform that helps creators fund their creative projects. It is a website that is similar to Kickstarter in the United States. Through the crowdfunding process, the artists or the art organization can get budget support. The slogan of Zec Zec website is “An online platform to help creators achieve their dreams.” Online crowdfunding became the popular funding tool in recent day. The title of Zec Zec clearly shows the main purpose of the website. Zec Zec provide the online crowdfunding experiences for creators in Taiwan. Zec Zec help creators an online platform to presenting the contents of the creative project, the original design and the creative works on the Internet.

The Image of Zec Zec Taiwan
Zec Zec Crowdfunding website from Taiwan

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Kickstarter is a website that offers a platform for product crowdfunding. It provides people who work on artistic projects with crowdfunding opportunity to increase their funding budget. Artists and designers give funders rewards in the form of unique experiences or products. Kickstarter is the crowdfunding tool that bypasses the traditional investment process and establishes the general and public platform to raise small amounts of funds. Crowdfunding is the action that artists and designers use to promote their projects, program contents, original designs, and creative works to the public as well as to achieve their works by raising funds via the internet. In other words, it offers a platform for artists to display their products to the world, and to bring people together to support the works. People who are willing to support, participate and make purchases can help making the project successful as they would help artists with their budget. Setting a goal and collecting fundraising in advance can help artists and designers start their projects.

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Nowadays, the usage of technology is very important to the field of arts management.  In China, there is a new digital technology becoming popular among arts organizations: Taobao. It is reputed to hold an 80% share of China’s C2C market.

Taobao is a Chinese online shopping website funded by Alibaba in 2003, and it is similar to Amazon and eBay. They providing platforms for small business, entrepreneurs, and customers to open online stores, and their main market is Chinese-speaking regions. In 2016, Tmall (Taobao’s B2C platform) occupied 60% Chinese B2C Trading Platforms.

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Social Tables: A Time Saver for Event Planers

Social Tables ( is an online graphic design tool for event planners which established in 2006 and based in Washington, DC. The purpose is to make event plans and helps planners and professional event coordinators to work more easily and efficiently.

Although social Tables needs to freely sign up online, they provide three levels of pricing plans which are free for essential users, $99 a month for professional users, and $399 a month for advanced users. The fabulous tool for advanced planers is 3D rendering which can review in 3D version and set up a walk-through beginning and ending at the main entrance.
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Chorus Connection

Chorus Connection is an on-line cloud-based website providing one-stop solution for choruses. By logging into choruses’ accounts on the website through PC or mobile, choruses can manage rehearsals, performances, music scores, attendance rates, and even internal communications with members, etc. Chorus Connection charges a fee under a variety of subscription plans. These subscription fees are charged to the chorus, not the individual users associated with the Chorus. A free trial is available for choruses to experience it first hand before making any decisions. Chorus managers, after setting up an account, send invitations to members via Chorus Connection for them to register. Chorus Connection acts as not only a management tool for choral managers, but also a social platform for members, board members, or other stakeholders for internal communication.

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In this age of information, people can break the distinction between time and space to touch the top universities in the world through a massive open online course (MOOC). As the biggest platform of MOOC, Coursera is a for-profit educational technology company co-founded by Stanford University professor of computer science, Andrew Ng and Daphne Koller. It provides universal access to the world’s best education, partnering with top universities and organizations to offer courses online which includes courses in dozens of subjects such as natural sciences, humanities, culture and the arts. Some courses have to pay some courses charge fees. After the study is over, learners can get a certificate by paying a fee.

Pablo Berruecos. “Coursera”  2016. CURSOS GRATIS ONLINE.

There are only three museums collaborate with Coursera: Exploratorium, the American Museum of Natural History and the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). MoMA was the only art museum to be invited. (Here are the courses which provides by MoMA.) In 2013, they offered professional development opportunities for K-12 teachers all over the world. Whereafter,they provided free MOOCs “Seeing Through Photographs” and “In the Studio: Postwar Abstract Painting” which attracted tens of thousands of students. Because the MOOCs are offered on demand and learners can register at any time, MoMA will continue to activate them in different ways — broadcasting exhibition,  hosting Q&As and sharing resources and programs, which will be archived in the course as additional content. At any time, thousands of learners around the world, though they do not have shared physical classrooms, are still exchanging and discussing warmly at the MOOC Forum and evaluating each other’s final projects.

Although MOOCs are not yet widely used in art organizations, we can get some inspiration from MoMA examples. As digital technologies continue to grow, the arts organizations need to focus more than just marketing on social media. The arts education department also needs to keep up with the pace of the times, use modern information technology to expand its audience and make good use of its own resources to better achieve the mission of the organization.

Gallery interactive Using in Arts Museum

Information and details of the painting displayed on iPad
People use handheld devices to stand before paintings

The development technology over the past few years have brought the issue of how can technology enhance a visitor’s experience to forefront of the conversation. Nowadays, the application of handheld device in the museum is common thing for the audience. The use of handheld devices in museums has great potential, advantages including: variety of interpretation, engagement of visitors, outreach to new audiences, support for orientation and flexibility with content distribution.

Virtual Reality in Museums

Over the last decade virtual reality has become increasingly popular. Virtual reality is mostly used in the modern age for visual graphics and video game design

People using virtual reality headsets in an open space at the museum. This is allowing new insight to the exhibits and allowing the patrons to be involved with the art around them.
Melanie Joly. VR and AR in Museums. 2016, May 11. VR Life News.

companies and they are constantly enhancing it to give people a much richer experience. It is a tool that allows people to be immersed in a world that is not the one they live in. To make VR possible there are some specific tools needed which include visual and audio designs, this is developed the same way animation or video games are created. This is processed through a headset which act like a thick pair of goggles, there are some replacements for this like the PC itself, or mobile applications. The only downside to that is the lack of “in world” living you get from the headset. The headphones which process the audio are also vital. The finally piece of the VR puzzle is the handset controllers, this is an optional piece as well, and may vary based on how the virtual reality is being used. VR uses state of the art 360 degree projections and visual aids to create a digital world for the user.

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