Webpick of the Week – OnInnovation: Visionaries thinking out loud

The Henry Ford Museum has been collecting America’s stories of innovation since 1929. Recognizing the power of the content and collections they hold, this site extends the institution’s mission to advance a culture of innovation in the U.S.

To continue to spark and spur the spirit of innovation for new generations, a Topics & Playlists section allows the staff to curate video playlists on specific issues such as the future of transportation, hiring practices and teaching innovation. In America Invents visitors can post personal videsos sharing glimpses into their workshops. The heart of the site, however, is an extensive video library that enables visitors to curate their own experience. The library spans many industry sectors including design, energy and environment, communications, food and agriculture, social innovation, and transportation and racing. In addition to the videos, there are photo galleries and additional links and resources associated with each person featured. Users can find answers to questions posed to leading American innovators the likes of Steve Wozniak (Apple), Bill Gates (Microsoft), Mitchell Baker (Mozilla Foundation) and Don Chadwick (designer of Herman Miller’s Aeron chair).

The navigation quickly connects users with the video content, as well as innovator stories and search tools allow users to easily scan content in whatever way is most comfortable (by titles, tags, transcripts or video descriptions). It’s an interface that allows visitors to quickly compare and contrast thoughts from various leading thinkers on an broad range of topics—from the Model T to life on Mars.

• The public beta was launched in February 2010. In October, a major content and functionality update was launched that supports educational outreach programs that are providing the tools and resources that teachers need to incorporate the content into their classrooms.

• There are over 400 individual HD video chapters created from the hours of interviews with the innovators currently on the site. With nearly 30 interviews completed, the likes of Martha Stewart, Bobby Unser and Gordon Moore will be added over the course of 2011.

• An interactive transcript tool allows users to search the text of individual video chapters and jump directly to any moment within a video.

• CTC Productions conducted and directed the interviews and Michelle Andonian Photography provided photography and highlight video production.
Credits: openfieldcreative.com
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