Interview with Associate Susanne Schuur from the Jewish Museum Berlin, the largest museum of its kind in whole Europe.
What is most fascinating about your museum?
“Most visitors would say: The Libeskind-Building and its interweaving of history and architecture, including the axes, the Garden of Exile, and the powerful voids.”
Why should people come and visit?
“Many people think we’re a Holocaust museum, but we’re not! In our exhibitions, we show a broad spectrum of historic, cultural, religious and philosophic aspects from the beginnings of Judaism until today. For all art lovers, we show some temporary art installations and for those who are interested in current debates and cultural events we offer a diverse program.”
What is new about the accompanying chat guide?
“The WhatsApp guide Ada is a fabulous addition to our educational service. It is the quickest, easiest free-of charge way to receive infos and background stories to our topics – in a new, entertaining manner. The visitors do not have to rent a hardware or download an app, they only add a new mobile number in the address book of their smartphone – and – taddaa – the conversation with Ada can start. As a lot of people communicate via Whatsapp we reach our visitors through a familiar medium.
I also love that our visitors have something to take away home: the content leaves in the chat so that everyone can read or listen to it also after the visit. Although the chat format only allows smaller portions of text we can also convey serious topics such as the pursuit of German jews during the period of National Socialism. The user decides himself how deep he wants to dig into the topic.
In other words: Ada is a virtual guide on your smartphone.”
What is your feedback from the visitors so far?
“We have just launched, so we still wait for our first feedback. The visitors like to be guided in our museum as we offer many different guide concepts. And we always like to test new formats. ”
What are your next plan?
“With the opening of the new permanent exhibition 2020, we start our multimedia museumsguide with many interactive features. If a chatbot will be one of them is something we want to test. The feedback from the visitors is most relevant for us – so we are excited about the reactions. ”
The virtual chatguide ADA can be used until spring 2020.