Modern Technology, what do you think?   13 comments

So I need some help and some input please. With nearly 2000 fans on the Facebook page and around 15,000 hits so far on the blog, I’d like to give you the opportunity to help shape a decision I have to take.

Modern technology is advancing at a rapid rate of knots and in this age of electronic communication, it’s often difficult to decide between good initiatives and bad. There is no doubt that today it is much easier for organisations like ours to communicate with our global audience and customers, but how much is too much?

I have the opportunity to introduce a new service at Eilean Donan, but would really appreciate any input you might have before I proceed.

There is now a service which would allow visitors to Eilean Donan, for a relatively small charge to download an “electronic guidebook” application on the castle to their mobile phone, ipod or similar portable electronic device.  Potentially, our visitors could download this facility either before they arrive with us, or do it once on site.

The application could give an overview of the castle’s history and heritage, an outline of specific points or items of interest inside the walls, and any other information of interest that visitors might find useful. It may be less comprehensive than our official guidebook, but it would potentially sit very comfortably alongside it for those that don’t want to end their holiday with a tidy pile of assorted guidebooks from a variety of different locations or attractions.

The great unknown quantity is, just how big an uptake would the initiative produce. Is this something you yourself might use, or is it a step too far?

Any constructive input would be very gratefully received!

Posted January 14, 2011 by eileandonan in News

13 responses to “Modern Technology, what do you think?

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  1. I think it is a terrific idea! When we toured Scotland we found it difficult to research everything about every place we were going to stop, much less remember which detail fit which castle or palace or battleground. Our time was usually limited and so we often didn’t get to read everything which would have enhanced our visit until after we’d gone and poured through brochures and booklets. Even the informational display at the castle was difficult to read because of the number of people there trying to read it at the same time.

    Having the information available in advance and while visiting the castle in electronic form would be wonderful!

    I vote: It’s a Great Idea

  2. Ok, so here’s the thing, I am one of those people who lug around a suitcase full of guidebooks, so I’ve recently started researching the electronic travel books to find out if our iPad/iPhones could do the job efficiently. I’ll be looking for “features”. Could your downloadable guide have an audio tour option? I love audio tours, especially if they have little interesting tidbits that you don’t get in the written literature. This would make a purchase price eminently more acceptable, in this age of value for money you need to make sure that people are getting a little something extra since by the time they arrive in Dornie chances are they’re already clutching a generic Scotland guidebook in their grubby wee paws.

  3. Definately go with it! I just turned 55 and I am the tech coordinator of a small county school, considering those 2 things my advice is that the future success of any business venture is in being accessible to the young folks, who are looking down at the iphones and droids firstly and then up and out to the world secondly. It’s also about exposure, my sister who is 48 years of age downloads apps to her iphone at a blinding rate, so put ED on the virtual map as it were. I am also assuming there is some revenue generated there as well for Ed, so that can’t hurt either.



  4. I’m not sure which service you’re referring to, but I have downloaded podcasts before about places I’ve already been to as well as places I hope to visit sometime in the future.
    Rick Steves, Neil Oliver and others do walking tours that you can download to your mp3 player and play as you’re walking around different cities/places. Colonial Williamsburg (USA) has a massive series of “behind the scenes” podcasts that go into greater depth than a guided tour ever could.

    All of these I found very entertaining and informative, and I would recommend them to anyone. That being said, they were all free to download, making them no-risk to me. I don’t know that I would have tried them if there was a charge for them, even if it was a VERY minimal one.

    I don’t know if the subjects of these podcasts made enough tangible money off me ’til I actually got there, but they put a little more weight behind my decision to visit, and have increased my desire to revisit. They’ve kept the places they describe on my mind, and on my lips as I talk about those places to my friends. (and don’t underestimate the charm a lovely Scottish dialect has on some people, me included)

    I don’t know if this long-winded reply has helped any, but it’s my 2 cents on the subject.

  5. I would LOVE it!! I think it’s a great idea


  6. Great idea! And I agree with my lovely wife that including this as part of an audio tour would be killer!

    We recently visited a restaurant that had their wine list on an iPad. You could peruse the list and select your wine automatically. The waiter told me that the novelty factor had increased wine sales!
    Not directly related to your question but a data point on techonlogy increasing sales. Perhaps you also add the option to purchase items from your gift shop?

  7. I think it is a great idea and it would have been nice when I visited there summer of 2009! I believe it would be very educational and help to enjoy the castle if you already knew the background history before arriving! I just love your castle! Good work and I hope you are feeling well after the problems you had this winter.

  8. Great idea, I also love the idea of an audio tour that can be downloaded. Have something for free and something that can be bought for a very small price, I would have no problem paying no more than say 2 pound. You can also add it to your admission price I suppose, different admission prices depending on what you are offering. I am also in my 50’s, but do like technology.

  9. Hi, a good idea for all the previous points. But had you thought of adding on the facilitie to buy entry tickets in advance ? As you know it can get busy at the ticket desk.

  10. I think this is an excellent idea …
    But a few thoughts
    a. I suspect that there is not brilliant coverage for all networks at ED – so would it be need to be downloadable in advance? If so, would a videopodcast / series of videocasts be available beforehand?
    b. Keep the videos short – perhaps one or two minutes on a specific issue.
    c. Which platform? iPhone? Android? etc.
    d. If iPhone, remember to leave out Flash.
    e. Would the app allow you to select level? i.e. child, adult
    f. Would this videopodcast address access issues for those unable to get to the upper levels?

    This is a welcome idea – and I look forward to using it!

  11. i think is is a brillaint idea, although not sure i would use it myself, preferin the house cluttered wi books! lol however any way that encourages people to learn history n’ knowledge has to be a good thing! whether thats books, re-enactments or usin technology! go for it i say n good luck! 😉

  12. I’d love to be able to download something that would allow me to experience a place I may never have the opportunity to visit in person!

  13. This is a perfect plan. I am excited, It will be worth the time ,and effort! Eilean Donan is my favorite Castle! In a world of Castles..Thank you for your web site and blogg.


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