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Questions for Consumers

Why Mused?

We love museums. We realized that other people would love them as much as we did if they knew more about them. They just need to find the kind of museums that match their interests and expectations. But discovering museums online was difficult -- old, boring, clunky directories of museums that didn't offer any customization or personalization and had incredibly outdated information. We built Mused to make it easy to find great museums, exhibits, and activities -- to get people out of their homes and into these awesome cultural offerings -- having a fun time along the way.

Read more about Mused and our mission.

But I'm not a "museum person" why would Mused interest me?

There is a market of "non-museum people" who love to learn, enjoy history, appreciate art, and like to discover interesting places. They don't see themselves as the "museum kind" -- and that's OK. Our argument is that finding the right museums can make all the difference. Everyone enjoys different qualities and types of food for their meals; museums offer that same level of distinction and choice.

Is a zoo or garden a museum?

In our definition of museum, a zoo is a "museum of live animals" and a garden is a "museum of living plants, shrubs, and trees". There are a ton of cultural and heritage places that you love that you might not realize are actually museums! For example, there are museums all about stamps, toys, cartoons, trains, boats, architecture, and yes, even skulls. We also recognize locations of significant historical value, such as the homes and birthplaces of famous people or contributors to society.

This all boils down to a common misconception that museums are only the "stuffy educational, quiet, stiff art museums" that they grew up visiting in their childhood. I'm happy to report that there is an exciting world of museums out there, and even the art museums have made considerable efforts to be more engaging, relevant, and fun.

It is one of our goals to change your concept of what a museum is and what they can offer.

What does Mused cost?

Nothing, it's completely FREE! We use to charge for our iPhone app, but we are soon releasing an amazing new app and we plan to release it for free as well. We plan to eventually make money with strategic partnerships and premium services for museums. You will never have to pay for anything.

I have already been to my local museums, will this help me?

Absolutely. You can discover smaller, more hidden museums that you might have in your area that you had no idea existed. You can also find historical buildings and locations that aren't as elaborate or extensive as full blown museums but offer just as much charm, history, and artistic value. And whenever you travel to lesser known locations, you are bound to discover museums nearby.

Why would I contribute reviews, tips, or photos?

It is your chance to give back. While there are other places to leave reviews on businesses, Mused is hyperfocused on museums. By providing your feedback you are directly helping other people who are looking for great museums near them. Reviews also serve as helpful feedback to the museums who otherwise might be tempted to ignore a private email (though if you do experience a problem at a museum, we highly recommend you give them the opportunity to resolve it first directly).

How can I submit a museum that is missing?

How cool of you to think of us and the other users on the platform! You may suggest a museum and we will review your submission. Then, to adhere to our strict data policy, we will conduct some additional research to ensure all of the information is accurate, identify missing content (such as hours, pricing, etc), and finally publish it to the directory.

Questions for Museums

What are the advantages to being listed in the Mused database?

We are sending new consumers to museums discovered on the Mused Platform. If a museum isn't listed then Mused users are not able to discover it. Users are performing actions in relation to a museum, such as checkins, saving to lists, following, writing reviews, and uploading photos. As users do this their friends and followers are seeing these activities. This also encourages those additional users to evaluate the museum and consider making their own actions.

More importantly, as Mused becomes a centralized platform, we can ensure that museum information is accurate and up to date. This information will be distributed to our website, mobile applications, and to third-party applications via the Mused Platform API. Being listed will make a museum visible to all of these applications and products.

By making Mused fun and engaging, we are accessing a whole new market of young, technology-savvy consumers looking to explore and define themselves. Being listed on Mused gives you access to that. You are excited for an influx of new visitors and members, right?

Where do you get the museum data for the Mused database?

We research, hand gather and manually submit all information you see on Mused. None of it was collected in an automated fashion by scripts or programs, and none of it was taken from other directories directly. We value our museum partners too much to allow outdated information make its way into our database. This manual process ensures that we get the information from an authoritative place (such as the museum's website or on location).

Additionally, some of our partners (museums, museum associations, chamber of commerce, regional heritage initiatives, governments) provide this information to us for import. Upon submission, we still manually review all information, and conduct the research to find the missing information (often social networks, hours, and pricing).

For example, we have partnered with the National Register of Historic Places to receive a large quantity of heritage locations. Since their data feed is very slim and only contains limited information, we use it as a hint submission and process each, one by one, to find the bulk of the information on our own.

We believe this makes us the most comprehensive, most useful, and more accurate museum database in existence.

What is the Mused Platform API?

An API, also known as an Application Programming Interface, is commonly used to connect different organizations (and systems in those organizations) together. The Mused Platform API allows our partners to extract data from our database for use in their own applications. We are still in the process of formalizing this API, but we do expect to release it sometime in the near future.

What does it cost to be listed in the Mused database?

Absolutely nothing, it is FREE to be listed. In our attempt to be the most comprehensive source of museum data and information, we recognize and value that all museums should be listed and available to all consumers to discover and visit. It is free to submit, list and maintain the following information:

  • Museum Listings (including descriptions, hours, prices, etc)
  • Exhibits
  • Events
  • Blogs
  • Photos (with some limitations)
  • Deals (from third-party sites such as Groupon and LivingSocial)

In order to build a sustainable business, we expect to offer you some optional premium services that will give you extended marketing capabilities, statistics of actions carried out with your museum by Mused users, and a line of technology products that will make user visits to the museum more engaging and memorable.

How did our museum get listed on Mused?

Chances are high that one of our founders or data experts researched, collected, and listed your museum on Mused. Due to the nature of our data policy, this is a time consuming process that takes patience and attention to details.

It is also very likely that either a Mused user or a member of your staff suggested the museum to us.

Can I use the Mused database?

With permission and partnership, we are willing to provide API access to some of our data. However, we do have some restrictions (such as against storing/caching the data, claiming the data as your own, etc) and we will publish our API policy in the near future.

Scraping our website to gather this data is strictly prohibited. We have respected everyone else's websites by not scraping or stealing their information, so we are hopeful you will be too. We have put considerable time, effort and financial investments into making this premium database and platform.

Does that mean you will allow third-party applications using your API?

That's right! We want to encourage you to build your own applications or products using the Mused Platform API. Early partners will need to contact us about this, but we plan to release a public API later this year so you can integrate with it. We will announce our developer website that will include a way for you to get an API key for your application.

Can I bulk upload our museum's exhibits or events?

We will be releasing a museum management website that will allow you to adjust your museum's listing. On this site you will be able to bulk manage your exhibits and events. You will also be able to upload photos of the exhibits so that users can discover just how incredible your exhibits are.

Can I offer incentives and rewards to your users?

We will announce more information about the possibility of this in the near future. We expect that active users of the platform will earn points for their actions and loyalty, and these points can be spent on admission tickets and memberships. We are still working out the details of this feature.