The news here for most people is probably that the Museum of Modern Art has launched a free iPhone app, giving users access to it’s huge collection of modern and contemporary art and a slew of other tools. After all, that’s the headline of the organization’s press release and it is big news, especially considering all that it allows users to do. Smart.

But what I find awesome about it is how it encourages user-generated content, and then turns around and rewards the user for their efforts with something tangible, useful and that they will probably find quite intriguing.  Here is the excerpt from the release that I found most exciting:

As a useful companion for visits to the Museum, the MoMA App offers users a chance to snap photos inside the Museum and send them as postcards

I think that’s pretty neat. I do wonder though if there were any internal discussions about that feature potentially stealing revenue from the gift shop where I’m sure they actually *sell* postcards. But it’s good to see that it didn’t hinder this cool feature if it did surface as an issue. We are all using our mobile devices as content generating machines. It’s good to see someone leverage that in a way that’s helpful.

Good job Museum of Modern Art.

Here’s the complete release:

MoMA Launches Free iPhone App on App Store

Access The Museum’s Renowned Collection, Exhibitions, Events, and More Through iPhone and iPod touch

NEW YORK, Aug. 12 /PRNewswire/ — The Museum of Modern Art today announces that the MoMA App is now available on the App Store. The new application for the iPhone and iPod touch provides users with instant access to 32,000 works of art in the Museum’s vast collection of modern and contemporary art; a dictionary of art terms and a database of artist bios; calendar information for exhibitions, film screenings, and events; and a variety of audio tours, including special tours for children, teens, and the visually impaired. As a useful companion for visits to the Museum, the MoMA App offers users a chance to snap photos inside the Museum and send them as postcards, and allows visitors to select tracks from their own music libraries to listen to while touring the Museum. The application’s highly engaging visual interface was designed in-house, and when used with the new iPhone 4G and its high resolution and retina display, artworks can be viewed in the highest possible quality. The MoMA App is available as a free download from the App Store, and follows the spring 2010 release of the Museum’s first e-book app Vincent van Gogh: The Starry Night.

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