Opinion: The guy who wrote “Why I hate museums” is not lazy, uncultured, vapid, or unintelligent

Natural History Museum London by Flickr user kevandotorg

Museums SHOULD be about enlightenment, inspiration, or quiet reflection.

Museums should NOT be about fun and entertainment.

Frankly, I’m a bit sick of these blanket pronouncements, from both sides of the aisle. While CNN’s opinion piece “Why I Hate Museums” laments how boring museums are, the New York Times bit “High Culture Goes Hands-On” rails against not just people having fun in museums but even people having a shred of “engagement” in museums.  You can see more examples of black and white arguments about what museums should and shouldn’t be (and what “good” and “bad” visitors are) in the comments on the CNN article and in letters to the NYTimes editor. Continue reading

Engaging Visitors with Social Media

WebWise workshop presentation cover

What outcomes are you hoping to achieve with social media?
Are your social media practices engaging online communities to their greatest potential?
How do you know if you are achieving your goals?
How can you take your social media initiatives to the next level?

These four key questions were explored during the “Engaging Visitors with Social Media” workshop I presented at the IMLS WebWise Conference (March 6, 2013).

Participants saw and heard about:

  • Inspirational case studies from inside and outside the museum and library sectors
  • Pursuing marketing, education, crowdsourcing, and advocacy goals through social media
  • Organizational models for social media management
  • Optimizing social content through data analysis
  • Taking your efforts to the next level with a paid-earned-owned mix of activities

We discussed and brainstormed about:

  • Defining the value and goals of social media for your organization
  • Identifying desired outcomes
  • Setting the right tone and voice for your organization
  • Overcoming fear and risk-aversion

Hands-on activities helped us explore:

  • How content goes viral
  • Connecting social tools to organizational strategy and capabilities
  • Determining which social media platforms are right for your target audiences and goals

Platforms covered included:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • Pinterest
  • Wikipedia
  • Vine

View the presentation on Slideshare.