A guide to conversations about museums, technology, and education on Twitter.
Yesterday I participated in the LGBTQ Wikipedia Editathon hosted at the National Archives. With the awful shooting in Orlando just days ago, it felt more urgent than ever to contribute to making the diversity of American history more public, more accessible, and more human.
In addition to offering utilitarian helper pages for people who land on an old or broken link, cultural organizations have an opportunity to have a little fun with their collections on their 404 pages. So, I asked for examples and the museum technology community delivered!
This mini unconference was hosted at MCN 2015 by myself, Phillippa Pitts, Jennifer Poleon, Margaret Sternbergh, and Jessica Warchall.
We started out with a quick #musesocial year in review, recapping top hashtags, trends, and challenges from the recent past. Next, we broke out into a mini un-conference based on social media topics the attendees selected for smaller group discussion. We took this chance to debate, discuss, and find ways to work together! Finally, we regrouped to discuss some of the key threads from our breakout groups with a focus on resources, solutions, and project ideas for us to collaborate on in the coming year.
Watch on YouTube (Note: audio only)
In this case study presented at MCN 2015, I discussed the National Gallery of Art’s innovative approach to developing serial content for social media as illustrated through the #ArtAtoZ initiative.
Every two weeks, the Gallery explored a new topic in art (i.e., asymmetry, brushstroke, color, and drawing) across multiple social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest). This focus on broad topics allowed the Gallery to leverage its extensive permanent collections as well as draw upon a diverse array of staff expertise including curatorial, education, archives, conservation, and horticulture. The “A to Z” concept also afforded museum staff the ability to plan up to a year ahead, as the set of 26 topics was set at the beginning of the year. The added benefit of this structure was the ability to collaborate with other institutions and build momentum over time. From the perspective of the social media user, one was invited to dig deeply into a given topic over the course of two weeks rather than receive seemingly random bits of information each day.
Social media followers were encouraged to engage with the broad theme in myriad ways included guided looking, guessing games, and challenges to respond creatively. In this talk, I shared findings from ongoing evaluation of the initiative, including what we learned about optimizing content in order to generate the most conversation, sharing, and other engagement.
Last month, I took my first girls’ weekend trip away since my daughter was born a year ago. I found myself relaxing in a lovely lake house (expected), sipping wine (expected), and talking, talking, talking for hours on end (expected) about how to “tidy” my house (utterly unexpected!).
While Medium has been around for a few years I get the sense that it has recently begun to pick up speed. Perhaps you recall January’s viral hit “A teenager’s view on social media (written by an actual teen)”? Or maybe you’ve been following the CODE | WORDS publication with contributors from the museum technology community like Rob Stein, Michael Edson, and Merete Sanderhoff?
I was thrilled when I was asked to provide introductory remarks to this month’s DASER discussion on the topic of “Museums in the Digital Age.” DASER—D.C. Art Science Evening Rendezvous—is a monthly discussion forum about the intersection of art and science.)
I’m taking part in the Milwaukee Art Museum’s “Hangout with Art” online course. Unlike other MOOCs I have participated in (e.g., MoMA’s “Art and Inquiry” on Coursera), this one relies on Twitter and Google+ for sharing and discussion. I felt like I needed more space for my assignments and a “home” for them . . . hence this blog post.
For nearly a decade, museums have been using social media to communicate and connect with the public. As social media become more ubiquitous in museums and ingrained in our visitors’ everyday lives, old questions reemerge: How can a cultural institution best connect with a variety of audiences online?