@MarDixon

Passionate about culture. Champion for the next generation of Cultural visitors. Defender of Libraries. Digital, Wearable Tech Enthusiast. Sharing knowledge. Troublemaker and/or advocate, depending on what you need.
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    December 20th, 2015mardixonCulture, International

    UPDATE: @52Museums is fully booked for 2016 but there is a waiting list and planning 2017 already. 

    52Museums-8A few weeks ago I was on Instagram and noticed how my friend Chris Webb’s project 52Quilters was still going strong and growing. The object is simple: once a week someone takes over the Instagram, Twitter and Blog account and shares their experience on being a quilter.

    I went to sleep and woke up at 5am with one of those moments – this could work for museums. By 9am @52Museums was happening. Well I say happening, the accounts were created and a Google Form for sign up was made. There has been a few mistakes made along the way (like I should have created a form that only allowed one week to be chosen or any week as it turned into a logistic nightmare) but thankfully, museums are brilliant at adapting to changes (no seriously!!).

    The final schedule still isn’t final as over 80 museums have signed up. Museums are collaborating with other museums either via similar collections, cities or a fun challenge.

    This project is all about museum(s) sharing anything they want for the week on Instagram. Every museum that signed up is going to help engage with the account for the year – so local museums will get the same support as the nationals.

    Feel free to get involved, either with questions, likes, favorites or discussions. Read the rest of this entry »

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    February 5th, 2016mardixonInternational, Personal, Tech
    Credit: Paul Clarke https://www.flickr.com/photos/paul_clarke

    Credit: Paul Clarke https://www.flickr.com/photos/paul_clarke

    NHS Hackday has been going for 3 years but this was their 12th hack. The concept is simple enough: bring people together that care about the NHS and want to make changes. Like most hacks, the difficulty is finding the balance of techy and developers vs people who have ideas.

    As Open Community Lab is trying to expand outside of a museum focus (but still have our museum remixes), Mark Macleod and I went along to learn. This was the first time I was a participant and what an eye opener!

    The format is similar:

    • You mingle
    • You pitch (if you want to)
    • You decide what team you want to be on
    • You work your butt off all weekend to create something.

    That was the easy part. What I didn’t appreciate was the amount of NHS staff that would come with very specific issues they deal with on a daily basis and changes they want to make but don’t know how to go about it. Without a medical background (other than a frequent visitor due to being blessed with clumsiness) I thought I’d be out of my depth. However, each prototype or team needs a person that can help ground the ideas with ‘people experience’.

    Read the rest of this entry »

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    January 27th, 2016mardixonCulture, International, Personal, Tech

    SAFETY-ZONEThere have been a few conversations that keep repeating themselves over the past few months (in some cases years) on social media.  What are your thoughts on these topics?

    Remix
    I’m involved with a fabulous community that loves to remix. But what does remix mean? For Open Community Lab and MuseomixUK it means creating prototypes to bridge the gap between museums vs everywhere else. At the heart though is real change in thinking. It’s much more than prototypes.

    We as a sector have to believe that the powers to be want meaningful changes that the general public is going to appreciate and want to support.

    Hours
    closedI’m on record several times with my feeling of the trend of museums moving from academia to emotive. What does that mean? There’s the obvious one that museums as a research center is skewed a bit now that we have powerful computers on our smartphones. We (the public) want more storytelling (emotive). You know what else we want? Access to visit when we’re not working.

    Read the rest of this entry »

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    January 22nd, 2016mardixonCulture, International
    Koons #MuseumSelfie

    Koons #MuseumSelfie

    Well that was another fun one!  Every year I promise myself that I’ll keep track of everything but then the day starts and I barely remember to eat.  This is when I’m so thankful to everyone else who is organized and help track the day. Something I noticed this year, a lot more Directors and staff got involved – some with the public!

    Stats and Numbers:

    Ciaran Blumenfeld, Founder of Hashtracking was extremely generous and ran reports for both Twitter and Instagram this year.  She has asked her team to back track the Instagram data for the past 3 years (don’t think you can do this with Twitter).

    Lets start with Instagram. Although there was a @MuseumSelfieDay account on Instagram for 2015 there was a significant rise in that platform this year. Read the rest of this entry »

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    January 18th, 2016mardixonCulture, International

    Screen Shot 2016-01-18 at 14.28.33[EDIT TO UPDATE FOR 2016]

    This post has been re-purposed from another one created in 2014

    #MuseumSelfie day is on January 20, 2015
    Twitter: @MuseumsSelfie Day
    Instagram: MuseumSelfieDay
    Hashtag #MuseumSelfie
    See CultureThemes write up: It’s back! #MuseumSelfie Day on January 20th @MuseumSelfieDay official account

     Objective:  A day to share selfies either in museums or around museums.  These can be on the day or ones from previous visits.  This is a FUN DAY to encourage people to visit museums and participate a bit with art or collections.  

    On January 20, CultureThemes is running #Museumselfie.  I’ve been asked what it is all about so thought I’d explain the background a bit (borrowed from previous post in 2014/15):

    I’m a Cultural Snatcher – I can’t help it!  I take after my mom who is never without a camera (remember Kodak Disc?  I do.).  When I visit and explore a museum, I love sharing what I’m seeing.  While I’m not a huge fan of taking pictures of myself, I can see why people like a good old selfie.

    CultureThemes is a monthly hashtag I help create on Twitter. The idea behind CultureThemes is to have a positive event once a month on Twitter to highlight the fun and ‘unstuffiness’ of museums/culture.  Previous tags included: #WhyILoveMuseums, #MusSocks, #MusMovember, #AskACurator day and more.  We’re also behind @52Museums which you should check out if you haven’t heard about it.

    The idea is simple, people around the world have been asked to take selfies at museums for the past month and they will share on Twitter/Instagram using #MuseumSelfie on January 20th.  The pictures could be current or from previous trips. Tag the museum if you remember!

    So if you’re visiting a museum this weekend, make sure you take a #MuseumSelfie and share with @CultureThemes this Wednesday!

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    December 30th, 2015mardixonCulture, International, Tech

    trend_cventI was desperately trying to avoid the cliché of an end of the year post but more discussions and articles, such as this one from Wired has prompted me to ask on several social media channels (and as I write this, I’m watching yet another tv program on buying habits from 2015):

    Tis the season – let’s talk ‪#‎MuseumTrends.

    For me:

    • Better tech (see retail)
    • Seamless engagement 
    • Academia to emotive storytelling
    • More collaboration and sharing of collections (online/offline)
    • [Edit to add] Citizen Museums – with so many closures, will the general public start taking ownership of collections?

    You?

    Screen Shot 2015-12-30 at 20.39.43Before I get into the responses it’s important for those that don’t know that I often speak about paying attention to trends in my talks at conferences. The museum sector might pay attention to tech but are ignoring rich resources like retail and publishing who also deal with ‘general’ public/audience. The reason I’m adding this is because while I’m doing this at the end of the year, it’s something we should pay attention to year round.  ‘

    What we’re *not* buying is just as important as what we are buying.’ – John Lewis Buyer.  

    The tv program I’m watching right now has mentioned the shift of traditional marketing and PR and how quickly it is changing. For example, one product that was featured on a top TV morning program received minimal sales increase but one tweet from a known celebrity meant sales went through the roof. This also shows the importance of social media as a trend we need to keep talking about and not assume everyone knows how to use it properly…

    I’d also like to preference that I feel some took the question of ‘trends’ to mean ‘what I personally want’ but that’s ok! It’s something we can all explore.

    Read the rest of this entry »

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    December 8th, 2015mardixonCulture, International, Tech

    Screen Shot 2015-12-08 at 19.20.19As many know, I was asked to be Artists-in-residence at MuseumQuartiers thanks to the invite from eSel. While I had to do a few conferences in Budapest, Spain, etc, I managed to have a very good time ­­learning, explore and meeting people in Vienna.

    ESEL – do tremendous work promoting culture not just in MuseumQuartiers where they are based but for Vienna. If you’re not following them already – do it now!

    I talked to many directors, PR/Marketing and social media museum people to try to encourage them to try to get a dialog going once a month (like DrinksThing). The importance of meeting at a café and pub was stressed but they’ll have to determine what works best for them.

    The other concept was for them to get on social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) to allow the international tourist a platform to be able to share (many only have Facebook).

    I’ve addressed other questions on this MuseumQuartiers Blog with Margit Moer

    Read the rest of this entry »

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    November 22nd, 2015mardixonCulture, International, Tech

    MuseumCampPoster6Today I held MuseumCamp as part of the Vienna Art Week. While it was a small, intimate group we managed to cover many topics and eat A LOT of cupcakes! First and foremost I have to thank eSel (in particular eSeLat) for the invite to be Artists in Residence and showcase MuseumCamp during Vienna Art Week.

    Topics:

    Social Media: In Vienna – the uptake to social media is slow. While the public may or may not be using it, the museums seem to be using it for PR/marketing many and to chat to other museums. Not sure where the public comes in but the good news is they seem to recognize it and want to change! For example, as stated by Jennie Carvill ‘engagement in twitter initiatives like #Askacurator or the like is still also largely lacking.’ Is that due to the museums or the public? I’m still not sure.

    Hashtags: Another topic was the use of signage in museums to encourage sharing. While at Albertina Museum and Leopold Museum I saw they are great with the signage, but not everyone is sharing. In some museum the reasons are similar – no wifi due to signal issues in the thick (or metal!) walls. But we discussed ways to encourage more participation. I shared Andrew Lewis’ newest case study as an example. And talked about Pompidou #KoonSelfie signage (and the use of a book competition to encourage sharing).

    QR Codes: When the topic of new technology came up, it was mentioned that some museums tried 3 years ago with QR codes but many of the public had no idea what they were or how to use. However, now that the advertisers are using them more on posters/signs in the streets, it might be worthwhile to try again on a small exhibition.

    Periscope: We discussed how many museums / galleries allow for pictures that maybe they can start to implement Periscope into their sharing. As someone who uses Periscope, I was glad to learn that perhaps there is a way to capture the comments and hearts also which is a great benefit!

    IMG_2932Building Communities: One of the difficulties I’ve personally seen in Vienna is the struggle to gain trust with communities. As Vienna is small, many people attend events as a group. It’s hard for an individual to ‘break that cycle’. This spills over to museum/art gallery people. They don’t tend to attend events or conferences to network. I’ve visited museums (and shared along the way) and attended many Vienna Art Week events and tried to introduce myself to new people and while they were always polite the conversation never led anywhere. To be honest, it was a bit frustrating as I probably attended more events that weren’t related to my work but the social integration was closed.

    I talked about DrinksThing and as a way to break the communication barriers. As Will Stanley and I know, it isn’t always a first time success but over time, if they are consistent I’m sure it’ll grow. While there were a few examples mentioned of Tweetups for museum people – they seem to give up a bit too earlier. DrinksThings did not take off over night and some nights it was only 3 people who showed. But we were consistent in a monthly event and soon gained the trust of others. However, it’s vital that people in Vienna find the right platform for communications (DrinksThing is twitter and Attending.io based but perhaps Facebook group is more practical here). I noticed that newsletter were stronger in their way to communicate.

    We also discussed stARTcamp Wien which happens in Vienna on December 10. It’s a barcamp like MuseumCamp. They to have the issues of people to attend and know why/how it’s important. I’m hoping to be able to support them more in furture.

    Read the rest of this entry »

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    November 19th, 2015mardixonCulture, International

    Love Theatre Day 2.0Just a quick update to thank everyone who took part in #LoveTheatreDay.  Here are some stats shared by TwitterUK (our – CultureThemes – partner along with Guardian Culture Professional Network).

    — 90K total Tweets mentioning #LoveTheatreDay related terms, in the 24 hour period. (Note this is more than double last year where there were 40K).

    Screen Shot 2015-11-18 at 11.58.34— Trended top in the UK all day, and was in the top 10 worldwide all day (as high as 2nd). Also trended in France, USA, Italy.

    — More than 500 theatres, venues, amateur groups, industry bodies etc from 10+ countries worldwide took part.

    — Highest share of conversation about the day was in:

    1) UK
    2) USA
    3) France
    4) Canada
    5) Phillipines

    While there were many ‘favorite’ moments – I was personally touched by @ComedieFR (Comédie Française) in France who tweeted to discuss the recent events and illustrate how important it is to keep enjoying theatre and why/how the show must go on. Thank you.

    There were also many touching moments when theatres were talking to each other – many from different countries.

    The use of periscope grew a lot this year also. I managed to catch a few and it made me feel like I was there (and not in a flat in Vienna).

    Below is are new items shared from TwitterUK: Reverb and Twitter Moments (not in UK yet but coming soon!)


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    October 19th, 2015mardixonCulture, International

    lovetheatreScreen Shot 2015-10-19 at 16.52.14This year #LoveTheatreDay is going to be bigger and better – how do I know? From the amazing response we had last year going World Trending.

    How #LoveTheatreDay Works

    Throughout the day, we encourage everyone to tweet using #LoveTheatreDay and say why they love theatres.  This is open for the general public of course but we want people who have been (or are in) am dram productions to also tweet and share.  I also asked museums and galleries to share their collection that is theatre related and publishers to share books related to theatres.

    During the day, we have 3 sub-hashtags (please note, it’s more important to have #LoveTheatreDay then the sub-hashtags):

    • #BackStage (10am-12pm) will offer audiences and other arts professionals a glimpse into how a production comes together in the weeks and months leading up to the big night.
    • #AskATheatre (3-5pm) will offer a unique opportunity for theatre aficionados and aspiring actors to hear first-hand from the individuals and groups that make the magic happen.
    • #Showtime (7-10pm) will give those who can’t make it to a theatre the chance to sit in the “virtual stalls” to experience the a performance, or several, via Twitter.

    The most important message for me is, like museums, theatres do SO much within their community that goes un-noticed.  With further cuts looming, lets highlight all the brilliant work that is done outside of the 2 hours show.  Theatres worldwide work with kids, teens, adults and older generation. The community outreach is amazing.

    rscdream2016We’d also like to spotlight the amateur dramatic groups that help facilitate the love and joy of theatre to so many people. For example, The Royal Shakespeare Company in Strafford-Upon-Avon is currently working on an exciting project with 14 amateur groups. Their website states:

    A Midsummer Night’s Dream: A Play for the Nation sees the Royal Shakespeare Company working with 13 partner theatres, 84 amateur performers and 580 schoolchildren, alongside 18 professional actors and the creative team for a major tour of A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream.

    How wonderful to see a connection from amateurs to professionals!

    We’d love to hear from everyone involved in theatre – whether it’s with the 3 hashtags or general #LoveTheatreDay tag. To sign up please see our form here on this Guardian Cultural Pro article. And don’t forget to follow #LoveTheatreday, @CultureThemes, @GdnCulturePros, and @TwitterUK!

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