@MarDixon Passionate about culture internationally. Run remixing events, workshops, create solutions, and an international speaker. Over sharer and Mom who loses arguments to a teen. Projects created: @CultureThemes @lovetheatreday @AskaCurator @MuseumSelfieDay @TeensInMuseums @52museums
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    June 7th, 2019mardixonCulture, International, Tech

    Well it’s one day after I’ve been home from another brilliant MuseumNext conference – it’s the time when I feel sad for saying goodbye to the new friends I met and old friends I get to see again. The talks this year were absolutely brilliant, poignant, relevant and in some cases hard to hear (but it need to be said).

    We as a sector are going through another transitional period. A few years ago there so much excitement about the future of museums and how social/digital was being embedded into the collections. Now it’s about survival. Surviving to keep staff, surviving to understand what the public needs and make real changes that allow them to see themselves in the museum. Surviving so they are relevant in the next 10-20 years.

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    (All Tweets I did are here and All Pictures are in this Facebook album)

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    May 19th, 2019mardixonCulture, Tech

    On May 15th, I curated the New Trends Stream at Museums and Heritage Show.  The title used to be New Technology but we changed it to reflect the shift in less technology and more behaviour of what was important for the sector to recognize as worthy to know.

    A huge thank you to all the Museums and Heritage Show New Trends speakers – each session was filled to the brim and there was nothing but positive feedback all day.  I am also grateful that each of the speaker took the spirit of the lineup and engaged before the talks, during the talks and even after at DrinksThing.  I threw a couple of the speakers together (mainly Joy Drury/Matthew Cock and Sacha Coward/John Sear) and they worked together beautifully together in making their talk seamless.

    I asked each of the speakers to share their presentation (link with each title) and a statement on ‘what you enjoyed/hated/got out of it’:

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    May 5th, 2019mardixonCulture, Tech

    There is a wonderful (and free!) line-up of speakers for Museums and Heritage Show Trends stream this year on May 15th (followed by DrinksThing at the pub). I know it’s wonderful as I curated it 🙂 Seriously the speakers are brilliant and to prove it, I asked all of them to answer two questions:

    • What one (or several) thing(s) would someone learn from your talk?
    • What trend are you excited about for 2020?
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    April 28th, 2019mardixonCulture


    For years, I have supported Bletchley Park on social media and felt I knew enough about the place without ever visiting.  I was a moron. 

    They recently launched a new film D-Day: Interception, Intelligence, Invasion film which received a lot of press and spurred my interest to make a visit which I finally did this week. 

    The visit started with a train ride to Bletchley – which is very easy to get to from London and New Street (Birmingham) so the excuse that it’s not easy to get to was taken away.  The train station is literally 2-minute walk to Bletchley Park.  The ticket to Bletchley Park is a season pass as even though we stayed 5 hours, we still didn’t get to see everything.

    When we arrived at Block C which is the entrance, shop, exhibition and café area, we were met by Rosie Burke (Media Manager) who introduced us to David Kenyon (Research Historian) who took us on a guided tour.  David is one of these people who has the perfect position and personality for his knowledge. 

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    April 3rd, 2019mardixonCulture, International


    Guest blog by Ann Vanrolleghem who runs social media for Texture, museum of flax and river Lys in Kortrijk, Belgium. About how she experienced the Instagram takeover @52museums.

    Previously

    Who could have known that meeting Mar Dixon at a FARO conference in Brussels would result in an amazing social media adventure? When Mar talked in November ’18 about her initiative @52museums, a weekly international Instagram takeover for museums, all my alarm bells went off. Would this not be a great opportunity for our small museum Texture to show ourselves to the big world, an international community of museum lovers? Yes, I was immediately won over by the idea, so I jumped right in (yes, I’m impulsive… read my previous guest blog) and I’ve put Texture, museum of flax and river Lys, on the waiting list for 2019. And it felt like a Christmas gift when I heard the news we got accepted! And then the big fun started…

    Episode one: OMG, having an identity crisis

    It is one thing to apply in all your enthusiasm, it is another thing to actually do it! My first reaction was total excitement, but then I started to have some doubts… The account @52museums is not a small account and I didn’t want to embarrass myself nor the museum. I wanted to do a great job (who doesn’t?), so I started to think how I was going to structure the week of the takeover. Content planning like the experts call it. What would I tell? How would I tell it? What pictures would be great? And in this process of thinking… I had an identity crisis (OMG)… Do I know enough about the museum I work for to tell both interesting as well as fun stories? So, step one for me was to dig deeper into our collection. I digested a lot of info in a small period of time and also took the time to wander off into the museum. Yes, you really should do that! Armed with all the extra intel, I felt more confident and started to put up a schedule for the takeover. In seven days I would build up a story, starting from what is flax and how we use it in everyday life. It was an important lesson for me to find a way to tell our story to people who don’t know us, but who would hopefully like us. And that is a lesson I will keep in mind when writing posts for our own museum account.

    Episode two: Relax, just do it and have fun!

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    February 4th, 2019mardixonCulture

    The much anticipated Christian Diors exhibtion recently opened at the V&A but I was unable to attend the press preview so asked the lovely Josephine Walsh to go for me.  Thanks for the write up Josephine and can’t wait to see it myself!

    A guest blog by Josephine Walsh / @_girl_in_red

    The launch of Christian Dior’s first collection in 1947 was marked by freezing temperatures and soaring expectations.

    After the rations and austerity of the Second World War, the fashion world was hungry for something new. Guests at the premiere lined the walls, and women peered eagerly over the staircase to get a glimpse of Dior’s sublime floaty dresses and cinched-in waists. The spectacular entrance of Dior into the fashion world heralded a new era of in fashion and redefined how generations of women saw and presented themselves.

    Carmel Snow, editor of American Harper’s Bazaar christened the new style when she commented, ‘It’s quite a revolution Christian. Your dresses have such a new look!’ Read the rest of this entry »

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    January 27th, 2019mardixonCulture, International

    Who knew how powerful a hashtag could be? Ok ok, I always said it was one incredible way to spread the word but I never expected it would be so powerful and change laws.

    There was a feeling that #MuseumSelfie #MuseumSelfieDay was going to be big a few weeks prior as although I never care about stats I did notice I was getting a lot of hits from countries that were new to CultureThemes. Then the Sunday prior it was being promoted on a Sunday Breakfast show in the UK.

    All the hashtags on CultureThemes are created for small and medium museums (as large and nationals have more options to get involved). Countries that are new to social media (which we assume everyone has been on it since the beginning and that just is not true) loved that there was an excuse to be involved without red hands – you know the ones that get smacked for doing something wrong. They could simply blame a trending hashtag – Simple!

    CultureThemes and MuseumSelfieDay are on twitter and Instagram but it’s always encouraged to run the hashtag on whichever platform is best for your community and followers. And I don’t mind if you change the hashtag to make sense for your own language.

    If you are here looking for stats or metrics, sorry, I can’t help. Truth is I don’t have money to afford to buy the third party software to allow that. But also is I really could care less about the numbers. Actions can’t be captured in numbers. Read the rest of this entry »

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    January 7th, 2019mardixonCulture, International

    Our third 52 Museums Instagram project has wrapped up for 2018 and overall it has been another huge success! At the end of each week all participants are asked to complete a survey, give us their thoughts on how it went, what went well and what could be done better in the future. We had 27 respondents to this – not as much as previous years.  Thank you to everyone who took the time to send in their feedback it really does help us to make it even better for everyone each year.

    Finally, a big thank you to all of you who took part and made 52 Museums 2018 such a success, and now with over 18.800 followers on the account here’s to an even bigger and better 2019!

    For the 2019 list and sign up information please see this link.

    In the beginning of the year we lost quite a few followers (over 3000) but climbed back up throughout the year to end with an additional 1,200.  We are seeing a lot of likes but not as many comments.  Looking over the account, it seems there wasn’t a lot of questions or post that encourage engagement/interaction with the public.  Post that were longer and had more substances (eg story behind the item in the collection) were popular.  But for 2018 – Stories were the favorite.

    Please note:  The selection of quotes are anonymized as much as possible.

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    January 5th, 2019mardixonCulture, International

    Thank you to everyone who took part, followed, liked, and got involved with @52Museums on Instagram and Twitter in 2018.  It grew bigger than anyone could have expected.  The report for 2018 can be found here.  The year is almost full but there is a waiting list.  The gaps are there as waiting for a few to respond.

    You can find more information about what it is and how it works here.

    The 2018 schedule (and yes this is draft as changes throughout the year happens):

    Please note: if you would like to be on the waiting list, please sign up here

    To see the Google doc of the schedule click here

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    January 4th, 2019mardixonCulture, International

    Recently, I’ve seen a bunch of articles promoting the best exhibitions to see in 2019 but it seemed most of them were around London (see Londonist and Maxwell’s list) so I decided to crowdsource ideas and promised to share here. I posted this question on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Linkedin. Surpringly, no responses on Instagram….

    While I’m not doubting that London has a lot of create exhibitions (because they do) I always want to see what else is happening in the world and I know I’m not alone with this.  We seem to have the Top 10 in the world, which are usually nationals but nice to see some local museums on some list also.

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