Since launching @52Museums I’ve been amazed to see the growth of museums on Instagram (yes it was happening before but this is my point of view). As the project has been running, more and more museums have contacted me to join in on the list and to say they are starting an Instagram account just because of @52Museums which is brilliant!
Every museum who host @52Museums is asked to fill out an exit form at the end of their week. I will share the complete findings after we have a year in but the feedback has been very positive. All said they would do it again and all said they felt it was worthwhile. With this account they get the open instructions:
- If you can post a few for LA time, East coast and Europe time that makes a difference.
- Post 7-10 times a day – it sounds like a lot but really works with our current audience.
- Try things you can’t do on your own account.
- HAVE FUN!
Another project I run is @AskACurator Day (September 14th 2016 – eek!). There are over 1200 museums on the list to take part (with more signing up each day). It got me thinking that I should combine the @52Museums list with the @AskACurator list to make a ‘Master List’. Sounds simple enough, right?
How wrong I was. But it has led to some insight that I’d like to share:
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Tags: #52Museums, AskACurator, Instagram, museums, museums on instagram, social media, tips
It’s a word we tend to use a lot but never really define as we also spend a lot of time pretending to think like the ‘user’ or ‘visitor’ – mapping out ways for the them to see the exhibition/collection with a sprinkle of ‘entertaining’ activities.
However, us humans, we’re a funny lot. We don’t always behave as we’re expected. That could be due to translation (language barriers), rebelliousness (raises hand), miscommunication or boredom. Actually, feel free to insert your reason as I’m sure I haven’t covered them all.
As someone fortunate enough to travel internationally and to visit a lot of museums, art galleries, national houses/parks, I get to see a lot of different ways the sector tries to interact with the visitors. Traditionally, we often see:
- Family Backpacks
- Audio Guides
There are more but that’s to give you an idea. (Signage is one of the biggest areas I feel we are failing. Often walking through the front door is a big step but the journey to the front of house or reception is not always as obvious as we like to believe but we’ll leave that for another post.)
I love a bit of anthropology in a museum. Sometimes I’ll stand outside with my headphones in giving the impression I’m waiting for someone. Than I’ll go inside and continue to have my headphones on as I wander around – basically I am listening in on conversations but they don’t know that. It’s amazing how people will talk freely when they don’t think anyone is listening…
A typical scenario is a family (of various size, for this I also mean grandparents, friends with kids, etc) that enter and try to figure out where the starting point is. Or a map. In fairness to museums, often there are wonderful Front of House that try to assist and breakdown any barriers but it’s often the family that are feeling to awkward to ask for help.
The HAM Way
When I was in Helsinki I noticed Helsinki Art Museum (HAM) had post-it notes for visitors to take when they enter. They were in the middle of the room on a standalone pedestal (and yes there are front of house people there also). No barriers, no awkwardness. People knew to go and take one. They were also in 4 languages (Finnish, Russian, Chinese and English as they are the top visitors).
It was such a genius concept on it’s own but the notes are so clever I had to share! I’m sure HAM wouldn’t mind anyone using these ideas (always best to credit them) or better yet – reach out to them and tell them how awesome they are!
Don’t Look at the Art Works: Look at the frames of the artworks. What would an artwork look like if the frames were different? Or if you’d take the frame off completely? Is the frame part of the piece of not? Read the rest of this entry »
Tags: art galleries, families, HAM, helsinki, museums, participation
Something I’ve been thinking about lately is stories. No not intellectual novels (although I do love a good book!) but stories on Snapchat and Instagram. I’m the first to admit I’m not a strong Snapchat user but Instagram I get.
However, since Instagram brought out Stories I’ve been trying to get my head around why… I mean yes I know it’s trying to compete with Snapchat but why do platforms feel the need to morph into it’s ‘competition’ instead of just letting it be? [Edit to add this article Snapchat is acquiring mobile search app Vurb for $110M+ Aug 15]
I took to Twitter, Facebook and Instagram today to ask the simple question:
What are your thoughts on @instagram Stories vs @Snapchat Stories? Do you use either? Trying to get more of an idea about them. Which do you prefer and why? #socialmedia
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Tags: Culture, Instagram, museums, Snapchat, social media, Stories
Thank you to Adrienne Luce, Digital Engagement for the Getty Museum, for sharing this guest blog after posting about her experience on Facebook.
On Monday April 4, 2016 the Getty Center hosted its annual College Night event. Two Getty interns, Abby Keene and Ashley Medina, were on hand to help with the event. A few hours before the festivities began, Abby suggested that we try a Facebook Live broadcast and I thought, why not. So The Getty Museum’s first foray into the world of Facebook Live was completely spontaneous and done without any advance planning.
Our interns press the “Go Live” button and just like that we were broadcasting live from the Getty Center. The first Facebook Live video was a short 6-minute clip. After the broadcast was done, our Getty interns show me the stats. We had reached more than 30,000 Facebook feeds and the broadcast generated 258 reactions, comments and shares . Amazed by these impressive figures we decided to do more. Next up, our interns did a Facebook Live broadcast, about 7 minutes in length of one of our Museum educators talking about Van Gogh’s “Irises”. After the broadcast was finished, we saw that our reach had doubled. This time the broadcast reached 58,000+ Facebook feeds and had 1,429 reactions, comments and shares. We did a few more broadcasts from Getty College Night with each one, the numbers amazed us and we quickly realized the potential of this powerful platform. Read the rest of this entry »
Tags: facebook, facebook live, Getty Museum, live stream, museums, tech
First, thank you to everyone who took part in #QueerMuseum on July 20th. It’s a topic that has been on my radar for a while and when asked to run it (by the lovely folks at @QueeringMuseum – follow them!) I felt now was the right time. Why? Well since starting CultureThemes, the world has progress in so many ways.
My first time with a related exhibition was back in 2011 at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery with Matt Smith’s QueerMuseum exhibition. I admit, I didn’t know what it was about at first, I just remember Lucifer in green carnations and the WOW factor it had. Then I found out more and was so impressed with how Matt put on a Queer exhibition by selecting items in the collection that have always been on display.
Last month was Gay Pride so July seemed the perfect time to run #QueerMuseum. Leeds had just ran a LGBT exhibition, BMAG has been a supporter and other museums had run LGBT exhibitions in the past so knew there’d be content.
As always, I tried to leave interpretation to the sharer:
Pride 2016 saw many museums take place (especially in London where the Museums Association (MA) team joined a host of other museum, archive and heritage professions to march at the London Pride parade)
The idea, as ever, is open.
- Have you had a LGBTQ+ exhibition or talk?
- Do you feel there is something in your collection you feel could be #QueerMuseum related?
- Are you part of a group is part of LGBTQ+ that wants to do more with museums and art galleries?
- Or maybe you take Matt Smith’s approach and find ideas in a collection and explain why it looks like it could be in a #QueerMuseum exhibition.
Read the rest of this entry »
Tags: #queermuseum, CultureThemes, International, LGBT, museums, queer museum
Well this was a weekend and ½ – I thought most of the social media world would be consumed with sports – either Euro2016, Wimbledon or Grand Prix – but then I started seeing lots of PokemonGo sharing.
Pokemon for those that don’t remember are characters from the 1985 tv show. As a Muppet Fan, I don’t judge those who are older and still in love with characters from their youth.
This morning I asked:
How long before museums feel they have to hop on the #PokemonGO bandwagon? 🙂
UPDATE July 15:
- Privacy issues have been resolved
- It’s now available in the UK
- It’s bringing new people to historic sites (I personally know this as heard young people -teens- walking around my historic town saying they never knew Bridgnorth had so much history!),
- Museums are still trying to engage without being creepy
- Everyone is trying to research why PokemonGo is so hot (my answer: right timing, right place – AR tech is there -ok a little buggy- Pokemon is a great storyline and those who grew up with it are now at that ‘it’s cool again stage’ [as a Muppet fan I can totally relate!].
- Some visitors are complaining but they are the ones that hate MuseumSelfie and other fun so no sympathy here 🙂
- This is going to have other museums look to AR for solutions and I’m not convinced they should right now – at least not on their own (for their own app)
- Martha Henson is doing a great round up of post – see here
- You can now add a request stop (and presumably take a site off?) – see here
- Now available in Italy, Spain and Portugal!
PokemonGo is the number one app and even though it’s not officially available (only in US, Australia & New Zealand) but other countries have managed work arounds (aren’t we’re a clever society). [Edit to add: rumours are UK will be available this week.] [UPDATE IT’S AVAILABLE IN UK and boy do we know it!]
My original question about museums using PokemanGO still goes unanswered. For me, I feel if your collection is relevant then yes! But please please please don’t force a fad into your museum if your visitors won’t appreciate it. There is a difference between jumping on a bandwagon and being ahead of a trend – know the difference. But do know the faster the bubble grows the harder it will burst (aka security and stranger danger concerns coming up now.)
Should all museums do this? Of course not! This is almost tailored made for some museums though and by all means they should jump on the fun and go! Or be more like VAM and ask your visitors what they want:
Pokémon just did museums a huge favor (maybe) from VAM
Is your collection right for this? Would your visitors mind? Do you normally cater to families, young people? The public can smell if you’re doing this for legit reasons or just to be in the media. Please do encourage PokemonGo if you or your visitors finds one though!
Credit: Brooklyn Museum Instagram
Just don’t be one of these museums if you’re going to do it:
Not sure who to credit with this but thank you!
I’ll probably add more to this as this grow, but for now, I’ll leave you with this:
When you’re thinking about adding PokemonGO to your museum or venue, remember you might find yourself explaining why the app is asking for a lot of permissions (camera, all contacts, etc). It’s all relevant to the game of course but people are more astute with permissions these days. (It’s more for demographics than stalking but still.) [Credit: Pokemon Go wants to catch (almost) all your permissions]
Edit to add: I already mentioned the security which seems to be growing as a concern. As the app is only available in NZ, Australia and US other countries are downloading the app … in creative ways. Before as there have been reports of malware on several.
Additionally, be sure you’re aware of what you’re clicking when you give the app privacy permissions – it’s quite a lot!
And not that it’s totally relevant to museums and PokemonGo, but I just loved the title of this article:
The numbers prove it: People would rather catch Pokémon than catch a date
Edit to add:
Said I would update and remarkable how much can happen in one day!
Additionally there has been a lot of discussion on museums finding PokemonGo in their venues – that is great! My concern isn’t about museums having fun (and if you know anything about me you shouldn’t have asked that) but that some will look into how to force this hot news to fit a remit that just isn’t the museums personality.
What are your thoughts?
Tags: museums, pokeman, pokemango, trends
I was interviewed for the Creative Review magazine July’s edition – go buy a copy 🙂
Mar Dixon has been at the forefront of museums’ engagement with social media. She tells Mark Sinclair about how museums can use such platforms to broaden audiences, learn from their peers and excite people about culture
Tags: #52Museums, #MuseumSelfieDay, creative review, Interview, magazine, Museum
The idea of the museum as a dusty old repository of long-forgotten and obscure objects is an outdated concept that itself belongs in a glass case. Many institutions have brought both innovation and technology to the design of their collections, while in recent years opening them up to millions via the internet, further encouraging discovery and interaction through a variety of social media channels.
Museums have embraced platforms like Twitter and Instagram as a way of sharing their content – enticing visitors to experience it first-hand of course – and the sector has become particularly adept at engaging with its audiences in this way, with initiatives such as @52Museums and #MuseumWeekreceiving a level of traction that many companies can only dream of.
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I’m back from Helsinki where I was invited by Creativity, Culture and Education (CCE) to help produce and oversee an intense week-long framework for young people in Helsinki to take over 6 specific museums.
Young people think up new ways of working #munmuseo events
Young people between 16-20 years of age and art museums in Helsinki will be working together to find new ways for the youngsters to embrace the art museums´ artistic content and facilities.
The establishments involved are Amos Anderson Art Museum, Ateneum Art Museum, Design Museum, HAM Helsinki Art Museum, Kunsthalle Helsinki, Sinebrychoff Art Museum, thirty youngsters employed by the City of Helsinki and six youth workers coaching the youngsters. The munmuseo project run by the City of Helsinki Youth Department co-operation of the British Creativity, Culture and Education organization. Read the rest of this entry »
Tags: helsinki, museums, takeover, young people
On May 19th I hosted the New Technology stream at Museums and Heritage Show. The stream was hosted by Collider Case (which is amazing btw!) and consisted of a variety of great speakers (of course!) from Belfast, England and Paris sharing their experience with new technology that the sector could/should know about :
Museums and bus stops: breaking down barriers
Something new and different is happening in Paris – people waiting at bus stops are getting free wifi to play games about the museums local to that stop. CuturO’Game is successfully hooking visitors in with collections-related games, opening up new worlds to new audiences. Find out how it’s working and how you can use this tech to support and promote your own museum. – Aube Lebel, CEO, Clicmuse, Engage with Culture
21st century interpretation in a 19th century museum
The Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge offers one of the finest art and artefacts collections in the UK. As part of their bicentenary celebrations they commissioned a new digital guide, with Acoustiguide, to help visitors explore the museum. We will explore the challenges and successes of this exciting project. – Julie Dawson, Head of Conservation, The Fitzwilliam Museum and Caitlin Bain, Sales; Marketing Manager and Louisa Matthews, Managing Director, Acoustiguide
Tags: barriers, iot, museums, technology, wearable tech
Many of the challenges of adopting and piloting new technology apply to museums of all sizes. Finding the balance between new, interesting and innovative against solid, reliable and dependable technology can be difficult and potentially risky. How can we test and evaluate new products and services without compromising on the quality of experience we deliver to our visitors. – Will Robinson, Creative Technologist, British Museum and Catherine Jones, New Media Engineer, Science Museum Read the rest of this entry »
APM – Associazione Nazionale dei Piccoli Musei
Communication and Accessibility for Small Museums
By Veronica Ramos Pino
The National Small Museums Association (APM) is a non-profit association which intends to develop small museums and promote cultural management. Our association’s mission is to organize meetings, conventions and initiatives in order to highlight to visitors and institutions small museum’s reality.
Small museums are in essence different from large museums. It is not only a question of size, space and economic resources. The problem is much bigger and relates to the relationship with the local community, the location, the management, the services offered to the visitors, the role of the museum.
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Tags: accessibility, italy, small museums, small museums association