— Mar Dixon 🍰 (@MarDixon) January 1, 2017
For the past few months (cough 2016 cough) I’ve been observing the lack of conversations and rise of marketing on ALL social media (I know Twitter gets blame a lot for this but really Facebook and Instagram aren’t much better and Snapchat isn’t really known in the museum world yet and most young people prefer it that way).
Yes most cultural venues will get involved with hashtags and things like @52Museums but on a daily basis it seems social media has turned into one massive scheduled marketing job and quite frankly it’s doing the sector a dis-justice. If you don’t have the time to spend a few minutes a day being SOCIAL then why should we (the public) find the time to visit? As I said before, I feel the visitors are looking for an emotive experience now (as oppose to academia) and marketing is NOT emotive.
Yes we understand the burden. You have to tell people what is available so that they visit (and hopefully spend money) but there are ways of marketing in a social tone. The public can smell scheduled updates.
In fairness, I feel I’m also at fault in this. I’ve been so busy in 2016 that I seem to only post when sharing events for others or hashtags. So I’m putting my money where my mouth is an I’m going to try to chat to at least 3 people a day on social media and respond to as many as I can.
Sounds simple but like most comms people, traveling, life and hectic schedule sometimes gets in the way but really it shouldn’t be hard for me to reach out and engage.
Cultural Sector can easily pick three people to say:
- ‘Did you enjoy your visit?’
- ‘What was your favourite item/piece?’
- ‘Thanks for visiting!’
Even better they can share some of the experience of what is happening in the venue at the time – for example share a few overheard conversations from visitors or staff.
Stephen Fry once said Twitter is like falling leaves, you catch a few as the come down and admire the beauty of those on the ground. We need to do more of this.
So who is up for the challenge to #BringSocialBacktoSocialMedia?
Tags: Culture, museums, social media
I realise I haven’t updated my website in a bit but it’s not lack of thoughts to share (more of a lack of time from travelling). This issue has been brewing for awhile as it’s an international issue that not many seem to speak about. The current ‘hot topic’ is inclusion which I 100% support but only if it’s done with respect and not like the Young People in museum topic (when funding left, the young people were left with nothing to see for their work). However, this topic is even better IMO as without good people, nothing we do it going to matter!
As a cultural sector we leave 2016 with even more uncertainty than when it started. Lots of events have happened this year that we had no control of, decisions made we might not agree with and the impact of some of those decisions still relatively unknown. 2017 will give us some answers, but will it give us any more security? Doubtful.
With that in mind as a sector what can we do for the year ahead? Do we just brace ourselves for impact or do we steer ourselves to where we might be in a better position to survive?
One thing is for sure, we are getting used to being battered. Our sector has taken some of the biggest hits of austerity compared to any other sector of equal size. Each year we deal with less funding, less resources and less staff and I’m pretty sure 2017 won’t be any different.
The bigger question for 2017 is what have we learnt?
If we are now so bruised from a tidal wave of cuts, what have we done to prevent absolute catastrophe, (most of you reading this are survivors, still working in the sector and many of you in museums that have not closed) what have we learnt from each other to prevent the next wave hitting us even harder? HmmmmmTags: Government, issues, management, Museum, museums, problems, staff, workers
First, a big thank you to everyone who took part, followed, liked, and got involved with @52Museums on Instagram and Twitter in 2016. It grew bigger than anyone could have expected. The evaluation will be shared (once there has been time to process it!)
You can find more information about what it is and how it works here.
The 2017 schedule (and yes this is draft as changes throughout the year does happen):
Please note: if you would like to be on the waiting list, please sign up here.
Date Museum Name Country Museum Name Country Jan 2-8 Crow Collection of Asian Art USA @crowcollection Jan 9-15 V&A Museum of Childhood UK museumchildhood Pretend City Children's Museum USA @pretendcity Jan 16-22 Canada's Sports Hall of Fame Canada Cansportshall Jan 23-29 Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium Belgium fineartsbelgium Vejen Art Museum Denmark Vejenkunstmuseum Jan 30-Feb 5 Des Moines Art Center USA @desmoinesartcenter Feb 6-12 transmediale Germany @transmediale Feb 13-19 Westminster Abbey London UK @westminsterabbeylondon Feb 20-26 MAK Vienna Austria mak_vienna Clark Art Institute USA clarkart Feb 27-Mar 5 Kalamazoo Valley Museum USA kalamazoomuseum Museum of Latin American Art (MOLAA) USA @molaaart Mar 6-Mar 12 Museum at FIT USA museumatfit Mar13-19 Women in Arts USA womeninthearts Mar 20-26 National Museum of American Jewish History USA @AmericanJewishMuseum Holcaust Museum Houston USA @HMHou Mar 27-Apr 2 Bendigo Art Gallery Australia bendigoartgallery Migration Museum Australia migration_museum Apr 3-9 Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum Singapore @lkcnhm Apr 10-16 The National Maritime Museum (Het Scheepvaartmuseum) Netherlands hetscheepvaartmuseum submarine force libary & museum USA nautilusships_store Apr 17-23 Casa Batlló Barcelona casabatllo Musei di Fermo (Art + archaeology) Italy @museifermo Apr 24-30 The Postal Museum UK thepostalmuseum Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum USA @cspioneersmuseum May 1-7 Newark Museum USA newarkmuseum McMaster Museum of Art Canada macmuseum May 8-14 Skagens Museum Denmark skagensmuseum Anchers Hus Denmark anchershus May 15-21 Science Museum UK sciencemuseum May 22-28 JFK Presidential Library & Museum (this is the week leading up to the JFK Centennial) USA Jfklibrary George Eastman Museum USA EastmanMuseum May 29-Jun4 The Davis Museum at Wellesley College USA @thedavismuseum Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum @ WUStL USA kemperartmuseum Jun 5-11 National Gallery of Canada Canada @ngc_mbac Jun 12-18 Museum Tinguely Basel Switzerland museumtinguely Jun 19-25 Museu de Arte Sacra de São Paulo Brasil @museuartesacra Jun 26-Jul 2 The Foundling Museum UK foundlingmuseum Jul 3-9 James A. Michener Art Museum USA @MichenerArt Glanmore National Historic Site USA @GlanmoreNHS Jul 10-16 The Heckscher Museum of Art USA @heckschermuseum DordtYart-contemporary art Netherlands DordtYart Jul 17-23 Pera Museum Turkey @peramuzesi Denver Art Museum USA @denverartmuseum Jul 24-30 Museum of Contemporary Art in Krakow MOCAK Poland @mocak_krakow Jul 31 - Aug 6 The Rockwell Museum, A Smithsonian Affiliate USA RockwellMuseum Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery UK birmingham_mag Aug 7-13 Chilliwack Museum and Archives Canada @chwkmuseum The Buffalo History Museum USA @buffalohistorymuseum Aug 14-20 Thomas Jefferson's Monticello USA @TJMonticello Dumbarton House USA @DumbartonHouse Aug 21-27 Sharjah Museums Department United Arab Emirates @sharjahmuseums Aug 28-Sep 3 Atlanta History Center USA @AtlantaHistoryCenter Sep 4-10 The Museum of The Jewish People at Beit Hatfutsot, Israel beithatfutsot Sep 11-17 The National Gallery UK @national_gallery Sep 18-24 Pasadena Museum of California Art USA pmcaonline Craft & Folk Art Museum USA @cafam Sep 25-Oct 1 Museu de Ciències Naturals de Barcelona (Catalonia) (contact with Cristina: email@example.com) Catalona museuciencies Chicago Academy of Sciences / Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum USA @naturemuseum Oct 2-8 Cantor Arts Center USA @cantorarts Oct 9-15 Museion Bozen/Bolzano Italy museion_bz Freer|Sackler, Smithsonian's museum of Asian art (reopening on October 14) USA freersackler Oct 16-22 Houston Center for Contemporary Craft USA @CraftHouston United by Hand (https://www.crafthouston.org/exhibition/unitedbyhand/) and Future Tradition (https://www.crafthouston.org/exhibition/melissacody/) USA Oct 23-29 National Museum of Civil War Medicine USA @civilwarmed Clara Barton Missing Soliders Office USA Oct 30 -Nov 5 Museo Jumex Mexico MuseoJumex CONTEMPORARY ART Nov 6-12 National Museum of the Marine Corps USA USMCMuseum The U.S. Dept of Defense Museums Nat. Museum of the U.S. Navy & Nat. Museum Health & Medicine would like to share the week with NMMC Nov 13-19 Gatchina Palace and Estate Museum
(or Getty Museum USA)
Russia gatchinapalace_museum Nov 20-26 Jewish Museum Frankfurt Germany juedischesmuseumffm POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews Poland @polinmuseum Nov 27-Dec 3 Craigleith Heritage Depot Canada @craigleithdepot Oshawa Museum Canada @oshawamuseum Dec 4-10 The Corning Museum of Glass USA corningmuseum Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art USA @hfjmuseum Dec 11-17 Waterloo Region Museum Canada @WRegionMuseum Colchester Museums UK @colchestermuseums Dec 18-24 Staatliches Museum Ägyptischer Kunst Germany smaek_muc Dec 25-31 National Puppetry Archive UK
Tags: #52Museums, International, museums
#LoveTheatreDay is Back November 16th 2016!
–>>>SIGN UP FORM IS HERE<<–
Please know although this is #LoveTheatreDay we’re asking Museums, art galleries, national trust and ALL cultural venues to get involved and share your theatre collection with us! For more information on how it worked last couple of years, see this article.
If you choose to share a live video broadcast on Periscope, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to let the editorial team at Periscope know, as they will be looking for content to feature in the app.
How #LoveTheatre Day Works
Throughout the day, we encourage everyone to tweet using #LoveTheatre and say why they love theatres. This is open for the general public of course but I want people who have been (or are in) am dram productions to also tweet. I also asked museums and galleries to share their collection that is theatre related and publishers to share books related to theatres. Read the rest of this entry »Tags: #LoveTheatre, #LoveTheatreDay, Culture, hashtag, Theater, Theatre
I’ve always said this site was for when I had more to say in a tweet. I’ve never pressured myself to write as I know my limits. However, this past month so much has been going on that are worthy of articles on their own:
Italian Wonder Ways: I was invited at last minute to take a friend of a friend’s spot on a Cammino (which means pilgrimage). I wasn’t fully prepared but had the most amazing time! I’ve been to Italy many times but never ever explored the landscape or the people the way we did with Cammino di San Benedetto created by the inspiring Simone Frignani. As this was a press trip we were met by mayors and lovely locals in each village we walked to – eating their lovely local products. We even slept in a monastery! Most who know me know exercise isn’t my thing but I truly loved walking and talking and meeting new friends. I did things I would never imagine I’d do – including riding on top of a Landrover Defender down a steep dirt road with Simone and Paul (we survived….). And we ended in Rome listening to the Pope. Truly magical and inspiring.
Related articles from my group: Along Italy’s Cammino di San Benedetto via @AnitasFeast and Find your calling on the Italian Wonder Ways from Rachel Rigby.
Science Museum WonderLab opening: Went to the opening of WonderLab sort of expecting a lot as I’ve been hearing bits and pieces about it over the months/year. I absolutely wasn’t disappointed! The press night had a wonderful mixture of suits, kids and everything in between. The exhibition is totally hands on – lots of things to see, play, learn, do, and slide down – YES there is a slide! It’s all very related to teaching science through fun and it totally works!
Related articles: Wonderlab: The Statoil Gallery; Cabinet Gallery – review
19 Princelet Street: A hidden gem in London as it is/was many things over the years but is now dedicated to becoming an immigration museum. I was privileged to have a private view to speak to Susie, one of a few volunteers that are working hard to get the building the monies it needs to be able to the public (the open to the public on very special occasions and ALWAYS has queues around the block when they are open!).
Related website: 19princeletstreet.org.uk
Victoria and Albert Museum Revolution Exhibition: Went to Revolution with friend Tijana. In similar vein to the David Bowie exhibition, we were provided headphones / guide to take into the exhibition. And like Bowie exhibition, RFID technology was used to guide us in the very large exhibition. Revolution is essentially about the swinging 60s to early 2000s and how transformational they were to our lives now. What did hit home was seeing how some protest from the 60s are VERY (sadly) similar to issues we still have today. It’s like we never learn.
Related website: V&A Revolution
MuseumID Conference: Attended MuseumID conference at the Science Museum. There was an impressive lineup of speakers from USA, Denmark, UK and Germany. Voting and immigration, fab labs and the need to be open to public ideas, social media and why less is more, and other topics were discussed. Tony Butler made for an exemplary chair for the day too!
Related website: Museum ID
Tomorrow I leave for Spain to speak at #MarketingArtes16 in Madrid and Barcelona before flying to New York in November for MuseumNext. Meanwhile, we’re running #LoveTheatreDay again on November 16th so mark your calendars!
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:
Please note,Museums on Instagram form with link to list is here (I need to get over AskaCurator day before I have time to combine everything).
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:
Tags: Culture, Instagram, museums, Snapchat, social media, Stories
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
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
This week, Charlotte and I managed to do The Lost Palace experience. I’ve known about The Lost Palace since Timothy Powell told me about the idea back in late 2014/2015.
The concept: Bring Europe’s largest palace ‘back to life’ 300 years after it burnt to the ground. Hear, touch and feel the past using new immersive technology.
The technology is what I was most interested in. The Lost Palace started with an open call for proposals from makers, creators, dreamers, technologist and more. There were 5 £10,000 proposals available. Their remit was relatively lose: Read the rest of this entry »Tags: #TheLostPalace, digital, London, Museum, tech, technology